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 Wednesday, Oct. 1, the 274th day of 2014. There are 91 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: It is rumored in the streets that the 13 negroes sent to Quincy on the Moline quota were refused. We think this must be a mistake. 1889 -- 125 years ago: Harvey McKenna, of Detroit, billiard player matched to play Wizard Schafer in New York in January for the world championship, was a professional friend and manager, Billy Catton in Rock Island. 1914 -- 100 years ago: Levi Cralle, former Rock Island county sheriff, had come from his farm near Mitchell, S.D. to visit friends in the city. 1939 -- 75 years ago: Work is being rushed on the new high school building in Orion to replace the one destroyed by fire last winter. Classes are being held in churches. 1964 -- 50 years ago: Rehearsals for the 84th season of the Handel Oratorio Society chorus will begin at 7:30 p.m. Monday on the stage of Centennial Hall, Augustana College. 1989 -- 25 years ago: The Rock Island City Council's plan announced this week to have the federal government vacate Valley Homes public housing and move residents to Arsenal Courts to reduce density may not be feasible.