Thoms expected to see more progress on old Watch Tower Plaza site

4 The Record

Developers shying away from shovel-ready property

Rock Island Mayor Mike Thoms joined 4 The Record this week. This is the second part of that conversation.

Economic development is a recurring theme for Rock Island.

It’s a priority for the candidates for aldermen as well.

We’ve had several conversations about it and yes there’s Watch Tower Plaza, the vacant property Thoms inherited from the previous administration.

Thoms addressed if he expected to see more progress there by now and what’s surprised him most about the lack of interest from developers.

Thoms and his economic development team have done the traditional things to try to reach investors by going to conventions intended to make connections.

Thoms discussed if it is time to pursue unconventional ideas for that property and what those options might be.

Rock Island recently found out it will get $27 million from the American Rescue Plan for pandemic relief.

Half comes this year and the other half about a year from now.

The exact rules for how that money can be used haven’t been finalized, but Thoms talked about what priorities he has for utilizing that money based on his expectations.

Watch the full discussion in the video above.

Local 4 News, your local election headquarters, is proud to present 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. Tune in each Sunday at 10:30 a.m. as 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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