Mayor Sangeetha Rayapati and City Administrator Bob Vitas held a press conference on Friday, September 23 to announce the acquisition, noting it will allow the City to consolidate more than 12 acres of prime property under City ownership for future development.
The purchase of the property would allow the consolidation of parcels that are currently owned by Heritage Church with those that will be offered to the City by the Illinois Department of Transportation to the City under new state legislation. The City’s “right of first refusal” for excess IDOT property combined with the purchase of the Heritage Church property provides an opportunity to consolidate parcels toward thoughtful and aspirational development for the Moline riverfront.
“We are thankful for the partnerships that have brought this significant opportunity to fruition and for the foresight of the City Council in approving this purchase," said Mayor Rayapati. "Our riverfront is an incredible asset for residents and visitors, and assembling property along it like this will allow for the maximum impact of our redevelopment efforts. We look forward to master planning and design as this long-term process moves forward and will be sure to continue balancing our future needs with our current responsibilities to our residents.”
Heritage purchased the 119,114 square-foot former Montgomery Elevator, then Kone, building that sits on seven acres of riverfront property in 2017 to serve its congregations’ needs and to offer services to the Moline community
Renew Moline assisted with the property acquisition. Renew CEO Alex Elias said master planning for future development will being immediately and be guided by the Urban Land Institute study of the area conducted last year.
"We celebrate the City’s acquisition of this property as an important step in reimagining the downtown Moline’s riverfront, which is truly the City’s front porch," Elias said. "Last year, Renew and its partners at the Deere Foundation, the City and MetroLINK hired the Urban Land Institute to conduct an Advisory Panel to seek ideas for the I-74 redevelopment area. Among the top recommendations from ULI were activating the riverfront and creating memorable public spaces and destinations. The acquisition of this property by the City is an important step in fulfilling that vision."