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City wants to buy Jumer’s area for hefty price

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UPDATE as of 7:30pm Monday, February 4, 2013: Aldermen unanimously vote to approve purchase agreement between Rock Island and Riverstone Group, Inc.

EARLIER STORY: The Rock Island City Council will vote Monday night on a plan to buy 90 acres of land just north of Jumer's Casino.

The land is located at the northeast corner of I-280 and IL-92. It is now owned by Riverstone Group, Inc. of Moline. The city wants to buy the property for $1,000,000.

The area is known as Big Island, and the city says it is "the best site for additional development." As previously reported, City Manager Thomas Thomas says a market study shows a need for retail shops in the area because of the interstate traffic.

"They come as far away as Chicago," Thomas said of the Jumer's customers. "They're as far away as Des Moines. That's the kind of numbers that justify trying to get some sort of retail in here to take advantage of it."

The city's concepts include an outlet mall, retail center, sporting goods store, gas station, and restaurants. The city has not said specifically what stores could come to Big Island.

Thomas says Rock Island hasn't marketed the area yet for retailers or developers. Monday's city council meeting starts at 6:45 p.m.