Major development project in Village of East Davenport turned away

DAVENPORT - This valuable wedge of land at the entrance of the Village of East Davenport has been empty for the last seven years.

Local businessman Gregg Ontiveros has promised to put a major investment there, "I give you my word you will not be disappointed in this project."

However, Davenport's Zoning Board voted otherwise.

"Looking at it strictly statutory I believe we have some problems with passing this," said Chairman, Cathy Hart.

Ontiveros gave his second and he says final pitch to the city Thursday night. His proposal is to build a five story apartment building that includes a restaurant, retail, and a rooftop pool at the corner of River Drive and Mound Street.

However, there's one problem. To protect the area's architecture, the city says buildings in the Village cannot be built to be taller than three stories.

"A 60-foot building in a very historic area of Davenport, which lacks a lot of history in preservation, it is totally just out of place," said Robert Kirk who lives in the Village.

Ontiveros says his design makes the most sense financially.

"I have looked at this project 50 different ways I have owned this property for a better part of 9 years I have tried to configure multiple scenarios of different types of buildings there to try to make it work," said Ontiveros.

He has supporters. For years, business leaders have looked for ways to revitalize the historic village.

"I think it's going to do nothing but bring more money in the village bring other development as well as increase the amount of people who go down there," said Chris Synder who owns properties in the Village.

However, Ontiveros may not be a part of that growth, "Without doing it this way I think this is my last run at it."

Leaving the lot with potential, but nothing more.