Incoming Rock Island mayor wants to stop losing ground to other Quad Cities

Mike Thoms will push for engagement with developers

ROCK ISLAND, Ill. - Anyone can look at all four of the other Quad Cities and point to big projects on the horizon.

Davenport, Bettendorf, Moline and East Moline are all in a direct position to capitalize on the new I-74 bridge and the space that will open up when the old bridge is demolished.

Davenport's rebuilding downtown and expanding to the north and west.

There continues to be new housing built in Bettendorf. The city also has the high-profile sports complex project.

East Moline has the commercial-residential project known as The Bend moving forward.

Moline continues to revitalize downtown. Two new hotels are on the way. There's the Q Multimodal station with the passenger rail service to Chicago expected next year. The John Deere Road widening project opens up more economic opportunities. There are also plans to develop land south of the airport.

That's all great for those cities.

Rock Island isn't in that mix.

It definitely seems like the city needs to play catch up.

Rock Island Mayor-elect Mike Thoms discussed these issues during an appearance on 4 the Record.

Thoms explained how much it hurts to fall further behind, what Rock Island can afford to and the risk involved.
We know nothing happens overnight.

Thoms mentioned during his campaign it could take incentives to attract new businesses to the city. He discussed what kind of incentives he prefers and how to avoid giving too much away.

There isn't a lot of room for new growth in Rock Island. It's all about replacing what's old with something new.

Thoms explained what can be done with the limited space available in the city.

There's the industrialized property that used to be the old Norcross Safety Products plant and other manufacturing companies. There's also the emphasis on the Eleventh Street corridor and the failure to attract Walmart.

Thoms discussed what vision he has for those areas and how the city begins to get there.

He believes Rock Island can be what it once was and went over what he would consider realistic success for the city.

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