Deal between Deere Foundation and Moline includes demolition of downtown building

Moline Tractor and Plow Co building photo from illinoisinfocus.com

Moline Tractor and Plow Co building photo from illinoisinfocus.com

The building that once housed the John Deere Collectors Center will be razed as part of a deal to sell the downtown property to the City of Moline.

When the building at 320 16th Street was opened in 2001 as a history exhibit called “The Moline Tractor & Plow Company,” showcasing John Deere products.  The site was a tourist attraction, and a center for collectors of John Deere equipment and memorabilia, until it closed in 2008.

The building is currently owned by Deere & Company’s philanthropic organization, the John Deere Foundation.  The foundation announced a tentative agreement to sell it to the City of Moline.

The deal includes a stipulation that the Deere Foundation will raze the building in preparation for new development.

“We believe this action will be beneficial to the Quad City community,” said Mara Sovey, president of the John Deere Foundation. “We are confident the site will be placed back into use to strengthen community development in downtown Moline.”

Sovey said the building did not qualify for the National Register of Historical Places, and that the John Deere Foundation will preserve any historically-significant parts of the structure.

A spokesman for John Deere Foundation said the Moline City Council will consider the proposed agreement at its January 14, 2014 meeting.

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