Train delayed but train station on track

Moline multi-modal hotel and train station building will open without railway

Revamping the old to make room for the new.
 
What used to be a warehouse built in 1906 will soon be an upscale hotel in downtown Moline. 
 
Due to the historical site, extra steps were involved in order to preserve the original structure while adding new elements. 
 
The hotel will be a Westin Element hotel with 95 units. Some of the rooms will incorporate the original warehouse, and others will be brand new. 
 
The rooms are designed for guest staying anywhere from a few nights, to a few months. 
 
Russell Construction Vice President of Development, David Smith, says despite some delays, they are back on schedule to bring something new to downtown Moline. 
 
"Rather than staying in a normal, conventional hotel room they can come to the Westin Element facility where they've got more room to spread out," said Smith. "More amenities, more like a true apartment or a home." 
 
Attached to the hotel is a "grand hall" for commuters of the railway intended to connect Moline to Chicago. The space will also include retail and dining venues. 
 
Bush Construction Vice President of Operations, Rob Davis, says working with a historical site was something new, hoping it adds some extra character. 
 
"To be able to utiltize a historic building like this, it's really just a neat thing for the community," said Davis.
 
While some Quad Citians are higly anticipating the railway to Chicago, others have their doubts.
 
Anne Lattner is visiting downtown Moline this week from Chicago and says she'd love to save herself the drive, and thinks college students would benefit the most. 
 
"That would be fabulous. It would be just so much easier than driving, It would be great."
 
Tracy Rushing is a local resident who says there's been talk of the railway for years. He says while it would be great to have, he has some unanswered questions. 
 
"I'm kind of skeptical," said Rushing. "I want to see the price and the time frame and because you might spend six hours getting to Chicago on the train and it might cost you a hundred bucks. When you can drive it in three hours for twenty bucks in gas and ten bucks in tolls. I'll believe it when I see it."
 
Crews from both companies say working with a historical site and funding negotiations caused the biggest delays. 
 
"As the case is with most old buildings, you always find other things once you start uncovering," said Smith.
 
While the station's plans are moving forward, it is still a waiting game for when a train will hit the tracks. Crews say even without a train, the multi-modal building will still play a vital role in downtown Moline.
 
"We're standing in a partially completed building today and I think it's going to be phenomenal project once it's completed," said Smith.
 
A $177 million dollar loan to the state of Illinois is in place to fund the railway. The contract for that loan is set to expire in a month and there is no word yet on whether or not that contract will be renewed. 
 
The train station and surrounding road work are expected to be completed by the end of October, and the hotel is scheduled to open in January of 2018.
 

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