Davenport commission votes against RiverVision lea

Published 08/19 2014 09:41PM

Updated 08/19 2014 10:42PM

After years of planning, the Davenport Levee Improvement Commission voted unanimously against the latest plan for the RiverVision Project.
The old restaurant "The Dock" has been an eyesore along Davenport's riverfront since it closed more than 10 years ago. Plans to give the area a facelift have at times been drawn out.  Today's vote is a request for city council to go back to the drawing board once again.
The Levee Commission has one job.  Davenport Mayor Bill Gluba says it's to "preserve and protect the riverfront."
The Levee Commission says that's behind their unanimous vote to reject the RiverVision's new land lease plan. The riverfront project is anchored around a revamp of the restaurant's building. The mayor knew what he wanted.
"A building of no more than 15,000 square feet, owned by the city, leased back to some restaurant," says Mayor Gluba.  
The commission says what they got is a plan for a series of private office spaces, totaling 40,000 square feet and closed off to the public.
"We did not want a private building owned by a private developer on the most prime piece of city real estate," says Mayor Gluba.  
But Davenport's fourth ward alderman says the commission had a hand in choosing the developer.
"The developer had worked closely with the Levee Commission over the last year and a half," says Alderman Ray Ambrose.   
While the commission voted unanimously against, the alderman says the building lease should have no problem passing the City Council.
The mayor doesn't dispute that.  
"It'll pass probably 10 to zero going full blown speed ahead," Mayor Gluba.   
The alderman says that discrepancy comes down to a philosophical difference for the future of Davenport.
"City Council is more pro growth," says Alderman Ambrose.  I understand where they're coming from.  They're more environmental and we're more business friendly."  
Controversy is nothing new for the project.  Davenport City Council unanimously voted for the initial plans, but Mayor Gluba later tried to veto.
the council will vote on this latest lease agreement at Wednesday night's meeting.


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