Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds and the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) today announced $13.97 million in grant funding for two projects (in Davenport and Clear Lake) through Destination Iowa.

The $100-million program, announced in April, invests in transformational projects that will bolster the quality of life in Iowa communities and attract visitors and new residents.  
The City of Davenport has been awarded $9,600,000 toward three signature projects that combine art, architecture and play. The projects to receive funding include Main Street Landing, an all-season riverfront plaza for both recreation and events; technology enhancements to the lighting on the Davenport Skybridge; and the creation of an evanescent light field at the Figge Art Museum (225 W. 2nd St.), according to a state release Friday.

A rendering of the lit-up Figge Art Museum.

These projects are part of a larger creative placemaking effort and represent 40% of $193 million in public and private investment in the Davenport riverfront area. 

Davenport’s new project, in coordination with the Figge Art Museum, will include the following improvements at Main Street Landing:

  • Installation of a high-intensity, multi-generational experience zone that will include a signature tower structure, slides, climbing assets, an interactive water feature, and a space for winter activities.
A rendering of downtown Davenport with the planned Main Street Landing on the riverfront, a new pedestrian bridge and new LED lighting on the Figge Art Museum (at left).
  • Creation of a passive activity zone close to Lock and Dam 15 that highlights the existing amphitheater and scenic views.
  • Additions such as a new restroom facility, colorful LED lighting, shade structures, seating, and unique swing elements.
  • Installation of a railroad quiet zone that will stretch from Marquette Street to Mound Street to reduce noise pollution and increase safety throughout the downtown riverfront.
  • Construction of a pedestrian bridge that allows continuous and safe access over the Canadian Pacific rail line.
  • Renovation and upgrade of the Skybridge facility’s LED lighting system.
  • Installation of artistic LED programmable lighting on the exterior of the Figge Art Museum that will consist of over 3,000 feet of colorful fixtures.

“I want to thank the State of Iowa for selecting Davenport for this award,” Davenport Mayor Mike Matson said in a city release. “Current and previous Davenport City Councils have recognized the importance of our riverfront and have thoughtfully planned for its future. This has well-positioned Davenport to be able to bring these plans to reality in cooperation with the Destination Iowa program.”

Another rendering of a lighted Figge Art Museum, to cost $4 million.

“We are so grateful to Governor Reynolds and Destination Iowa for this important investment in Davenport and arts and culture,” said Michelle Hargrave, executive director and CEO of the Figge Art Museum. “The State’s support in conjunction with contributions from the Regional Development Authority, the Bechtel Charitable Trusts, and other generous donors will bring
the work of internationally renowned artist Leo Villareal to all in our community and will energize the riverfront for residents and visitors in exciting ways.”

The project is estimated to cost $24 million. The Destination Iowa award will provide $9.6 million — $8 million for the city’s Main Street Landing and $1.6 million for the Figge Art Museum’s light feature. The city will fund the remaining $12 million cost for the riverfront improvements through local ARPA funds and the Canadian Pacific Community Investment Agreement. The Figge will contribute the additional $2.4 million for the lighting of its façade.

“This is a huge win for the city of Davenport and the Quad Cities region,” said Dave Herrell, president/CEO of Visit Quad Cities. “This project will serve as a catalyst to further our goal of making the Quad Cities an internationally recognized, must-experience riverfront destination.”

Construction of the project is expected to begin in the summer of 2024 and be completed in the spring of 2026.