Archive for June, 2013

Davenport NOW – $108 million in new value created

Posted in General Information with tags , , , , on June 27, 2013 by Tory Brecht

The Davenport NOW tax rebate program, launched in 2010,  is sun-setting after contributing to the development of more than $108 million in new property assessed value and returning $3.7 million back to homeowners, rehabbers and business owners who improved their properties.

But it’s not too late to take advantage if you have a project – residential infill, rehab, new construction or commercial building – in mind. The program will accept applications through June 1, 2014. To be eligible, purchase and construction must be complete by that date.

The program gives a 50 percent rebate on city property taxes for 10 years to people who build a home, renovate an existing house, or build or expand an existing business in a Davenport city service area.

Since its inception in July 2010, rebates have been given to 610 people. Here is a breakdown of type of project, rebates issued and total increase in assessments:

New Construction on Mississippi Avenue

New Construction – Mississippi Avenue

Single Family New Construction

Increased Assessed Value $96,888,237
Total Rebate Amounts   $2,987,743
Average Increase in Assessed Value      $213,881
Average Rebate Issued          $6,566
Rehab or existing construction home, McClellan Boulevard

Rehab/Existing Construction
McClellan Blvd

Single Family Existing Construction

Increased Assessed Value $3,118,060
Total Rebate Amounts      $97,970
Average Increase in Assessed Value      $24,360
Average Rebate Issued           $759
Commercial Development assisted with Davenport NOW

Commercial Development assisted with
Davenport NOW


Increased Assessed Value      $8,681,705
Total Rebate Amounts         $652,149
Average Increase in Assessed Value         $361,738
Average Rebate Issued           $27,173

To learn more about the program or to see an application please click HERE.


Menards – New Store

Posted in Projects with tags , , , on June 20, 2013 by Tory Brecht


6600 Brady Street

Total Investment: $15 million (estimated)
Davenport NOW: 20 percent property tax rebate over 10 years
Status: Site work underway
Projected jobs created: TBD (current store headcount-plus)

A Coming Soon sign has been at the new Menards site since 2007.

Site work has begun on the long-awaited new Menards store on North Brady Street. First announced in 2007, the estimated $15 million investment is slated to open in 2014. Tree clearing and grading began a couple weeks ago. Other infrastructure and traffic work – such as moving the forntage road further from the intersection – will follow soon. The new store will feature a large full-service lumberyard, garden center, appliances, tools, home improvment supplies and convenience groceries.

Menards site work has begun on North Brady street.

Meantime, the company is still marketing its existing store on 53rd Street, hoping to find a buyer. Menards is seeking a zoning change to allow that store to be used as a self-storage unit if it isn’t sold prior to the new facility opening. The company converted two of its Wisconsin-based stores into self-storage operations in Sheboygan and Eau Claire.

In 2008, company officials agreed to a list of conditions designed to decrease the store’s impact on surrounding neighbors. They include building a 50-foot “green space” barrier between its property and the neighbors in addition to an 8-foot-high earthen berm, a row of trees and a 14-foot fence, all designed to limit noise and create a visual barrier between the store and residences.

The new property contains several outlots the company is looking to sell. Interested parties should contact Menards Sales & Leasing Representative Don Parnell at (715) 876-2532.

The Democrat Building – Redevelopment

Posted in Projects with tags , , , , , on June 14, 2013 by Tory Brecht


407 Brady Street

Total Investment: $4 million
Public Funds: $2.5 million in federal and state historic tax credits and city Enterprise Zone funds
Private Funds Leveraged: $1.5 million
Status: Ongoing
New Housing Units: 21

The Democrat building at 407 Brady Street is being converted into apartments

The rush to scoop up historic and architecturally significant buildings in downtown Davenport for conversion into market rate apartments continues, with developers Tim Baldwin and Pat Sherman teaming up to redevelop the old Democrat building on Brady Street.

