News Release, 4-1-08:
In a surprise move, City Administrator Craig Malin announced today that the City of Davenport is partnering with John Lewis Community Services to build pushpin-inspired low-income houses in what is now LeClaire Park. The general contractor will be Niky Bowles. As part of the deal, the city will sell LeClaire Park to former Alderman McGivern and developer Steve Schalk for $1, who will then lease the land to JLCS for $145,000 per year. Phil Yerington has already been hired as head of security, and former-Alderman Keith Meyer is interviewing for a position as sidewalk-shoveler. Former-Alderman VanFossen has been surveying the site by spending the last 2 nights sleeping on the ground nearby.
Once the homes are built, they are expected to be rented to those making under $40 per year, with RDA grants available to those unable to afford the rent. The properties themselves will be managed by the Quad City Rental Property Association, which will receive $50,000 a year per home in management fees from the city. Due to the innovative rain-shedding design of the thumbtacks, the stormwater fees will also be waived. Dan Lubell, of the QCRPA, said he was excited to begin the project. "These people just need somewhere to live, so we will only be charging half of their income ($20) per year for rent," he said, "with a $10 discount for those who pledge to vote for Alderman Lynn in 2009." He also mentioned that they are interested in changing to a rent-to-own system to free the tenants from those pesky rental inspections. Tara England Barney, of D1, is excited to "continue the momentum of downtown rebirth, revitalization, resurgence, renovation, and a bunch of other r-words."
*Happy April Fool's Day