As parts of Davenport expand, others see decline in business

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Smart Toyota of Quad Cities held a ground breaking for their new facility at the ever expanding 53rd Street Corridor Monday, May 12, 2014.

Many were at the celebration, but for some businesses near the current dealership at 4618 Brady Street, the news of a move is disheartening as many businesses have moved away from the Brady Street Corridor.

Bob Martin's KBD Kitchen and Bath has been located on North Brady Street since 1999.

"Back in '99 it was of course, thee major thoroughfare," said Martin.

Fifteen years later,

"A lot of businesses have left the core spot of Davenport for whatever reason," said Martin.

In February, News Eight found one in four storefronts around NorthPark Mall were empty.

Not far away from the mall on Brady Street, there are blank signs of what used to be.

"Everything has kind of moved to the East side of Davenport area," said Martin.

The latest to do so is his neighbor across the street.

"The plan right now is to repurpose that location and use it for alternative motor use," said Don Reese, Chief Operating Officer of Gurley Leep Automotive Group.

With hardhats and gold shovels, Smart Toyota of Quad Cities celebrated their new location on 53rd and Eastern at a ground breaking ceremony with city leaders and employees.

The new location is expected to be ready by Fall 2014 and will be nearly 40,000 square feet on two levels. The dealership is also LEED or a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certified.

"We wanted to remain in Davenport. We had looked at some other areas, but the size of this site, we like 53rd street and we like being on corner lots and it was just the ideal location for us," said Reese.

"Six years ago, you could come out here and every one of these corners was vacant, nothing going on, remember? I do. Now we've got three of the four corners will be full, which is all part of the growing that you see in the City of Davenport," said Davenport Mayor Bill Gluba.

The grassy field the dealership will build on is an opportunity for growth.

"What we need in Davenport and everywhere else are jobs and economic development and growth and expanding the tax base and that's what this will do," said Gluba.

While those on Brady Street hope signs that show properties for lease are an opportunity too.

"Hopefully something else will come a long and try to spur growth here," said Martin.