Originally Posted Online: Jan. 16, 2013, 7:47 pm
Last Updated: Jan. 17, 2013, 7:29 am

Another new Moline hotel planned at rail station

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By Dawn Neuses, dneuses@qconline.com

Moline Hotel Group LLC, is proposing to build a Hyatt Place Hotel with about 100 rooms using the former John Deere Collectors Center building at 320 16th St., Moline, and building an addition.

A second new hotel is planned in Moline, this one to be in the upper floors of a downtown building being converted into a multimodal transportation station.

The new hotel, proposed by The Amin Group -- owners of the Radisson on John Deere Commons -- would be an extended-stay Radisson.

The proposal, and one announced last week for a Hyatt Place Hotel on the site of the vacant John Deere Collectors Center, both advanced Wednesday at a meeting of the Moline Project Management Team, which approved The Amin Group as the proposed developer for the extended-stay hotel and the proposed terms of a development agreement for the Hyatt hotel.

The approvals by the PMT -- private and public sector representatives who review proposed downtown developments -- will be forwarded to theMoline City Council, which is expected to hear details about both projects Tuesday.

The city owns the six-story O'Rourke building at 12th Street and 4th Avenue that will house a passenger rail station on the first floor. It wants a private developer to "reinvent" the rest of the building.

Restoration Saint Louis Inc. was the first developer chosen to rework the site. However, after the company withdrew from the project, the city and Renew Moline requested letters of interest from other developers.

Ray Forsythe, Moline's planning director, said the city received a number of quality responses from developers across the U.S. A few were chosen and interviewed by representatives of the city, Renew and MetroLink. The choice of The Amin Group, of Belmont, Calif., was unanimous, he said.

The Amin Group proposes mixed-use development on the first floor to complement the rail station, including a restaurant, coffee shop and other retail. The upper stories would be a premier international brand extended-stay hotel with 75 to 80 units.

The Amin Group has worked with the city and Renew for three years to find a suitable location for an extended-stay hotel, Mr. Forsythe said.

David Yordy, Radisson general manager, said the extended-stay hotel will complement the two existing downtown hotels and the new one planned. "I speak for the owners when I say they are very excited about this," he said.

Mr. Forsythe said, if the city council approves The Amin Group as the preferred developer, it and Renew will begin negotiations on a development agreement.

MetroLink is leading construction of the first-floor multimodal station, construction of which should be complete by the end of 2014. Rail service to Chicago is expected to begin in 2015.

Collectors Center update

The PMT approved the proposed terms of a development agreement between the city and Moline Hotel Group LLC, which wants to open a Hyatt Place Hotel or a Hilton product in thevacant Collectors Center, 320 16th St.

Mr. Forsythe said most of the 100 planned rooms would be in a four-story addition on the east of the building. Most of the original building, built in 1885, would be retained. Plans are for the currentwarehouse building to hold most of the public hotel space, including a pool, fitness center, restaurant, lounge and meeting space.

One of the developers in the project, Neil Densmore, said there is room on the property for 61 new parking spaces.

Mr. Forsythe said the hotel is an estimated $11.5 million project and the city council likes to limit incentives to 15 percent of the project cost. A property tax rebate of no more than $1.72 million is proposed over a eight-year period.

Mr. Densmore said there is a verbal agreement with the Deere Foundation to buy the property. Construction could begin in March and take about eight months."We would like to be open by the end of the year," he said.

Mr. Densmore said a market study completed earlier this year showed downtown Moline could hold up to 200 additional hotel rooms without affecting the Radisson or Stoney Creek Inn. He said a report this week shows the market is growing.

The hotel would be managed by Great Lakes Management Group, a Wisconsin-based hotel development and management company that Mr. Densmore founded. The group operates five hotels in Wisconsin and five in Iowa, including the Holiday Inn Express in LeClaire.

The Deere Foundation operated the building as a collectors center from 2001 to 2008. The original building housed the city's first power plant.