Revitalizing Downtown Rock Island

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Businesses are popping up in downtown Rock Island as the City tries to revitalize The District. Shoppes on 2nd has six independent retail suites inside and three businesses have moved in already. Business owners say it’s only the beginning of the changes to come to downtown.

It’s always been Lindsay O’Brien’s dream to own her own business,"When I was in middle school I remember one of my friends and I made this clothing brand."

She’s come a long way since then. She started off with a stand in Farmer’s Market to now having her own store, Good Karma Shirt Co. Lindsay a Quad City local herself sells vintage, new and hand made clothing.

The city and Renaissance Rock Island put together Shoppes on 2nd to promote and increase retail in Rock Island. They offer a break to business owners.

"It subsidizes rent for the first 3 years so it really nurtures the young businesses coming in who maybe don't have the bank account or the money to really start up and get their own spot,” says Lindsay.

In the past year she has seen a lot of change to the downtown area.

"Seeing how far the district has come and how much it's grown, I can see it in the next three years getting bigger,” says Lindsay.

With more businesses popping up, El Patron employee Meliza Lopez thinks it’s going to attract more business, “I think it's a good idea we'll get more clients to our restaurant.  We’ll get more business."

Changes are designed to get The District back to the way it use to be.

"My grandma talks about how she used to shop down here and how there always use to be a bunch of retail stores for like miles and miles,” says Lindsay.

Two new store owners have signed a lease to open businesses in Shoppes on 2nd and a District Market is expected to open soon.

Click here for more news from Rock Island and West Rock Island County