Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Christmastime Assortment


R.I. gets down to six choices for Armory Park -QCOnline
(Make sure you check out the PDF of the plans linked to in the article)

Rock Island is moving forward with their post-casino plan, and it would sure be nice to say Davenport was able to do the same. Personally, as I've said before, I don't think RI's riverfront needs an amphitheater or bandshell, since Davenport's already has one, with an amphitheater planned for Crescent Park as part of River Vision. Rock Island needs to do their own thing instead of going after the same stuff that we already have. Out of the 6 options, I definitely prefer the no-Armory plan with the Arc Concept. Fortunately, it appears to be one of the 2 options moving forward with the RI council. Its great to imaging Davenport and Rock Island each having a beautiful redeveloped, casino-free riverfront, both connected via water taxi. Unfortunately, America's-most-screwed-up-state-candidate, Illinois, has found a way to possibly screw RI out of their hard fought casino money. If people thought Davenport's council needed a clean slate, I think Springfield needs to throw away the whole slate and get a new one.


Group musters support for Chicago-to-Quad-Cities passenger rail route -QCTimes
I just can't say enough about how important rail service is, but once again we're relying on the State of Illinois. A little over 3 hours, non-stop, into downtown Chicago sounds like a pretty big amenity for potential residents or companies looking at our area, not to mention those of us already here. If you haven't already, join the QC Passenger Rail Coalition to show your support.


River City dealership shut down -QCTimes
The New River City Ford wanted to redevelop the old Montgomery Wards Auto building at Northpark, but someone tattled to the city that an obscure law prevents it. I suspect the law, which bans cars from being sold from property not owned by the vehicle owner, was meant to stop impromptu car lots from sprouting up around the city. Something tells me the folks responsible for reporting this violation may be the very same folks who have been displaying cars in the mall without "selling them" for years. Hopefully something can be worked out to renovate that long-vacant building.


Eddie Bauer to close its doors in the Quad Cities -QCTimes
This isn't really anything of importance, but I just wanted to point out the other piece of information revealed in the article. Famous seller of overpriced pre-ruined clothes, Hollister, is replacing Eddie Bauer at Northpark. This officially kills my dream of them coming downtown to lure teenyboppers and their money to what could be a new "cool" shopping area. On the other hand, it speaks well of how healthy Northpark is (unlike Southpark) that a new store is basically waiting to take the spot of an exiting one.

And if you can't find something to comment on out of all that, you're not trying very hard.

31 Comments:

At 12/19/2007 8:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where do I start? A very good list of topics to be discussed. Add Hammerlink's performance at committee to insult Menards every way possible.

"Menards Looks To Bettendorf" Let's hope we don't have this headline with our morning coffee.

 
At 12/19/2007 9:31 AM, Blogger pioneer98 said...

I'm not grasping what "Scheme 2 of the Arc Concpet" is, exactly.

The Arc Concept is one of the "No Armory" options - meaning no amphitheater, just a smaller stage or two.

"Scheme 2" is one of the "Teardrop" concepts where part of the Armory or its shape is retained, and some kind of amphitheater is put in.

I like the Arc concept myself, but couldn't tell from the article which one(s) they were referring to as the top choices. They made it pretty confusing to keep track. Why not just name them Scheme 1 through Scheme 6?

 
At 12/19/2007 10:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keep in mind Alderman Hammerlink gets more like Alderman Meyer everyday. He learned alot in the past 2 years.

 
At 12/19/2007 10:14 AM, Anonymous Shelley said...

How about a link to the earmarks for the QCA in the omnibus appropriations bill passed by the House and Senate yesterday. Last omnibus left out the earmarks-this one includes them. The West Side Diversion tunnel gets a little chunk-I'm supposing it is the first of a series of helpful contributions. Seems as though Braley, Harkin, and Grassley really worked together to fund priorities. Those little trips to DC really pay off.

 
At 12/19/2007 10:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are wrong about the dealership displaying cars in the mall without selling them. The complaint came from another part. For your interest, Lujack leases spots in the mall to display cars, but isn't allowed to have salesmen on site. They must follow the same law as River City Ford. I'm not sure that we really want a car salesman on everycorner at every business in Davenport. There needs to be some control over car sales. An investment in property and buildings help keep out the fly by night that spring up rent some lot, sell a few junk cars and hit the road without an obligation to the customer. It is to bad that a legitamate business is caught up in this, but it is for the consumer.

 
At 12/19/2007 10:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, Davenport has a ''bandshell' on it's riverfront but it is so small that no band can actually use it. There seems to be two schools of thought of the concepts depending on the actual end use of the space. Either you have a smaller stage space with little or no support spaces or a space where one could conceive putting a touring musical act in similar to what the MV Fair does as well as a very cool space to expand QCArts and The District programming into as well.
Just another reason one should move out of Davenport and into Rock Island -even though KM is on his way out.

 
At 12/19/2007 11:39 AM, Blogger pioneer98 said...

