Illinois

New lofts going up in downtown Moline

MOLINE – The city council Tuesday approved an agreement with a Wisconsin developer that will help with a new $11.8 million downtown housing development.

The agreement gives Moline Enterprise Live-Work Lofts LLC up to a $390,000 property-tax rebate for building a 69-unit apartment and retail development at 19th Street and River Drive. A total of 2,700 square feet of the ground floor will be set aside for retail, with parking available for 86 vehicles.

The rebate, likely paid between 2010 and 2015, is possible because the developer, Gorman & Company Inc., is building in a tax increment financing, or TIF, district. In a TIF district, any increase in taxes due to the increased property value created by development can be used for public infrastructure or rebates to developers.

The city also will pay up to 50 percent of the cost or $20,000 — whichever is lower — to help move a MidAmerican Energy power pole.

Under the agreement, the developer will build a four-story building with amenities — such as a conference room, a theater with multimedia presentation equipment, a business center and a top-floor community room with an outdoor deck — allowing tenants to work from home if they choose.

The apartments will be marketed to young professionals or people starting a new business, with some units including storefronts. Some also will be designed for persons with disabilities.

Craig Mack, vice chairman of Moline Centre Partner’s, told the council about the organization’s downtown design guidelines and its desires to see the materials Gorman will use on the exterior of its new development.

Mayor Don Welvaert said the city will set up a meeting between the developer and Moline Centre Partners.

“It is a historic district,” Mr. Mack said. “We are here to help. We are concerned things get done right.”