Friday, July 10, 2009

Friday Morning Assortment

The Forrest Block building renovation is underway! Dumpsters have been dropped off along 4th street and are being filled. The project has already gotten as far as the last "redevelopers" took it. I suspect we'll start to see a visible difference soon.

Anti-downtown activist Mark Nelson wrote a letter to the editor pushing the usual Libertarian line. Any restrictions on private property violate the 5th Amendment! Oh no! Toss out the zoning laws, building codes, and neighborhood associations. Bring on the shoddily constructed strip clubs in residential neighborhoods! Or... apparently SOME government rules on what people can do with their property are ok...?
If as many people in Scott County bought into their platform as they think do, maybe their candidate would have gotten more than 00.23% of the votes in the 2008 Presidential election.

Love Your Farmer's Market Update:
Davenport's Freight House Farmer's market now has 214 votes and is in 29th place nationwide. Considering that Davenport is about the 267th biggest city in the US, 29th place ain't half bad. Lets see if we can climb higher yet. If you haven't voted yet, do it here.

I was in Cedar Rapids Wednesday for a few hours, and saw just a fraction of the damage that is still evident throughout the city from last year's floods. I didn't have time to take pictures, but DMRyan, over at AbsoluteDSM, got a whole bunch earlier this month. Their downtown seems to be on the road to recovery, but their version of SoLo makes our SoLo look like Beverly Hills.

And finally, a rare bit of negativity from QCI, or more of a Wundram-esque call for action. By all accounts, the Freight House complex seems to be thriving. Even some nights during the week it appears to be hopping, and I've heard its hard to get a seat for dueling pianos. With all this success, would it be too much to ask for them to keep their neon lights and all the letters in their exterior signs lit at the same time?? Perceptions and first impressions matter, and burned out lights don't make good ones.

...and I'll leave the whole "Bettendorf is too good for tattoo parlors" thing for another day.


Anonymous said...

I see Mike Giudici jumped into the E.Village controversy. Wasn't Mike part of demolition Davenport, that torn down some of the best downtown buildings?
Mike needs to get over himself. Cities have certain requirements, as the CITIZENS THAT LIVE THERE have different values. Bigger and newer isn’t always better Mike…. There is no magic number to historical properties Mike, and I for one, am glad Davenport leaders get that.
Ask Mikes neighbors how much they appreciated the big addition he completed on his house years ago. Think they would have appreciated some due consideration, as Mikes “Big Round Peg” was crammed onto a “Small Square”…
The link below illustrates nimrods “round peg”

And for added consideration, maybe Mike can ditch the landscaped boulevard (with his name attached for all to see) and actually roll his shirt up and get dirty. Not by working on the cosmetics, trees and interstate development that makes us “More Chicago Suburban” (his words, not mine). Maybe if Mike would have stepped forward and took on the Forest Block 8 years ago, he would have learned something about himself. Maybe it’s time Mike and friends understand “Old & True” outlast the flash in the pan he so desperately clings to…
Ironic that Bettendorf and LeClaire are trying to build what Davenport has… And to some sad extent, what Davenport has lost; all due to guys like Mike and the schmucks that listened to them…
Sorry for the vent (and slight mean spirited tone), but it’s personal. It’s personal, because I was one of the schmucks that bought into the flash in the pan, and thought guys like Mike had it all right. Fortunately outsiders have come into our community and see what we have, and have embraced and invested. They have taken old hotels, and valued what it was and could be. They looked upon the Forest Block, and stepped up instead of utilizing it as a monument for what it’s not. I am fortunate to have met these people, and as a community, was lucky they reminded us what we have.
So maybe this comes down to more standards, not less. Maybe if the guy from the E. Village was open, transparent and followed standards that insured good development, maybe, just maybe solutions can be found. But advocating violations of the 5th amendment or advocating better cosmetics as the basis of demolition and haphazard development … well this schmuck has seen it and been there! Sorry Mike, stick to trees and boulevards, because you sure in the hell don’t understand metro development…

QuadCityImages said...

I think its crazy that he actually mentions the Forrest Block building in his opinion piece. If it was currently being demolished after years of being an eyesore, it would help his argument. Instead, its currently being renovated into high-end apartments. If we'd torn it down years ago there'd be no getting it back, and probably just a parking lot in its place. Its an example that doesn't help his case.

Anonymous said...

I don't know where to start concerning the first comment only to say....You don't know Mike very well!

Anonymous said...

Why not have the same rules everywhere? I doubt that if you want to tear down a run down house in another part of the city, you have to get an ok on the style. And no QCI, I do not mean putting up a strip club in the middle of a residential neighborhood. I'm talking about putting a ranch style home. Why one set of rules for one group and another set for another group? When you do that, it causes progressives to make mistakes (like income taxes).

Since all of these special rules are for the "greater good", why not have the city take over the Village property? That way we won't lose some of the "best buildings in Davenport". After all, nobody is willing to roll up their sleeves and save these buildings themseleves. The city can own it and can control how it is used. A computer repair shop does not fit in the turn of the 20th century design of the Village.


QuadCityImages said...

Having Neighborhood Design Guidelines has been in the works for years. Keith Meyer led the charge against the garage-houses at Main and 15th, and Habitat's ranch houses in neighborhoods full of 2 story 100 year old homes also sparked concern. Just like having a strip club next to your business would hurt property value, so does being the unlucky person that has to live next door to the ugly ranch houses that were plopped into a traditional neighborhood.