New owner foreseen for Watch Tower Plaza


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Posted Online: Nov. 09, 2012, 8:02 pm
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By Anthony Watt, awatt@qconline.com
A real estate agent wants to buy Rock Island's Watch Tower Plaza and the nearby VFW Post 1303.

Ted Rebitzer, an agent based in Davenport, on Friday said he has agreements to purchase both sites.

"I'm going to try to buy some property and do something," Mr. Rebitzer said. He declined to offermore details.

VFW Post Commander PJ Hymes Jr., said post members in October voted to accept an offer on the building at 3715 9th St., Rock Island. As of Friday, however, that deal still was being finalized, he said.

Mr. Hymes declined to discuss how much Post 1303 expects from the sale of the property. He said the post plans to remain in Rock Island but has not yet found a new location.

Black Hawk College has its Adult Learning Center at Watch Tower Plaza, 3930 11th St. On Friday, BHC officialsconfirmed the college has been approached by a private developer and the city of Rock Island.

At their regular meeting Thursday, BHC trustees are expected to discuss -- and possibly vote on -- a proposal to transfer the Adult Learning Center to the city.

Rock Island Mayor Dennis Pauley deferred comments on the matter to Rock Island city manager Thomas Thomas, who declined to comment Friday afternoon.

The plaza also is home to a Dollar General store, an Asian grocery store and a boutique. When asked for comment, several tenants either deferred to the property owner or said they could provide no information.

This area of Rock Island has been the target of development before.

Watch Tower Plaza opened in 1962 with a Zayre Department Store and an Eagle Food Center as its first major tenants.The 60,000-square-foot structure -- among the first of its kind in Rock Island -- once was at the center of a major retail hub in the 3800 block of 11th Street. But shopping habits changed, major tenants left and the shopping center waned.

In 2007, a deal to bring a Walmart store to the area fell through.Ktizo Construction was negotiating with property owners, seeking to provide Walmart with a site near 9th Street and 46th Avenue for a new store.

The proposed site, roughly 25 acres, consisted of 28 different parcels including Michael's Mobile Home Park at 4520 9th St. Tom Dalton, a Ktizo partner, said at the time that his company couldn't satisfy Walmart's wishes.

In December 2009, the plaza was bought by Kevin Wittenauer. He could not be reached for comment Friday.


















 



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