The Rock Island City Council voted on Monday to move ahead with a development agreement and financially help a proposed 34-unit downtown apartment complex called The Locks.
The development agreement with Rock Island Economic Growth Corporation (GROWTH) allows the city to rebate property taxes and various project costs up to $2.1 million.
The council vote was unanimous.
GROWTH plans to build a $6 million, three-story apartment development at 1st Avenue and 20th Street. It will include one-, two- and three-bedroom units with rents ranging from $550 to $1,200 a month; secure covered parking; balconies with river views; washer/dryer hook-ups in each apartment and an elevator. There will be six lower-cost units for renters making 60 percent of the area median income.
To further help the development, the city will spend $29,000 to hire Ehlers & Associates Inc., to establish a project-specific tax-increment-financing district. In a TIF, the assessed property value is frozen when the district is created. New development increases the assessed value of the land, and the city can capture all of the new tax increment to make improvements in the district or give rebates to developers.
The city will issue $1.75 million in bonds for the project, which will be paid off with the new tax increment. It also will take $350,000 from the current downtown TIF fund, putting it, and the bonded money, into an account to reimburse GROWTH for allowable project costs.
GROWTH agrees to have The Locks built by March 2014
In other business, the council:
-- Approved spending $16,750 to buy 16 properties in the New/Old Chicago neighborhood that would otherwise go to tax auction. Eight of the sites are vacant and eight have blighted structures that will be demolished. The land will be used for future infill projects.
-- Gave Platinum Hospitality Group LLC a special use permit to install a 40-by-100-foot tent for outside dining at Gendler's/Black Ram restaurant, 3000 14th Ave. The tent may be up through Nov. 15, and again April 1-Nov. 15, 2013, pending fire code requirements. David Requet, with Platinum Hospitality Group, told aldermen it is hopeful phase II will be done next year. The tent would be used only if construction has not begun.
Today is Monday, Sept. 1, the 244th day of 2014. There are 121 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: We are informed by J.H. Hull that the reason the street sprinkler was not at work yesterday settling the dust on the streets, was because one of his horses was injured. 1889 -- 125 years ago: Bonnie McGregor, a fleet-footed stallion owned by S.W. Wheelock of this community, covered himself with glory at Lexington, Ky, when he ran a mile in 2:13 1/2. The horse's value was estimated as at least $50,000. 1914 -- 100 years ago: Troops are pouring into Paris to prepare for defense of the city. The German army is reported to be only 60 miles from the capital of France. 1939 -- 75 years ago: The German army has invaded Poland in undeclared warfare. Poland has appealed to Great Britain and France for aid. 1964 -- 50 years ago: Publication of a plant newspaper, the Farmall Works News, has been launched at the Rock Island IHC factory and replaces a managerial newsletter. 1989 -- 25 years ago: Officials predict Monday's Rock Island Labor Parade will be the biggest and best ever. Last minute work continues on floats and costumes for the parade, which steps off a 9:30 a.m.