Developers Try to Revitalize Rock Island Neighborhood

Changes are happening at the Old Chicago Neighborhood. New houses are up for sale and more improvements are expected.

“Very negative, it had a very negative uh stereotypes in the past, so let’s hope this improves it,” says Rock Island resident Mary Brooks.

The Old Chicago Neighborhood in Rock Island might not be people’s first choice when shopping for a new home, but with recent redevelopment, their minds might change.

The Rock Island Economic Growth Corporation hosted an open house. It showcased five new homes for sale.

“We’re really trying to get this community to dwell on possibilities, to understand, to be connected in a neighborhood and be neighborly,” says Renaissance Rock Island President Hollenback.

The new Old Chicago Neighborhood plan started eight years ago.

“It’s been very exciting for them because they’ve watched it happen. They’ve heard it talked about for many years and many of them didn’t believe it would come,” says Hollenback.

It’s all part of Growths Neighborhood Stabilization Program. It helps assist homebuyers with down payments, closing cost and other financial needs.

One of the new homes has already been sold and so far the new owner is happy with his purchase, “I think it’s terrific, I really think it’s good. It needs it and they did a beautiful job on the homes,” says Gary Lefever.

Neighbors say the neighborhood needed some change, “It’s fantastic, it’s really improving, it looks nicer around here,” says David Brodonax.

 Residents say there’s still more work that needs to be done, “They got a good start but I could see there’s a lot of houses that need improvement or torn down,” says Brooks.

Developers say this is just phase one and other improvements will be done to the neighborhood.