Archive for September, 2013

Parkside Apartments – Redevelopment

Posted in Projects with tags , , , , on September 26, 2013 by Tory Brecht


2621 Harrison Street

Total Investment: $450,000
Public Funds: $65,000 in State Historic Tax Credits, Urban Revitalization Tax Exemption TBD
Private Funds Leveraged: $385,000
Status: Semi-complete
New Housing Units: 5

Parkside Apartments on Harrison Street

The historic Parkside Apartments at Harrison and Central Park are undergoing renovation into market rate apartments

When developer and former Davenport Alderman Bob McGivern first walked through the Parkside Apartment building near the intersection of Harrison Street and Central Park Avenue in late 2012, he found a rundown building infested with bugs, cut up into tiny apartments with only three tenants still living in it. But there was something about the historic building – consructed in 1924 on what was then the northern “great lawn” of Vander Veer Park – that made him look past the dilapidation to see the beauty underneath.

Fast forward 10 months, and tenants are moving into beautifully restored market rate apartments offering great views of the botanical center and featuring lots of original architectural touches such as marble tiled bathrooms, tall wood-framed casement windows, brass letter drops and milk delivery boxes from back when “milkman” was still an occupation.

The bathrooms in Parkside feature original marble tiling.

All five market-rate units are already spoken for. McGivern said the apartments are popular with younger professionals in their 20s and 40-plus single professionals. Interestingly, all of them are folks who re-located to Davenport to work. The larger-than-typical kitchens, nice touches like historically accurate wood floorboards and crown molding, original built-in fireplaces and other elements are a great pull, McGivern said.

“If I could find five more buildings like this, I’d buy them up right now,” he said.

The Parkside was built in 1924 and was the first apartment building in Davenport to feature attached underground garages. They aren’t suitable for modern vehicles, but the doors and interior will also be rehabbed in historic fashion to meet the requirements for historic tax credits.

McGivern said when he was an alderman, he was skeptical of developers who said they needed tax credits to make projects work. That is no longer the case.

“I’m a convert,” he said. “There is no way we could have done this project without the credits. They’ve been like a lifeline to make it feasible.”

The interior of th Parkside apartments feature large windows and built-in fireplaces

McGivern – who developed Parkside with his KMB Properties partners Dick Koestner and Becky Burke – said the demand for more nicely furnished, market rate apartment spaces in Davenport continues to increase. Returning the city’s historic structures back to modern functionality is a key piece of improving the economic development puzzle in Davenport, he said.


Harrison Lofts – Update

Posted in Projects with tags , , , , on September 12, 2013 by Tory Brecht


1414 Harrison Street

Total Investment: $10.2 million
Total Public Investment: $8 million (combination of Enterprise Zone incentives, City land contribution, state sales tax refund and state investment tax credits)
Private Funds Leveraged: $2.2 million
Total Units: 60
Status: Leasing underway


Exterior work is complete on the new Harrison Lofts building in the Hilltop Campus Village

The first tenants in the new Harrison Lofts apartment building will begin moving in this week, even as feverish construction work continues on the massive mixed-use building in Davenport’s Hilltop Campus Village.

Jackie Nickolaus, Vice President of Development for developer Sherman Associates, said 11 tenants are set to move into completed third floor apartments on Sept. 13. Demand remains high for the remaining units, and she is optimistic the entire building will be leased out by the end of the year.

“We were taking apps based only on floor plans,” she said. “We’ve only been able to offer walk-throughs this past week. This Saturday, during the Hilltop Fall Festival, we will be giving tours.”

Harrison Lofts features 60 units of studio, 1, 2, and 3 bedroom apartments, with 25 percent market rate and 75 percent low-to-moderate income individuals targeted towards students and residents working in entry-level and service-oriented occupations. The units are not cookie cutter design, and feature tall ceilings, huge windows and interesting views of the surrounding Hilltop Campus Village neighborhood.

Large windows and spacious kitchen space are hallmarks of the Harrison Loft apartment units.

Ruhl & Ruhl Commercial Company is actively marketing the two ground floor commercial spaces – one 1,071 square feet and one 2,049 square feet. Tenants are still being sought. Interested retailers can contact Rick Weinstein or Meg Halligan at Ruhl & Ruhl Commercial at or

The Reform Building/The Market – New Business Re-development

Posted in Projects with tags , , , , on September 3, 2013 by Tory Brecht


526 W. 2nd Street and 522-524 W. 2nd Street

Total Investment: $240,000
Status: Targeted fall opening
Job Created: 3-5

The former German language newspaper The Reform called this building home from 1892 to 1943. It is being renovated as a new antique store.The Market building in the 500 block of W. 2nd Street will become an antique mall.

Two more vacant buildings in Davenport’s urban core are getting facelifts and new business/residential tenants. An encouraging sign is these two historic buildings – both of which date to before the turn-of-the-20th Century – are on the near-west side of downtown, an area only a handful of developers have invested in recently.

The intrepid developer is Joe Wonio, who is also a property associate of Financial District Properties, the company adding apartments to the Union Arcade and Wells Fargo buildings downtown. This project is independent of Financial District Properties, however.

“I was looking for a building to both live in and lease for business as my first project, and Kyle Carter of the Downtown Partnership called me and told me Chenhall’s was for sale,” Wonio said, referring to the staffing company that was the last tenant of The Reform building at 526 W. 2nd Street. “I like the neighborhood, it’s a lively area close to the ballpark, and I can walk to work.”

Wonio is converting the second floor of The Reform building into his personal apartment. The first floor will be home to Company 38 Antiques, owned and operated by Lorie Charles, who already runs a successful antique business in Eldridge. Charles has also helped Wonio line up tenants for The Market building next door, which will become an antique mall. Previously it was home to a thrift shop and a barbershop, but has been empty for several years. Both businesses are expected to employ up to five, Wonio said.

“I’ve been wanting to be in downtown Davenport for years,” said Charles, who has been in the antique business for 15 years. “For my type of business, we need to be real close to the center of downtown, but not right in it. This is perfect.”

Lorie Charles, owner of Company 38 Antiques, is already collecting merchandise in her new space.

Lorie Charles, owner of Company 38 Antiques, is already collecting merchandise in her new space.

The building at 526 W. 2nd is on the National Register of Historic places, built in 1892 as the home of the German language Newspaper The Iowa Reform. The newspaper peaked in circulation in 1912, serving the local tri-city Germans, with 4,000 subscribers. During World War I, most Iowa German papers ceased publication because of anti-German sentiment, but The Reform continued by complying with a government requirement that each issue be translated into English and filed with federal censors. By 1938, The Reform was the sole surviving German paper in Iowa with a circulation of 3,240. It folded in 1943 due to anti-German sentiment associated with World War II.

Wonio said he’s excited to be bringing new development to the west side of downtown. He thinks the recent residential boom a bit further east is going to continue spreading, and will boost retail, commercial and business development in the central city.

“One successful project builds on another,” he said. “It’s kind of a domino effect.”