Moline's Bass St. Landing residential development set to begin
A development group composed of a local realtor, a local contractor, and a third partner is set to begin construction of residential units on land formallly owned by the city, now dubbed "Bass Street Landing."
The history of the land is of interest. While being basically a blighted area for years, the city tore down some buildings and created a very nice greenspace in the area many years ago. It included dredging out a small pond which connected to the Sylvan Slough and the construction of a beautiful wooden gazebo in it's center which was accessible by bridge walkways. The pond was planted with water lilys as well. Private donations financed much of this project.
The area was under used and prone to vandalism, and the city neglected it completely and it fell into disrepair. When the latest wave of speculation began, the city spent more money to tear down the gazebo and fill in the pond, thus opening the way for development. The local rowing club then built a huge facility nearby.
Now, Chuck Ruhl, president of NAI Ruhl & Ruhl; Kent Pilcher, president of Estes Construction; and Tom LaSalle, president of LaSalle Group have bought the land and have already built "River Station", the building which currently houses the very upscale "Blue Ribbon" restaurant. (avg. price for dinner, around $100 a head.) Now they are set to begin the residential component of their design.
In order to provide benefits to the widest possible segment of city's residents, or at least to people worth at least a million dollars, the townhouses planned will start at over a quarter million dollars, around $275,000, and go up from there. Yet another example of the true egalitarian spirit which has dominated city planning for decades. COUGH
So the city has forfeited prime riverfront property, sold it to connected developers who have so far and will continue to devote the land for the exclusive use of the wealthy. How civic minded of the leaders of Moline, don't you think? They've now effectively sealed off the entire riverfront in the downtown area from residents. The nearest public access is the Butterworth parkway, and the only reason that exists is that it's impossible to develop money making projects on a strip of land only 100 ft wide. If River Dr. didn't happen to be where it is along that stretch, it would likely be one unended string of condos and private homes and there would be no where for residents to access the river.
The city has traded industrial plants which choked off the riverfront for private development which does the same. Public spaces were either never planned or cast aside, which is incredibly stupid and short-sighted in my humble opinion.
Moline residents should all give thanks for the inclusive and far-sighted vision of the city leaders. Now yet another area of riverfront will be off limits to the people who once owned the land, namely, everyone taxpayer in the city who aren't in the market for a quarter million dollar (or more) condo.
I don't recall the Mayor or council asking the citizens of Moline, the former owners of this land, whether they wanted to sell it to private developers, or did I miss that part?