A battle by neighbors to keep Fareway out of a Rock Island neighborhood is over. The grocery chain bailed on plans to tear down a historic school and set up shop.
Audubon Elementary school was built in 1922. The plan to demolish to the historical school for a Fareway store is a no go as Fareway announced Thursday, July 11, 2013 they no long intend to use the site.
“Due to numerous factors, Fareway cannot complete its due diligence in accordance with the terms of its purchase agreement with the Rock Island/Milan School District #41 on the Audubon School property,” said Garrett S. Piklapp. secretary for Fareway. “Therefore, the purchase agreement between Fareway and the Rock Island/Milan School District #41 has been terminated, effective immediately. We appreciate the overwhelming support we have received from many Rock Island residents. Fareway is excited about placing a store in Rock Island in the future and will continue to monitor all potential locations.”
Some neighbors living in the Wallace Grove neighborhood have been opposed to Fareway tearing down the school.
“The variances that were being asked for for the project were gonna lower their property value significantly,” says neighbor Steve Klien.
However city leaders say the neighborhood’s win is the city’s loss.
“Ultimately all 39,000 citizens of Rock Island will suffer by not having a Fareway here in Rock Island,” said 3rd ward alderman, PJ Foley.