United Cigar Building – Redevelopment

Doing-it-in-Davenport_Black

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.

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