The issue is that the River Vision plan called for Davenport to build an amphitheater, not Rock Island. And it was going to be even bigger than the one Rock Island may build.

I'm not saying River Vision should be set in stone or anything, but we may need to reconvene to discuss the changes to it. If the amphitheater moves to RI, then what should Davenport do with its space that was earmarked for that purpose? We won a national award for our collaberation on River Vision you know.

 
At 12/19/2007 4:01 PM, Blogger QuadCityImages said...

The way I read the PDF, Scheme 2 was basically, all of the no-armory options. I may be wrong on that though.

 
At 12/19/2007 5:13 PM, Blogger QuadCityImages said...

I see that I did indeed misunderstand the PDF, and have changed my wording in the post. I prefer the Arc Concept, which is one of the non-Armory-retaining options. I love historic preservation as much (probably more) as the next guy, but you can't save everything.

 
At 12/20/2007 8:39 AM, Anonymous puzzler said...

How about a restaurant on the riverfront with a wall of glass facing the river, a patio on the river side and additional outdoor seating in the summer? Great views, Eagle watching from inside and out, and a source of revenue instead of a drain on taxpayers?

 
At 12/20/2007 8:50 AM, Blogger pioneer98 said...

I like the restaurant idea, but it is a risky business. Many of them fail. It might be worth a shot, especially with a boat dock right there. In the summer at least, you'd get boat traffic.

I also like the Arc option, QCI. As far as historic buildings go, the Armory is pretty ugly. And it's in too prime a location to have something that ugly there.

 
At 12/20/2007 8:53 AM, Blogger Matt said...

i don't normally comment on things related to city planning, but i have some questions - possibly naive - about these conceptual drawings. from what i can tell, most if not all of the concepts feature a band shell. does anyone know the intended use for this space? the iWireless center is obviously the venue for our large music acts. do a variety of musical performances still happen at the davenport band shell, the bass street landing, and in the district (and other places)? Same goes for theatre - we have our large venues like the Adler, but don't we also have modest outdoor facilities like where the Genesius Guild perform (are they still around?)? You can see what I'm getting at here - why are they planning for another space? Again, this is not a hypothetical smartass question, I'm truly curious.

Some other questions from someone out of the loop - is the Gambling Boat staying there? What the heck is up with option 3 from the Armory scheme - that looks like a 50 yard wide arched walkway that takes 3 stories of stairs to get to (if you skip the elevator). Even if built as the most aesthetically beautiful architectural pieces, I don't think I'd ever care for it.

I lived in Chicago for 5 years and I've been to the Pritzker Pavilion in Millenium Park and up to Ravinia for various performances. And of course, those spaces are amazing (love Cloudgate, aka "The Bean"). But I was always drawn to the less grandiose things that the urban park has - the ice skating rink, the various gardens (the cancer survivor rose garden is great), and those types of things. Perhaps that's because I like urban parks to be where you get away from the excitement of busy, active, downtown attractions, not one of those types of attractions.

 
At 12/20/2007 8:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Puzzler - it's called The Boat House!

 
At 12/20/2007 9:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

QCI - I don't know if you were at the meeting last night, but there were several people there who wanted to discuss the Menard's issue. When it was time for public comment the mayor stated that if anyone wanted to talk about Menards to wait until the end of the meeting when Menards would be discussed and put back on the agenda. At the end of the meeting Menards was put back on the agenda, however, the public was never given a chance to speak their peace. Maybe this was a clear over site due to moving Menards to the end of the meeting. The people were clearly devistated at not being able to speak. There were many point of orders from council members during the meeting, but this was totally over looked.

 
At 12/20/2007 2:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I suspect the aldermen just wanted to get out of there. The menards issue had already been settled before the meeting had started and no amount of talking by the public was going to change the vote. The unfortunate piece was Alderman Meyer comment that made a member of the selling family burst into tears. I'm sure selling the property was hard for the family, but times change and most people don't have the luxury of hanging onto land simply because it has historical value. The internal family business had no part in the discussion of zoning. Thank heavens we are finished with Alderman Meyer. Although alderman Hammerlink has a insensitive mouth similiar to Meyer he was pretty restrained last night. His only insult of the evening was that he was surprised Menards came up with a solution that fit his needs. Oh well two more years and we can hope he will disappear with Meyer.

 
At 12/20/2007 5:17 PM, Anonymous puzzler said...

Anonymous, Does the Boat House sit in an area of the river where the lock and dam churns the water attracting eagles when the rest of the river is frozen? Is there an elevated observation area for people who don't intend to eat or drink but want to check out the view? Can boats tie up to the adjacent dock and patronize the Boat House? Can a population of 300,000 plus sustain more than one riverfront restaurant?

 
At 12/20/2007 5:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

LEAVE IT TO THOSE WACKOS, MEYER AND "the hammer" THOSE TWO + LYNN = (-STUPID) SQUARED. PLEASE CLEAN UP THIS TOWN AND STOP VOTING THIS TRASH IN TO POSITIONS THAT CAN DO REAL DAMAGE!

