Posted Online: Dec. 08, 2012, 8:38 pm
Jackson Furniture buildings put up for sale
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By Anthony Watt, firstname.lastname@example.org
The developer who bought a block of downtown East Moline properties about a year ago has put them up for sale.
In July 2011, Keith Curry, president of Ken Curry Construction, bought the Jackson Furniture buildings at 1515, 1521 and 1523 7th St. from the city for $1 and said at the time he expected to spend about $200,000 upgrading the property, including putting in a parking lot.
Mr. Curry has put in the parking lot and demolished a pair of two-story buildings, which had a common wall, on the site but left a one-story building that once housed a pharmacy with the intention of renovating it, though he said at the time he might "dress up the outside" and wait until he found a tenant before renovating the inside.
On Thursday, Mr. Curry said his initial intention was to rent the property to someone, and that still could happen, but he recently decided to offer it for sale as well.
Mr. Curry said he also is building a $3 million, 22-unit subdivision in the city at Kennedy Drive and Avenue of the Cities, and that subdivision has pushed the downtown project to the back burner. He also expressed concern about being able to make a profit on the Jackson Furniture site.
"I've got quite a bit of money in that property," he said.
He said that includes about $80,000 invested so far into the remaining building.
The interior of the building has been gutted, and the remodeling will either be done by himself or by the new tenant/owner, Mr. Curry said.
He said he has ordered new siding for the exterior.
He said he's had some people call that were interested in it, though he would not provide identifying information about the people.
He did say he was hoping to get a restaurant to move into the building.
East Moline Mayor John Thodos said Friday he was not concerned the Jackson Furniture property has not yet been developed further -- the Currys have a good track record with development and property rehabilitation in the downtown and elsewhere in the city.
"The Currys have been very good for this city," Mayor Thodos said.
He said development often takes time -- more, sometimes, than those involved would like.
Community Health Care put a new clinic downtown, not far from the Jackson Furniture site, but has not yet been able to treat patients there because it still is awaiting state and federal clearance to process Medicare and Medicaid claims.
Had the new clinic been able to treat patients as planned, the traffic generated probably would have helped Mr. Curry develop the property faster, the mayor said.
Whether the building is rented or sold, the mayor said he just wants to see it contribute to the city.
"I just want to see a productive building," he said.