4 The Record

No deal imminent to develop old Watch Tower Plaza

Rock Island mayor hopeful two smaller anchor stores can set project in motion

Rock Island seems to be at a crossroads stuck in neutral at the moment.

City leaders under the guidance of Mayor Mike Thoms hope to solidify Rock Island's economic base.

Those deals could position the city for a stronger future.

Empty storefronts downtown are among the targets.

New businesses on 18th Avenue are the kinds of things to build on in Rock Island.

However, there is one big fish the city has struggled to catch in recent years.

That's an anchor to fill the space at the now wide open lot that used to be home to the Watch Tower Plaza.

We all saw the plans for a proposed Walmart fall apart under the prior administration.
But the goal remains to attract a grocery store to the location and fill the needs of people living in the adjoining neighborhoods.

We know there have been talks, but nothing solidified in writing to this point.

Patience is one virtue the city is demonstrating when it comes to the 23 acres of empty property.

City leaders are aware they have one opportunity to get it right and turn the city out of neutral into a positive direction.

The man working to make that happen, Rock Island Mayor Mike Thoms, joined 4 The Record for a conversation about that and several other topics.

Watch the full conversation in the video above.

Tune in to Local 4 every Sunday at 10:30 a.m. for 4 The Record, a weekly news and public affairs program focused on the issues important to you. It's a program unlike any other here in the Quad Cities. Moderator and Local 4 News anchor Jim Niedelman brings you up to speed on what's happening in the political arena, from Springfield, Des Moines, Washington, D.C. and right here at home.


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