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 Friday, Dec. 13, the 347th day of 2013. There are 18 days left in the year. 1863 -- 150 years ago: Merry sleigh bells jingle in our streets in the wake of a driving northwest storm of snow and rain. 1888 -- 125 years ago: Thomas Campbell was elected commander of John Buford Post 243, Grand Army of the Republic. 1913 -- 100 years ago: Thomas B. Reidy was named consul of C.W. Hawes Camp No. 1550, and L.H. Eihl was named consul of Camp 29, Modern Woodmen of America. 1938 -- 75 years ago: Rock Island aldermen last night upheld the view of a petition signed by 150 businessmen that the city should not install parking meters. 1963 -- 50 years ago: Total volume during the Christmas mailing season may reach 12 million pieces in Rock Island, according to Rock Island Postmaster Carl J.L. Wessel. 1988 -- 25 years ago: The aromas filling the air at the Rock Island Lines depot in Rock Island soon will be prime rib and roast duck rather than sawdust and plaster. A tourist train will be offering dinner excursions in mid-February or early March, according to Dan Carmody, executive director of the Development Association of Rock Island.