City leaders green-lighted the biggest single investment in downtown Davenport history Wednesday night, as they approved a development agreement for the $60 million City Square project.
Developer Restoration St. Louis plans to build hotel rooms, a sky bar, a restaurant, apartments, a pharmacy, a grocery store, and office space in the largely vacant Parker, Putnam and Center buildings between Brady and Main Streets.
"When a lot of the problems hit us in the early 1980s and pictures were always taken of the empty windows in downtown Davenport, it was the Parker building they were shooting the pictures of," said third ward alderman Bill Boom.
Leaders are excited to now see those windows filled and continue what Boom called "the resurgence of downtown."
"We're going to retain companies in downtown that were looking to leave, and that's crucial," said Boom.
Restoration St. Louis said construction could begin on the City Square project as soon as April, and would likely last two years.
Aldermen also voted Wednesday to increase the city's payment for Modern Woodmen Park by roughly $55,000 a year. The River Bandits plan to use the money for ballpark improvements, including three more group decks and nearly 50 new bullpen seats.
"The City owns it; the people of Davenport own that park. And even though it's owned by Davenport, I consider it a Quad City jewel," said Mayor Bill Gluba. "It's an investment. If you want to keep things up, you have to invest in them."
Ballpark attendance has continued to grow in recent years, and Wednesday, leaders said they believe both downtown projects will be money well-spent.
"Great cities are known by their downtowns," said Gluba.