Archive for August, 2013

Fidlar Technologies – Business Expansion

Posted in Projects with tags , , , on August 29, 2013 by Tory Brecht

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350 Research Parkway

Total Investment: $4 million
Public Investment: 60 percent TIF rebate over 15 years totalling $1.26 million (city), $336,000 direct financial assistance (state), $63,000 sales, service/use tax from Iowa High Quality Jobs Program
Projected jobs created: 4 new IT positions at market-competitive salaries, 44 retained with average salary of $68,000 per year

Fidlar Technologies new headquarters

Fidlar Technologies – a Quad-Cities based seller of land record software and services for local government – held an official ribbon cutting for their new $4 million headquarters in north Davenport Wednesday. The visually appealing building, built in the Prairie style, is located in the Iowa Research, Commerce & Technology Park just north of Interstate 80.

The company had outgrown its leased headquarters in Rock Island, and was contemplating moving out of the Quad-Cities. However, the Davenport location with its proximity to the interstate while still having plenty of space and a wooded lot, were attractive, co-owner Dave Steil said.

A modern, eye-catching design was needed to help recruit top-end talent, he added. Fidlar primarily hires IT-related employees, and offers the kind of competitive wages and benefits the City is hoping to attract in new businesses, said Mayor Bill Gluba, who participated in the ribbon cutting.

Mayor Bill Gluba assists Fidlar co-owners Dave Steil and Ernest Riggen with ribbon cutting duties.

Mayor Bill Gluba assists Fidlar co-owners Dave Steil and Ernest Riggen with ribbon cutting duties.

Fidlar has been in the document recording and management industry since 1854. At its founding, the company provided books and ledgers for its recording clients. Fidlar was among the industry leaders in adopting computing technology, offering software solutions in the early 1980s and releasing a Windows-based product in 1991. The company remains at the forefront of technology in the recording industry.

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Union Arcade – New Apartments/First Floor Commercial

Posted in Projects with tags , , , on August 27, 2013 by Tory Brecht

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229 N. Brady Street
Total Investment: $14 million
State Historic Tax Credits: $3.3 million
Enterprise Zone Benefits $1.3 million
Status: Ongoing
Total Units: 68
Commercial/Retail: Entire first floor, tenants TBD
Projected jobs created: TBD

The Union Arcade building at 111 E. 3rd Street

Financial District Partners is no stranger to big projects. The holder of more than $100 million in real estate in the Quad-Cities, the Davenport-based company recently finished construction of the new Kone Centre office tower in Moline and are in the midst of renovating several floors of the iconic Davenport Bank Building/Wells Fargo tower into apartments.

But the historic rehabilitation of the Union Arcade Building at the busy intersection of 3rd and Brady streets may be the company’s highest visibility project yet in downtown Davenport.

“It’s one of the last few opportunities for a real large-scale historic rehab down there,” said Bryce Henderson, who is CFO and COO of Financial District Properties. “It’s a great location on a highly visible corner and the building has great bones.”

The rehab will feature 68 market unit apartments on the top seven floors of the building. The entire first floor will be retail/commercial, likely with at least one restaurant. Henderson said he is not working with any specific tenants yet, but expects little trouble finding high-quality uses for the first floor due to the location and the built-in market of apartment dwellers both in his building and nearby buildings. There are 6,000-square-feet of space with street views on the first floor and 2,000 more square-feet that are “back-of-house”.

The current interior of the Union Arcade building, awaiting new tenants

The current interior of the Union Arcade building, awaiting new tenants

The building originally featured a second-floor mezzanine, which was covered by a drop ceiling. The drop ceiling will be removed, allowing for the construction of several two-story loft apartments, Henderson said.

“These won’t be cookie-cutter apartments,” he said. “All the units will be very unique to fit into the space.” The building will feature lofts, one and two bedroom apartments. Rents will range from $600 for a studio to $1,300 for the largest two-bedroom.

The company is already hearing from interested renters, but serious construction work will not begin until November. The target building opening is the fall of 2014. All of the existing tenants in the Union Arcade building have relocated in the Quad-Cities, several with assistance from Financial District Properties.

100 Montaditos – New Restaurant

Posted in Projects with tags , on August 21, 2013 by Tory Brecht

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5141 Utica Ridge Road

Total Investment: $500,000
Private Funds Leveraged: $500,000
Status: Fall opening targeted
Projected jobs created: 25

Future home of 100 Montaditos restaurant on Utica Ridge Road

Miami, Washington D.C., Manhattan . . . . Davenport?

It’s not often that Davenport or the Quad-Cities is among the first metro areas to attract a hot new franchise restaurant. But thanks to the persistence of entrepreneur Jeff Holland, that is exactly what is about to happen this fall.

100 Montaditos is a “fast casual” restaurant chain based out of Madrid, Spain. It’s first foray into the U.S. was in south Florida, where the concept has been well-received. Now, it’s coming to the heartland, on Davenport’s Utica Ridge Avenue.

The concept behind 100 Montaditos, owned by the Restalia Group, is simple: a well-appointed Spanish tavern serving 100 different montaditos made from high quality ingredients, including Jamon Iberico, a free-range ham made from Spanish pigs who live in oak groves, grazing on grass and acorns. The company describes a montadito as “a unique tapa-sized bread roll produced¬†with an exclusive bread formula and filled with the best high quality ingredients.”

