MOLINE-- The Kone development project was a symbol of new hope, hope for jobs and opportunity for the city of Moline. That's why city leaders say they granted developer, Rodney Blackwell, a multi-million dollar loan to complete the KONE project.
The plan for the site was originally to house the Kone headquarters, have a floor for condominiums, and have a public restaurant.
Fast forward five years and about two and a half floors are empty, and only two out of the seven condos are occupied and no restaurant. And Blackwell with Financial District Properties still hasn't paid the loan in full.
FDP still owes Moline $3.4M. The money was originally due back in September 2016. That deadline was extended to the end of June 2017, and now it's being extended again with some added stipulations.
If the money isn't in my August 22, 2017, Blackwell owes an additional $200,000 in late fees.
Some council members don't think Blackwell will make good on his word, and question what will happen if the deadline is missed.
"We've given him three extra times already...I am really not happy with what the resolution is. Hopefully it works out, and we get paid the cash. But if not, I'm not excited about the other half of it," says Alderman Mike Wendt.
Others see the extension as a way to move forward in good faith.
"I think the bottom line is we all want this behind us. The attorneys said several times we want the cash, and I think this is the best option to get to this point," says Alderman Dick Potter.
As the KONE building stands now, it's a symbol of uncertainty. And the money owed to the city is just as up in the air.
Moline's city attorneys say the developer asked to push the deadline back again to wait for one of his other deals to close. He is in the process of selling the former KONE building. The developer says that sale will cover the money still owed to the city.