Originally Posted Online: Sept. 25, 2012, 11:51 pm
Last Updated: Sept. 26, 2012, 10:05 am

RI apartment building construction scheduled to begin

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By Sarah Hayden, shayden@qconline.com

Photo:
These are exterior plans for a three-story apartment building in downtown Rock Island. Located at 1708-1710 3rd Ave., the 15,000-square-foot building will house 17 apartments and one commercial space on the first floor.
Photo:
Interior view from a proposed three story apartment building in downtown Rock Island. Located at 1708-1710 3rd Avenue, the 15,000 square foot building will house seventeen apartments, and one commercial space on the first floor. Five of the apartments will have two bedrooms and twelve will be one bedroom units. The two bedroom units will be 700 square feet, while the one bedroom units will be 550 square feet. The first floor commercial space will be located in the front of the building and will be 700 square feet.

Plans are complete for a three-story apartment building in downtown Rock Island with construction scheduled to start in late October.

"We're past the design stage," said Italo Milani, owner of architecture firm Italo Milani PC. "We're doing the actual contract documents now."

Located at 1708-1710 3rd Ave., the 15,000-square-foot building has an estimated budget of $1.2 million to $1.4 million. It will house 17 apartments and one commercial space on the first floor.

The first floor commercial space, located in the front of the building, will be 700 square feet. Five apartments will have two bedrooms; 12 will have one bedroom.

The two-bedroom units will be 700 square feet and the one-bedroom units will be 550 square feet. All will have a strip kitchen, one bathroom, energy efficient appliances and an open floor plan. Washers and dryers will be on each floor.

The building will not have an elevator, and there will be a handicapped accessible one-bedroom unit on the first floor.

The original one-story structure on the lot was planned to be renovated into apartments. But when owner Roy Yelder began pulling overgrown vines off the front of it, he noticed bricks starting to crumble.

Overnight, the front of the structure fell into the street.

"The vines were holding the building together," said Mr. Milani. "The whole front end of the building collapsed."

After the structure was demolished, plans were made for a bigger apartment building with green design. Exterior walls will use structurally insulated panels, said Milani Architecture intern Jonathon Carstens.

The wall is one continuous piece of insulation, making units completely airtight and creating more efficient heating and cooling. Consisting of foam filled paneling, they are as structurally strong as a stud wall, said Mr. Carstens.

"This will be the first building in Rock Island using these wall panels," he said.

The building will have a reflective roof, made by Firestone, that will help reduce heating and cooling costs. All of the apartments will have balconies with sliding glass doors.

"It's a nice way to get air and light into the apartments," said Mr. Carstens.

Street side parking will be available, but tenants also can lease spaces from US Bank next door or use a nearby parking garage. A bus stop is less than 200 feet from the front door and the bus terminal is one block away, said Mr. Carstens.

The building also is across the street from the Stern Center and accessible to downtown amenities. Mr. Milani said they hope to have the apartments ready for tenants in early spring 2013.

"It's being built as inexpensively as possible so rent will be cheaper, too," he said.

Mr. Yelder said he has not yet determined rents or the name for the building. He said he has been renovating buildings in Iowa City for 20 years and in the Quad-Cities for nearly three years. He renovated the building at 1706 3rd Ave. into apartments and retail space.