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Plans to redevelop Garfield are still alive

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Plans to redevelop the former Garfield Elementary School are still alive, including a proposal to turn the building into affordable housing for seniors. However, funding is holding up the plans according to officials in Moline.

"A lot of people have, you know, kind of a historic or emotional attachment to it, whether they went to school there or grew up near the school," said Moline City Planner Jeff Anderson.

Gorman and Company stepped up last year, proposing to turn former Garfield Elementary into senior housing.

An addition will be added on to create 57 units, in several price ranges.

"In the area that it's in, it's close to everything," said Moline Mayor Scott Raes.  "That's one of the things the developers said, as well, is that they (residents) can get to SouthPark, they can get to a grocery stores, they can get the activity."

However, work has yet to start. The developers are still waiting for state funding to be approved.

The Moline City Council approved signing a letter of support at their meeting Tuesday, February 23, 2016; the letter will be sent to the Illinois Housing Development Authority.

"There`s a sequence of steps in moving through a development project like this," Anderson said.  "One of them is the developer securing their financing in order to go ahead and finalize their design and construction plans.  Then, ultimately, going into construction."

The city is hopeful funding will be approved, so work can start soon and the vacant building can once again serve a purpose.

"I think it's an exciting project so I`m hoping they get approval," said Raes.

The city expects the developers will hear back from the state by May. From there, if they're approved, they would just have to submit a final design then construction can begin.

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