Ground is broken for downtown Moline loft project

MOLINE — Ground was broken Monday for the $12 million Moline Enterprise Live-Work Lofts at River Drive and 19th Street.

The city, Renew Moline and Wisconsin-based developer Gorman & Co. celebrated the first in a series of planned downtown projects, with Gorman set to begin immediately. The 69-unit project has all city permits needed to begin construction and should be finished in fall 2011, according to Gorman.

Moline Mayor Don Welvaert said the groundbreaking is one more milestone in the development of the riverfront and the downtown. Renew Moline chairman Tom Robinson said the downtown has many other positive things coming, from planned construction of an Amtrak Station to KONE Centre.

“Downtown Moline is on the move,” Mr. Robinson said.

The lofts, first announced by Gorman three years ago, were to be built by now, Mayor Welvaert said. Gorman put the plans on hold after tax credits fell in value, creating a gap in financing. Mayor Welvaert said project partners, including Renew Moline, dug deeper in their pockets to make the lofts a reality and successfully work with the Illinois Housing Development Authority.

IHDA director Gloria Materre saidit will use $10 million in federal stimulus dollars to support the lofts. In turn, the project will create affordable housing and some for the disabled, she said.

According to Gorman, the four-story building will include29 one-bedroom, 26 two-bedroom and 14 three-bedroom apartments, each 680 to 1,350 square feet. The 13 ground-level units each will have individual entrances from the street into an office space separated from a private living space.
A total of 2,500 square feet of ground-level retail space will be available on the southeast corner of the building. The building also willhave a conference room, a multimedia theater, a business center, a cyber cafe and a community room with an outdoor deck.

This is Gorman’s second Moline project. In October 2006, it opened the Old Moline High School Loftsat 1001 16th St.