RI negotiates buying parcels to make space for proposed Walmart


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Posted Online: Dec. 08, 2012, 10:39 pm
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By Eric Timmons, etimmons@qconline.com
City officials have been working for months to tie-up agreements to buy parcels at Watch Tower before tearing the buildings down to make space for the proposed Walmart Supercenter.

The cleaned-up 20-acre site will then be sold to a development company that acts on behalf of Walmart for $4.5 million.But some pieces of the puzzle have yet to fall into place.

Jeff Eder, the city's economic development director, won't say exactly how many properties the city has their eye on while negotiations are ongoing. He said there are a number of parcels the city would like to buy that it has yet to agree on a price for with the owners.

Hill and Valley Bakery, which owns a 60,000-square-foot portion of Watch Tower shopping center with an entrance off 9th Street, has yet to agree on a price with the city.

"We are looking at options, nothing more to say at this time," said Doug Davidson, the bakery's president.

The property has a $1.1 million fair market value, according to a 2012 assessment by the South Rock Island Township Assessor.

Already, the city has sealed some $4.8 million in purchase agreements for nine other properties at Watch Tower, with agreements for at least two other properties likely to come before the city council soon.

Hill and Valley Bakery, formerly Nancy's Pies, is the property with the highest assessed value at Watch Tower and employs more than 100 workers, according to the company's website.

Aldermen have agreed to purchase two parcels with a combined fair market value of $419,000 for $1.75 million from Kevin Wittenauer that includes the Dollar General Store, Comfort Furniture and other small businesses in the shopping center.

A purchase agreement also is pending with Black Hawk College, which owns an adult learning center at Watch Tower.

An agreement also has yet to be approved by the city council for the Pawn King store at 3940 11th St., which is shown as one of the out lots of the proposed new development on a drawing provided by the city.

On Friday, Mark Mueller, who owns At Your Service Catering, at 4000 11th St., said he had just agreed to a $105,000 purchase agreement with the city, although the deal has yet to be approved by aldermen.

The property at the southern edge of Watch Tower Plaza has a $72,837 fair market value, according to the South Rock Island Township Assessor's office. Mr. Mueller said he was happy with the agreement, which also will include relocation assistance.

















 



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  Today is Saturday, April 19, the 109th day of 2014. There are 256 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: Miss McCorkindale has opened millinery rooms over Gimbel's dry goods store, where she offers a choice lot of millinery goods, which she will manufacture to order.
1889 -- 125 years ago: The little South Park Presbyterian chapel celebrated it first Easter decorated with flowers for an afternoon worship service attended by a large congregation.
1914 -- 100 years ago: The Wennerberg Chorus of Augustana College has returned from a 2,000-mile tour in the Eastern states and Illinois.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Col. Charles Lindbergh has stated that he is convinced that Germany's air force is equal to the combined sky fleets of her potential European foes.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Small gas motors may be permitted on boats in the lake to be built in Loud Thunder Forest Preserve. The prospect was discussed yesterday at a meeting of the Rock Island County Forest Preserve Commission.
1989 -- 25 years ago: The annual Dispatch/Rock Island Argus Spelling Bee continues to be a family tradition. Ed Lee, an eighth-grader at John Deere Junior High School, Moline, is the 1989 spelling bee champion from among 49 top spellers in Rock Island, Henry and Mercer counties. He advances to the competition in Washington, D.C. Runnerup was Ed's sister, Susan.






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