Downtown Davenport could see more housing

A step towards development in Davenport could mean new life for some downtown eyesores

A step towards development in Davenport could mean new life for some downtown eyesores. The projects hinge on a grant from the state, which provides money to cities affected by the flood of 2008. Monday, a committee recommended two projects as having the best shot at getting that grant money.

"The demand's so high for stuff downtown, there needs to be more of these projects, and with the future development of the YMCA putting the daycare next door, and kind of redoing that whole area down there, this will fit in well because we'll have a lot of families," said Joe Erenberger of his 45-apartment vision for the old Halligan Coffee Building on 4th Street.

Just up the block on Iowa Street, Alexander Company imagines 37 more lofts.

"I just love the warehouse district, I mean the character of the buildings. We knew there would be a lot of character features we could exploit, that if we could make people believe it was going to be a community at some point, that they would want to move there," said David Voss.

For downtown leaders, the two projects are a chance to finish what's been started.

"We've had some great success in lowering police calls and problems in neighborhoods. This completion of the warehouse district is transformative for that part of town," said alderman Bill Boom.

Left out of the recommendation, though, was a high-profile project that would transfrom the old Wonderbread plant on River Drive. It's left some to question if the city is putting too much focus on downtown.

"That thing [the Wonderbread plant] is secure, it is not falling down, it's well-maintained... some of these other properties really are in need of help," explained Boom

The City Council meets on Wednesday and could decide as soon as then whether or not to accept the committee's recommendation. After that, March 1st is the deadline to apply to the state for those grants.