Bettendorf picks developer for downtown ‘Town Square’ project

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Bettendorf leaders have chosen a developer to help transform a vacant, 2.5-acre lot in the heart of downtown.

City leaders picked Davenport-based Russell Construction to develop a plan for the site between 20th Street and 21st Street, known as 'Town Square.'

Russell's initial proposal calls for retail and commercial space along the State Street frontage, with an additional three stories of affordable senior housing. However, economic development director Jeff Reiter said those ideas may still change or evolve.

"We do anticipate high-density, market rate residential being one of the first priorities to come out of this, and that'll be followed up, we hope, either in tandem or just after, with some great retail options, some more walk-ability, potentially even slower traffic flows along State Street," said Reiter.

Russell's vision goes beyond the 'Town Square' site, and includes interest in redeveloping some existing apartments and acquiring the 21st - 22nd Street block, too. In addition, the company has enlisted the support of the Goldstein family in its planning.

"Russell Construction's plan has offered us the opportunity to look at maybe some larger land along the riverfront. We're very excited about that," said Reiter. "We think we have an opportunity to look at downtown in a grander scope."

Longtime downtown businesses say they're excited by the prospect.

"I think anything that's going to bring more businesses and more people downtown is a plus for K&K," said Kortney Gaura, office manager at nearby K&K Hardware.

The city hopes to negotiate a plan with Russell in the next 90 days.