Originally Posted Online: Oct. 01, 2012, 10:13 pm
Last Updated: Oct. 01, 2012, 11:00 pm

Rock Island moves ahead with The Locks apartment complex

Comment on this story

By Dawn Neuses, dneuses@qconline.com

The Rock Island City Council voted on Monday to move ahead with a development agreement and financially help a proposed 34-unit downtown apartment complex called The Locks.

The development agreement with Rock Island Economic Growth Corporation (GROWTH) allows the city to rebate property taxes and various project costs up to $2.1 million.

The council vote was unanimous.

GROWTH plans to build a $6 million, three-story apartment development at 1st Avenue and 20th Street. It will include one-, two- and three-bedroom units with rents ranging from $550 to $1,200 a month; secure covered parking; balconies with river views; washer/dryer hook-ups in each apartment and an elevator. There will be six lower-cost units for renters making 60 percent of the area median income.

To further help the development, the city will spend $29,000 to hire Ehlers & Associates Inc., to establish a project-specific tax-increment-financing district. In a TIF, the assessed property value is frozen when the district is created. New development increases the assessed value of the land, and the city can capture all of the new tax increment to make improvements in the district or give rebates to developers.

The city will issue $1.75 million in bonds for the project, which will be paid off with the new tax increment. It also will take $350,000 from the current downtown TIF fund, putting it, and the bonded money, into an account to reimburse GROWTH for allowable project costs.

GROWTH agrees to have The Locks built by March 2014

In other business, the council:

-- Approved spending $16,750 to buy 16 properties in the New/Old Chicago neighborhood that would otherwise go to tax auction. Eight of the sites are vacant and eight have blighted structures that will be demolished. The land will be used for future infill projects.

-- Gave Platinum Hospitality Group LLC a special use permit to install a 40-by-100-foot tent for outside dining at Gendler's/Black Ram restaurant, 3000 14th Ave. The tent may be up through Nov. 15, and again April 1-Nov. 15, 2013, pending fire code requirements. David Requet, with Platinum Hospitality Group, told aldermen it is hopeful phase II will be done next year. The tent would be used only if construction has not begun.