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Portillo’s neighbors say they feel forgotten about by city leaders

Neighbors in Davenport say they feel forgotten about by the city as Portillo’s prepares for opening day.
00 Portilllos Neighbors

DAVENPORT, Iowa - As media crews were invited to tour Iowa's first Portillo's location on 53rd Street in Davenport, neighbors who live behind the new development were left feeling frustrated.

The new highly-anticipated restaurant is set to open this summer, and neighbors who live on Lorton Avenue, 51st Street and Fairhaven Court say they have not had any cooperation from the City of Davenport.

Residents have been speaking out since last spring against the developments. They say they have nothing against Portillo's, but have concerns about the way the new business will impact their quiet neighborhood.

Homeowners on Lorton Avenue say traffic is already using their quiet and small road as a shortcut to escape 53rd street congestion.

They say cars turn onto Lorton Avenue and rush away from 53rd Street towards 46th Street. Residents worry about the safety of their kids and pets.

Meanwhile, residents on Fairhaven Road have lost access to 53rd Street. The end of their road is now a dead end where the Portillo's parking-lot sits.

Residents say it is inconvenient because they must now turn onto 51st Street and then try and use Lorton to turn onto 53rd Street.

"(The roads are) horrible. 51st street is falling apart, and they come and fill the potholes, but that doesn’t help," said Davenport resident Janet Skahill.

Skahill said she wants to know why developments continue to be added to busy areas along 53rd while the new Veterans Memorial Highway sits wide-open.

"53rd Street is already just overwhelming. I don’t even understand why some of this stuff was not put out there on that Veterans Memorial Highway," said Skahill. "Why they felt the need to just cram more stuff here at the corner of Elmore and 53rd and just make what’s already just a huge congestion worse, I don’t get it."

Skahill said she feels forgotten about by city leaders.

Last year, an upwards of 60 residents at a time would attend neighborhood meetings in this area.

Homeowners asked for fixed streets, controlled traffic and drainage solutions.

Right now, excess water and waste is being drained out of the construction site into the front yards of people who live in the neighborhood behind Portillo's.

"I felt that they were representing the City of Davenport. I think they completely overlooked the people down here and what they wanted, and I think that's sad," Skahill, who bought her home 3 years ago, said. "I don’t know if I would have purchased this home if I knew they were going to do all this at the end of the street. I probably would not have."