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Sam's Club proposed in Moline

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Posted: Monday, January 7, 2013 6:53 pm

MOLINE -- The city's plan commission on Wednesday will examine a conceptual site plan submitted for a proposed Sam's Club, the members-only. discount retailer operated by Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

According to plan commission documents, a 136,085 square-foot store is proposed on a 13.7-acre lot south of 44th Avenue and east of the Menards store within the Valley View Village development.

A Sam's Club gas station is proposed on John Deere Road frontage, north of 44th Avenue and west of 65th Street.

"We are excited any time a big box retailer picks a site in Illinois. We are happy it is in Moline," said Ray Forsythe, the city's planning and development director..

The Sam's Club proposed is the latest prototype, he said. When city staffers met with company officials in December they were told construction could begin in the spring and would take about a year.

"This definitely could be a large investment, not only in construction costs but also in jobs and sales taxes," said Mr. Forsythe. "This can also drive additional traffic to the site, which offers more positive benefits to retailers and restaurants, making (the development) more enticing," he added.

The plan commission meets at 4 p.m. on the second floor of city hall, 619 16th St. It is expected commissioners will discuss the concept plan, but no vote will be taken.

According to a memo to commissioners from Shawn Christ, Moline's land development manager, this first submittal by Sam's Club is optional and meant to gather general, nonbinding direction prior to the company submitting a formal application.

According to commission documents, Sam's Club does not want to build a road behind the building to 60th Street, a bridge crossing over a creek and a street leading to the apartment development south of the site.

In 2010,Menard Inc., which developed the 92-acre parcel Valley View Village -- presented a preliminary Planned Unit Development plan that included the roads. It was approved by the city.

Then, before the site-specific plans for the Menards store were approved,city staffers agreed the road to the apartment complex could be built during a future phase of development.

Mr. Forsythe said the roads are important to traffic flow. Right now, 44th Avenue is the only east-west street in the development and connects 60th and 70th streets. A right-in, right-out only access to and from John Deere Road is planned but has not been constructed.

If other roads are not built, development's traffic plan will be very similar to the Lowe's/Walmart shopping area between 38th and 41st Streets, Mr. Forsythe said. "We want to make sure we don't have traffic issues," he said.

According to commission documents,Menards supports the Sam's Club concept site plan without the roads, stating in a letter to Mr. Christ, "With our new store now open, performing well, and with the existing roadway system functioning well, we no longer believe additional access roads to the west or connectivity to the south to be necessary."

The PUD would have be to amended to forgo construction of the roads, according to commission documents.

Sam's Club hired a traffic consultant to study traffic needs. The city is seeking proposals for its own review of traffic needs when all 92 acres are developed, according to Mr. Christ's memo.

If the store is built, it would be the second Sam's Club in the Quad-Cities. A 106,983 square-foot store was built in 1989 at 3887 Elmore Ave., Davenport. In 2004, a 26,020 square foot addition was built for a tire center, according to the Scott County assessor's website. The full market value on the Davenport Sam's Club building and land is $9.5 million, according to the website.

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