Demolition is proceeding briskly on the Bituminous Insurance (BITCO) site in downtown Rock Island, to make way for a 53,356-square-foot federal facility to built at 320 18th St.

The three-story building — to open in 2023 — will have multiple government tenants, including the United States District Court (Central District of Illinois). In 2014, Davenport-based Russell collaborated with BITCO’s leadership to design and develop a new national headquarters for the century-old organization, which relocated to 3700 Market Square Circle, Davenport.

As part of the deal, Russell purchased the original BITCO facility in Rock Island, to allow their new $7-million building to be constructed, and sold the original outdated property to an investment group in 2017. Since 2017, the former BITCO facility has sat vacant in a state of disrepair, with no possibility of reuse, according to a Tuesday release from Russell.

This new project is owned and developed by Rock Island Investors, Inc., a special purpose entity which includes Russell and KATCO Resources Inc. KATCO Resources, Inc., owned by Mike Fishman and Jeff Eirinberg, with headquarters in Rock Island.

The joint venture team has extensive experience together providing lease and construction services to federal tenants across the country, including local projects for the Social Security Administration and National Weather Service, both located in Davenport.

The new state-of-the-art federal courthouse will serve as the anchor project for approximately $50 million in
investments to downtown Rock Island.

“This historic project is so important to our justice system and will enhance the federal court’s ability to serve the local communities that comprise the Rock Island Division of the Central District of Illinois,” said Sara Darrow, Chief U.S. District Judge for the Central District of Illinois. “The new building will provide an appropriate setting for the significant proceedings that occur in our court, a place to promote respect for the law in our community, and an environment that inspires civic engagement and gives meaningful access to justice for the citizens of our community.

“We are so excited to partner with GSA, Russell Construction, and all of the stakeholders involved in this project to realize a new courthouse that will serve the citizens of our city, county, district and great nation for generations to come,” Darrow said in the Tuesday release.

Demolition for this project is expected to last six weeks with construction beginning on the new courthouse facility in March 2022. Completion of the new courthouse is expected mid-2023.

“I have the awesome opportunity to work on government projects across the country with Russell,” said Kelly Young, Russell’s director of government development. “Working with the U.S. District Courts, the GSA and the ownership group is truly an honor, especially to do so in our home community. I have great appreciation for the city of Rock Island and our all our partners that contributed to this GSA award.

“After the demolition work is complete, I look forward to celebrating the facility groundbreaking in the spring 2022 and the ribbon cutting in 2023 with all our stakeholders,” she added.