MOLINE -- The vacant John Deere Collectors Center building in Moline could reopen by Jan. 1 as a Hyatt Place Hotel.
Moline Hotel Group LLC, is proposing a a hotel with approximately 100 room, with an indoor swimming pool, fitness center, lounge, restaurant, and some small meeting space in the building at 320 16th St.
The developer of the project, Neil Densmore, said plans are not final, and that he is reviewing a proposed development agreement from the city of Moline.
The proposed development agreement is scheduled to be reviewed by the Project Management Team Jan. 16.The PMT, a group of private and public sector representataives, reviews downtown development plans and makes recommendations to the Moline City Council.
The Deere Foundation operated the building as a collectors center from 2001 - 2008. According to Rock Island County online assessment records, the original brick building was built in 1885.
Mr. Densmore said proposed plans call for most of the existing historic structure to remain and the warehouse building to hold most of the public hotel space. A section of the original building, which has high ceilings, wood floors and exposed red brick walls could be turned into five or six suites, he said.
The hotel would be managed by Great Lakes Management Group, a Wisconsin-based hotel development and management company, of which Mr. Densmore is the founder. The group is operating five hotels in Wisconsin and five in Iowa, including the Holiday Inn Express in LeClaire.
Mr. Densmore said a market study showed a need for additional hotel rooms in the downtown. "We also really like downtown Moline. It is headed in the right direction," he said.
Moline Hotel Group has been in discussions with Moline about the project the past 14 months, he said.
"If everything goes well, we could start construction the first part of March and open by the new year," Mr. Densmore said.
Neither Moline planning and development director Ray Forsythe nor Renew Moline executive director Janet Mathis could not be reached for comment.
Joe Taylor, president and CEO of the Quad Cities Convention and Visitors Bureau, believes another downtown hotel in Moline will succeed.
"Downtown Moline is positioning itself, especially with the new passenger rail system, to see an influx of new visitors," he said.
The proposed hotel will offer smaller meetings a place to land, Mr. Taylor said. "A third hotel should work fine and will probably be beneficial in making more rooms available for visitors," he added.
Today is Saturday, March 8, the 67th day of 2014. There are 298 days left in the year. 1864 -- 150 years ago: The price of board for single gentlemen occupying rooms in Davenport hotels has been raised to $10 per week. 1889 -- 125 years ago: Dr. J.W. Stewart was elected president of the Rock Island County Bible Society. 1914 -- 100 years ago: Mrs. I.O. Nothstein, Rock Island, was named president of the Woman's Home and Foreign Missionary Society of the Twin Cities. 1939 -- 75 years ago: Athel Young, wife of Chic Young, who draws the internationally famous "Blondie" comic strip, has been visiting her mother, Mrs. John Miller, in Rock Island for three weeks. The Youngs' infant son accompanied his mother. 1964 -- 50 years ago: 750 students from 30 northern Illinois high schools will take part in the Class D state finals music contest to be held next Saturday on the Augustana College campus. 1989 -- 25 years ago: A near capacity crowd shook the rafters at Wharton field House in Moline Tuesday night. When the decibel level returned to normal, Alleman's Pioneers had pulled out a 54-49 victory over the Orion Chargers. The win advanced Alleman into the Elite Eight for the first time in 25 years.