100 Montaditos only uses its own bread, also imported from Spain, shipped frozen to the United States, where it is baked in ovens specially designed for the restaurant.

Sandwich prices range from $1 to $2.50 and Wednesdays feature $2 wine and beer. The restaurant also serves salads and appetizers on cutting boards loaded with Iberico ham, crushed tomatoes and olives or different cheeses. 100 Montaditos also features Spanish-brewed specialty beer, wine and other beverages.

A few of the 100 sandwiches served at  100 Montaditos

A few of the 100 sandwiches served at
100 Montaditos

The next expansions into the U.S. for the group are in the D.C. area (expected to open this August), Manhattan, Boston and Davenport.

So how exactly did Davenport get on that list?

“I was reading an article in Business Week about it, and I just fell in love with the concept,” said Jeff Holland, the former owner of Holland Jewelers. “I was heading down to Miami for a jewelery show and I set up a meeting with a representative from the Restalia Group and told him I was interested in bringing a restaurant to Iowa. Their long-term plan is to have thousands of stores in the U.S., but usually you have to wait if you are a secondary market.”

Interior work is well underway on the new 100 Montaditos

Interior work is underway on 100 Montaditos, with a fall opening anticipated.

Holland was persuasive, convincing the group that the Quad-Cities was diverse and restaurant-hungry enough to support such a unique concept. He thinks his restaurant will be a sort of “canary in a coal mine” for the model in the Midwest. He eventually plans to open more franchises in Iowa City, Des Moines and points west. He’s so certain of success, he has sold the jewelery business and devoted himself 100 percent to restaurant development.
“I believe there’s pent-up demand for something different on the dining scene,” Holland said. “I have great faith that the Quad-Cities will come out and support this.”
Interior of an existing 100 Montaditos in the Miami area

Interior of an existing 100 Montaditos in the Miami area

Me & Billy Kitchen and Bar – New Restaurant

Posted in Projects with tags , , , , , , on August 9, 2013 by Tory Brecht

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200 3rd St.

Total Investment: $600,000
Community Development Block Grant Interest-Free Loan: $60,000
Private Funds Leveraged: $540,000
Status: Ongoing
Projected jobs created: 30

Door of new Me & Billy restaurant on 3rd Street

Me & Billy Kitchen and Bar – which marks the fulfillment of a dream for Frances Maus and the exciting return to the downtown Davenport restaurant and bar scene for her parents Bill and Mary Collins – is the anchor tenant in the ambitious United Cigar Building rehab at the corner of 3rd and Main streets.

The nearly 6,000-square-foot restaurant will feature a private dining and party room and a unique, 2,500-square-foot second floor outdoor beer garden. Owner/operator Frances Maus said the intent is to deliver a comfortable, relaxed but stylish urban feel to this busy corner of downtown.

“We love downtown so that’s where our focus was,” she said. “A lot of restaurants in the Quad-Cities have a sports bar vibe, and that’s not something we wanted to do. We want to be a friendly place where anyone can go and have a good time. And we want to serve the kind of food we enjoy eating ourselves.”

Maus has a degree from Iowa State University in hotel and restaurant management, but hadn’t really put it to use, choosing instead to focus on a career in Chicago. But after she and her husband returned to Davenport a few years ago, the dream of opening her own place grew stronger. Fortunately, she had a great resource to turn to – her folks Bill and Mary Collins – who ran Mac’s Tavern on 3rd Street for many years. Mary will be co-owner with Frances and Bill will be general manager.

And about that rather unique name?

“I have a younger brother,” reminisced Bill. “And when we were growing up, all he ever said was ‘me and Billy are going to do this, me and Billy are going to do that.’ My parents got such a kick out of it, they bought us a little rowboat for us to use ¬†and they painted the name Me and Billy on it. We have an old picture of the boat and when we were trying to come up with a unique and personal name for the new place, somebody saw the picture and said how about “me and Billy” and it just clicked.”

The Me & Billy Kitchen and Bar logo

Interior work on the historic building – which was built in 1916 by local architectural firm Clausen & Kruse – is well underway, including the installation of a massive historic back bar Bill discovered. Frances and her sister Sarah put thick paper up over the massive windows lining both the 3rd and Brady street sides of the building while work continued. “We want it to be a surprise and a “wow!” reaction when people walk in for the first time,” Bill said.

The size and scope of the space will certainly be eye-opening. Frances believes it will be the among the largest restaurant spaces downtown, especially when outdoor beer garden is complete sometime in 2014. The main floor and banquet facility are slated to open later this fall.

Interior work at Me & Billy is underway

Interior work is underway at me & Billy Kitchen and Bar

me & Billy is one of four tenants in the former United Cigar Building, which is being renovated by developers Shawn Larson of Big Dog Construction and longtime downtown supporter Jim Thomson. The Ruby Slipper, Rick Jennisch Photography, Studio One Eleven and Big Dog’s construction offices will all call the building home. Thomson also plans on adding to the building and creating apartments above the ground floor retail in the coming years.