Several developers made their case Monday in a special work session in Davenport for why they should be considered for state money to use to build new apartment complexes.
Four developers submitted proposals. Two are to remodel downtown buildings, another is to renovate the Hostess bakery on River Drive, and the fourth is to build on an empty lot near Northpark Mall. Only two can move forward and after a lot of discussion the committee narrowed it down. Their decision is to recommend the two downtown options.
This is all for a chance at money the state of Iowa is handing out, nearly $3 million per project to Iowa communities impacted by the 2008 flood. City staff originally picked the two downtown options to recommend to council, but there was some concern over passing up the opportunity to re-purpose the old Hostess bakery building. The developer wants to include retail and commercial space along with housing, and argued it would have more of an impact because of its location.
The developer also said this may be the only shot for the bakery building for many years. Alderman Ray Ambrose agreed, and made a motion that it be included in the two that move forward. However, the rest of the committee felt that the downtown options meet both the city and the state's criteria to potentially get the money.
"Despite the comments of only having one shot, I'm not so sure. Through that process, however it ends up, somebody is going to recognize that there's a higher calling for that building," said Alderman Bill Boom.
If they become realities the two downtown apartment projects would nearly complete the downtown historic district. The existing buildings are in the same location as the Crescent lofts, Waterloo Mills, and the recently opened Kerker lofts. One developer is also working closely with the YMCA, which is looking to build a facility in that area.
The full council will make a decision this Wednesday. After that, the applications are sent to the state and, if approved, construction can be begin.