Davenport, developer at odds over casino location

The city of Davenport and developer Dan Kehl are struggling to find common ground when it comes to a location for a new, land-based casino.

Just last week, Kehl announced he had nearly 100 acres under option. The site is located south of Interstate 80 and east of Eastern Avenue. When Veteran’s Memorial Parkway opened four years ago, the city expressed high hopes for development in the same area.

“You’ll see economic development — businesses, houses, residential, commercial,” Mayor Bill Gluba told News Eight in 2009.

Thursday, though, Gluba said the potential casino site raised red flags.

“It’s a neighborhood surrounded by $500,000 to $1,000,000 homes, and we have precious too few people building million-dollar homes in Davenport. So, we certainly don’t want to do anything that would harm future development of that kind,” said Gluba.

“People have a right to protect the value of their property, regardless of whether they’re $1,000,000 homes or $50,000 homes,” he added.

A possible solution could be found just down the road, where businesses like Von Maur already have their headquarters.

“That’s further west. It’s closer to Brady Street. In my judgment, that would make a much better location — closer to the Interstate, people could get to it quicker, and it’s a commercial area already,” said Gluba.

Thursday, Gluba also stressed that this isn’t a “take it or leave it” situation, and that he wants to find a casino — and location — that fits Davenport’s best interests.

“This is who we’ve been asked to work with, directed to work with, and we will work with the developer. Hopefully, he can get a site that’s acceptable to the community… and if he can’t, well, back to square one,” said Gluba.

On Monday, August 5, the City Council will host a 5:30 work session with the developer. The City still has to sign off on a proposed development agreement with Kehl.

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