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Davenport approves $8 million in tax incentives for Urban Campus project

DAVENPORT, Iowa - A major $50 million dollar project in downtown Davenport is getting some financial help from the city.

It's a project that some are calling the footprint of higher education in downtown Davenport.

"This will consolidate the higher education into one facility where currently they're spread around amongst a couple of facilities," said alderman Bill Boom.

Eastern Iowa Community Colleges plans to transform these two former bank buildings into an urban campus. It will consolidate current classrooms in the Kahl building and above the bus station in Davenport to one facility.

On September 14th, 2016 the Davenport city council approved tax credits for the developer.

"We are very conservative in Davenport on how we apply that stuff, so we have to make sure when we have a project that is this size we open a spot and reserve monies for this project," said Boom.

The developer, a for profit foundation created by the college is eligible to receive various tax credits. Once the project is finished the foundation will give ownership back to the college and stay tax exempt.

"They will be able to utilize the tax credits from both the state and federal governments which will help fund the project and then at the end that will be rolled back into the community college district," said Boom.

The developer is getting $8 million in tax incentives from the city.

"TIF is a way of assisting projects that benefit the entire community so what happens is they pay their taxes like they normally would and then we rebate a portion of that back to the project," said Boom.

While it's a lot of money Alderman Boom says developers put in a lot of money themselves and it's a project he says will be worth all the cash in the end, "It's a win win situation."