Opened in July 1924 as the new home to the predecessor of today’s Quad-City Times, The Democrat was modeled after similar buildings designed by famed Chicago architect Louis Sullivan. The local firm was Clausen & Kruse, a predecessor to current architecture firm SSGM Architects. John Gere of SGGM is assisting in the redevelopment, utilizing his firm’s copies of the original plans, bringing a cool sense of symmetry to the endeavor.

“We wanted to dip our toe into historic renovation,” said Baldwin, whose work has mostly centered on student housing across the Midwest, including near Palmer College of Chiropractic. “We decided to do it here at home and we really love this building.”

The Democrat building as it appeared in 1924

The Democrat building as it appeared in 1924

Baldwin and Gere noted that the building – both inside and outside – has retained many of its original architectural touches. Wood paneled offices – including one featuring a fireplace – built-in shelves, a metal spiral staircase, vaulted ceilings with long skylights, will all become nice little touches in the refurbished apartments. Each will be very unique. Rents are expected to range from $900 to $1,200 a month. The basement of the building will be converted into a fitness center and a very large area allowing each apartment owner storage space equivalent to a one-car garage.

The project wouldn’t have been possible without the tax credit program, Baldwin said. One of the big expenses was lead and asbestos abatement in an older building.

The intererior spaces of the building feature high celings and lots of windows.

The first floor of the building contains a wide open lobby area, ringed with a large counter. This area will be preserved as the public entrance to the building, but exactly what use is yet-to-be-determined, Baldwin said. It could be set up as a common area for building residents, made available for use by civic organizations, or possibly be used by a business that would be somewhat “portable” since the area would not be able to be secured from the interior portions of the building at night. What won’t happen, he said, are any significant changes to its architectural integrity.

Abatement is complete and interior construction will begin in July. Baldwin said the target completion date is late spring of 2014.

United Cigar Building – Redevelopment

Posted in Projects with tags , , , , on June 6, 2013 by Tory Brecht


200 3rd St. – 314 Main St.

Total Investment: $1.2 million
Community Growth Fund Loan: $85,000
Private Funds Leveraged: $1.1 million
Status: Ongoing
Projected jobs created: 50-60

The Union Cigar Building at the intersection of Third and Main streets.

Another long under-utilized building on a high-visibility corner of downtown Davenport is getting a second lease on life. The United Cigar Building – built in 1916 by local architectural firm Clausen & Kruse – will soon be home to a 6,000-square foot high end* restaurant, a new retail store, construction firm offices and upscale hair salon. And that’s just the beginning. Local development partners Jim Thomson and Big Dog Construction plan to add several floors of residential apartments and a 2,500-square-foot outdoor rooftop beer garden over the next several years.

Initially, they hope to return the building to its former World War I era grandeur, with an upgrade to the exterior facade and windows. Architectural touches such as a mid-building skylight and restoration of the original 1916 terrazzo floors throughout the restaurant will be featured.

Third and Main in 1916

The United Cigar Building circa 1916

Shawn Larson, co-owner of Big Dog Construction, said the building was designed to accommodate additional stories. How many they add will depend both on a structural assessment by engineering firm Shive-Hattery currently underway and market demand for apartments. But the rooftop beer garden – which will be an extremely unique feature – is a for-sure, he said. “We made several trips to Chicago to scout establishments with the upscale, urban style our restaurant client wanted.” he said. That resterateur wishes to remain anonymous for now, but comes into the project with a great deal of experience, he added.

Interior work on the restaurant is under way.

Interior work on the restaurant is under way

Four tenants – including Big Dog Construction’s new offices – already call the large corner building home. The Ruby Slipper, Rick Jennisch Photography and Studio One Eleven salon are the other existing tenants. Studio One Eleven will be re-branded as Infinity Salon & Spa and will be an Aveda authorized salon.

Developer Jim Thomson bought his first downtown residential property in 1994, due to his love of old buildings. He said even he is slightly surprised by the current resurgence in redevelopment in the central city. “It makes me look like a genius,” he joked. “But I’m doing this because it’s my passion.”

The target date for the restaurant, new retail and upgraded salon to open is early fall of this year, Thomson said. The additional stories and apartments are likely one to two years out, he added.