Davenport’s West End crafts neighborhood plan

Davenport West-Enders will get a look at a new neighborhood plan Thursday evening at the Roosevelt Community Center.

It’s a topic of discussion during the lunch rush at the Rockingham Dairy Freez.

That’s where you’ll find owner Margaret Carter.

“I grew up down here,” she said.

A lifetime West-Ender, she runs this family business there as well.

“Help us keep it looking like the West End but clean, healthy and up to date,” she said.

West-Enders are proud of their neighborhood. It’s a gateway to Davenport and one of its oldest neighborhoods. It offers a unique mix of affordable housing, commercial businesses and industrial properties.

At the same time, there’s vacant properties, blight and room for improvement.

Davenport Senior Planning Manager Matt Flynn is using community input and research from the University of Iowa to enhance this historic neighborhood.

“The people of the West End want to maintain that identity,” he said.

Community spirit is part of what makes the West End unique. This plan is a way to enhance opportunities while developing a vision for the future.

Neighborhood pride translates to yard work.

“See more improvement,” said Aaron Olsen.

Three generations of the Bell family are West-Enders. They take care of each other and their community.

“The neighborhood, the friends — everybody watching out for everybody,” Olsen said.

At the Dairy Freez, the West End offers plenty of potential. For the Carter family, great to get attention from City Hall.

“Just keep up the tradition,” she concluded. “You don’t have this any more hardly, and we’d like to keep it going.”

Keeping things cooking for years to come in Davenport’s West End.

The community open house starts Thursday at 5:30 p.m., at Roosevelt Community Center. That’s at 1220 Minnie Avenue in Davenport.

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