New R.I economic director shares his vision for the city

ROCK ISLAND, Illinois - There's a chance for change in Rock Island, since a new face in the city is selling his plans to grow and attract more business to Rock Island.

Chandler Poole is still getting settled in. The Wisconsin native started his position at the city of Rock Island in early December 2016.

"I made a lot of visits here by myself without the city staff knowing and I learned this community has a lot of passion and commitment and that really made me say okay this is what I want to do," said Poole.

As the city's economic development director he knows there's a lot of work ahead but he says he's ready for the job.

"I believe all the pieces are here," said Poole.

While the pieces might be there, Poole says in the past the city has struggled to sell itself to developers.

"People outside of the Quad Cities understanding who we are and what we have that`s been our biggest challenge is getting that message out," said Poole.

Some of his first goals are reengaging the city with the community, being aggressive when it comes to recruiting new business and changing the perception of the city.

"Look at what we have here, you have rail access, you have a port, you have interstate access you have an airport over in Moline. You have so many things here in Rock Island and the Quad Cities that really Rock Island is positioned very, very well to do very well."

Despite the failed attempt to get Wal-Mart to Rock Island, Poole says he's excited for the possibilities of that land, "Having a site that`s ready to go, that its buildable is very attractive to developers, they don`t have to have that cost going forward," and the future of Rock Island, "You`re going to see the community completely turned around."

Poole says there are already some developers looking at the former Watch Tower Plaza site where Wal-Mart was supposed to go.