Davenport’s RiverVision is taking shape… but not without some questions and challenges.
Many of the issues surround a project involving a riverfront building that used to house “The Dock” and “The Rusty Pelican” restaurants. The building has sat empty for more than a decade.
Developer, Todd Raufeisen, has a plan to turn the building into a $24 million complex with office space and restaurants, but not everyone supports the project.
On Thursday, February 13th, 2014, Hargreaves Associates — the market consultants for Davenport’s RiverVision — gave their opinion during a public workshop, saying Raufeisen’s project may be too big, too tall, and too close to the rising river.
Karl Rhomberg, with the City’s Levee Improvement Commission, agrees.
“Our concerns are that it might be just a little too large for the site,” he says. “It might impede public access to the space. ‘You don’t have to work there in order to go there.’ as one of the Commissioners said the other day.”
Consultants with Hargreaves Associates say some development would be good for that site, but city leaders say they want to make sure it’s “economically viable.”
“It must work for the private development, because the city is not interested at this time in any public financing for that project,” says Alderman at Large, Gene Meeker. “If you start cutting square footage, does that impact the economic viability? Is there enough square footage for rental income to support an investment of this size?”
Hargreaves Associates are holding another workshop specifically about The Dock at 6pm on Thursday, February 13th, 2014 at the Hotel Blackhawk. There will be two more series of workshops. The city has not announced the dates of those yet. The first workshop took place in November 2013.
The consultants are also discussing the site of Rhythm City Casino. Once the new land-based casino is built in North Davenport and the boat is gone, some ideas include making the area into green space, building a pier that goes out into the river, and creating a public promenade along the Mississippi River.