Sky bar, grocery store headed to downtown Davenport

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A sky bar, pharmacy, and even top chef competitions could all be part of a new, $60 million development project called "City Square" headed to downtown Davenport.

Developer Amrit Gill of Restoration St. Louis plans to turn roughly 75 percent of a city block into a restaurant, sky bar, office space, apartments, pharmacy, and a full-service grocery store and culinary school. Ideas floated for the store include local top chef competitions and personal shoppers.

"We'll have someone meet you with an iPad which has every single item there, and if you don't have a grocery list, you just check off what you want, and you go up and taste wine while one of our associates puts your groceries together for you," said Gill.

Right now, the block between Brady and Main Streets is largely blighted. The Putnam Building is only 25 percent full, the Center Building sits at 10 percent occupancy, and the Parker Building will be vacant by February. The First Midwest Bank Building has also been abandoned. This project, though, could soon change that.

"It's the right use of TIFs -- taking old, vacant buildings, only 25 percent occupied, haven't been for years, the core of our city -- and putting it back into productive use," said Mayor Bill Gluba.

Restoration St. Louis is the same development team behind the Hotel Blackhawk, and the project also includes a 60-suite expansion of the hotel.

"We have a lot of nights where we're sold out, where we have to cut off reservations. We're sold out for most of July next year, where having 60 additional rooms would have really helped," said Gill.

City Square is also expected to create more than 200 construction jobs and 365 permanent jobs.

A public hearing on the project is scheduled for Wednesday's Committee of the Whole meeting. If the Council approves a development agreement in the coming weeks, construction could begin as soon as April and would last about two years.