 
At 12/20/2007 6:11 PM, Blogger QuadCityImages said...

The restaurant at the Figge has a pretty good river view, and the restaurant coming into the Freight House should as well. As far as an elevated viewing platform, I think that would be called the Skybridge.

 
At 12/20/2007 6:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Conservative Demo here:
HA! I remember before Hammer's election and early in his term there was a group of bloggers whose posts read like cult-worship litanies to the god-figure Hammer.

Apparently reality has set in.

 
At 12/20/2007 7:21 PM, Blogger QuadCityImages said...

Yes, I've wondered about that as well. Maybe sometime I'll find a few of those posts and link to the comments. On the other hand, he still won reelection handily, so don't make the mistake of thinking that online politics enthusiasts represent the general opinion of Davenporters.

 
At 12/20/2007 8:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Conservative Demo here:
Saith QCI, "On the other hand, he still won reelection handily, so don't make the mistake of thinking that online politics enthusiasts represent the general opinion of Davenporters."

Aah yass I did fall into that mistake didn't I.

 
At 12/21/2007 1:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Although your point is very true regarding Sean's solid victory, Abrose still just proved that if you really start to do a poor job, people notice. Ambrose has never even come CLOSE to losing, and this year he barely snuck by.

 
At 12/21/2007 2:44 PM, Anonymous Outside Looking In said...

When Rock Island finalizes the waterfront park, the plan will need to address re-using/replacing the portion of the armory foundation that is a part of the flood wall. Incorporating a portion of the armory may provide a cost savings compared to complete demolition and replacing the basement and foundation wall that double as a section of the flood wall.
Rock Island has demonstrated a willingness to cooperate and participate in a coordinated plan for the Iowa-Illinois riverfront. If there is a band shell, I would think it would provide a venue that is not in conflict with Davenport’s intended use.
With the new Davenport council I would expect an even greater level of cooperation for river front development. Simply removing Meyer has set the stage for cross-river planning and implementation to be much more effective.

 
At 12/21/2007 4:14 PM, Anonymous freda said...

Well, according to various commenters, there's already everything everyone could want on the riverfront in Davenport - restaurants with river views, an observation platform, a stage, so I guess there's nothing left for Rock Island to put in a riverfront park. Unless of course, you want all of these things in close proximity to one another along with DIRECT access to the river. Does Davenport have an interactive water feature or should RI cross that one off the list as well?

 
At 12/22/2007 9:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with Freda, why does Davenport have to be the center of everything in the QCA? At least Rock Island has a time tested organization that produces several summer events in The District. This park would let them finally live up to their potential. I am still waiting to see a cohesive 'District' in downtown Davenport like Rock Island's.

 
At 12/22/2007 11:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rock Island quietly goes about the business of running the city and providing amenities to be enjoyed by all of the Quad Cities. Rock Island has its own identity and is every bit as competitive for development as any of the Quad Cites. If Rock Island is unsuccessful in landing a development project they have always supported anywhere in the Quad Cities as the best second choice.
Rock Island will develop their Riverfront. I believe they will work to continue to coordinate amenities between the Iowa/Illinois sides; however, it would be hard to imagine that Rock Island’s goodwill would not be put aside if Davenport were not to live up to their promises.

 
At 12/22/2007 6:24 PM, Blogger QuadCityImages said...

The only reason I think the amphitheater should be on the Davenport side is because its already in the RiverVision plan that Davenport and Rock Island agreed on. What's the point of making a plan (and winning a national award for it) if you change it right away?

 
At 12/23/2007 11:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the 'dueling' amphitheaters could work if they defined what type of entertainment would happen at each. Also keep in mind that the River Vision plan also depended on what two private companies were going to do with their riverfront property. Rock Island knows when they will get the land. Davenport still doesn't know what will happen to 'their' boat or their downtown. What doesn't make sense is that Davenport already has a bandshell, why do they need an amphitheater?

 
At 12/23/2007 5:16 PM, Blogger QuadCityImages said...

Actually RiverVision didn't really address the casino site that much. Its mostly Centennial Park (From Gaines to Marquette) and Crescent Park (From Marquette to Credit Island), except for the controversial "hotel site" that was stuck in at the last meeting.

The design for LeClaire Park that came out of the more recent round of meetings put on by the Design Center is what's waiting for IOC to figure out what they're doing with (to) us.

 
At 12/26/2007 5:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a Davenport resident, I agree that Rock Island has quietly and with great sucess developed a vibrant and FUN river front. Maybe that's because they don't have the short sighted morons that Davenport has as in Bill Lynn, Hammerdink and the "I shall return in two years!" nutcake meyer. These guys are so self involved! I say, Cut the Wards in half and raise the pay, that way these idiots wouldn't have a chance to get elected and rip off the tax payers money in unearned pay and health insurance that rivals the biggest blue chip companies in the world. At least those folks deserve the benefits.

 
At 12/27/2007 4:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No I think that it is because we have people like you and others who are phony and who are overly negative.

 

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