Walmart is coming to Rock Island.
On Monday, November 19th, 2012, city council voted 7-0 to buy 10 properties in and around the Watch Tower Plaza off 11th Street. The city will demolish them to make way for Walmart, which is expected to start construction in Spring 2013 and be completed before Christmas 2013.
Mayor Dennis Pauley says the new development is estimated to create approximately 400 jobs and bring in around $1.3 million a year in sales tax revenue.
He says a superstore like Walmart could also spur other new developments in that stretch of street.
"We brought in 25 new businesses last year. We brought in 24 new businesses this year up to July. Now, we announce a Fareway and we announce a Walmart. It just proves to everybody that Rock Island is a vital community which is growing and will continue to grow."
As far as businesses in and around the Watch Tower Plaza, State Farm Insurance and the Adult Learning Center - run by Black Hawk College - will move to another new development near city limits. Mayor Pauley says details on that project are not ready to be released yet. Also, the Illinois/Iowa Center for Independent Living will move down 11th Street, between 5th and 6th Avenues.