City assistance could help build new Dock restaurant

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Despite downtown flooding, Davenport city leaders are moving forward with plans to build a new Dock restaurant on the riverfront.

Developer Todd Raufeisen plans to demolish the old, flood-ravaged Dock and build a new, three-story structure with restaurants, offices and banquet space. The project is designed to be built above the flood plain and would remain open regardless of flooding.

"You could go to the Dock today, if it was built as we have designed it, and have a cocktail and dinner," said Raufeisen.

At Wednesday night's Committee of the Whole meeting, aldermen moved ahead an economic development agreement that would give city assistance to Raufeisen Development for the Dock at Davenport project.

The total project is estimated to cost just over $12 million. The Dock would also pay $100,000 per year in land rental fees to the Levee Improvement Commission and around $20,000 in annual parking fees.

The City has proposed reimbursing up to 75 percent of the property taxes paid on the project.

That TIF would help pay for the construction of an elevated platform with year-round access that Raufeisen would build on top of.

"It's like taking a site as it sits today, that cannot be developed, cannot be used, it's an empty dump -- and creating a site that can be utilized and generate tax revenue for the City of Davenport," said Raufeisen.

City Council members have also voiced their support for the project, saying Davenport's riverfront needs some amenities.

"People love water and they love that interface, but they also like to be able to go and reflect and have something to eat, maybe drink and sit in the air-conditioning when it's really hot," said third ward alderman Bill Boom.

The full City Council will vote on the economic development agreement with Raufeisen next week.

Construction on the project could begin as soon as this fall.