Governor J.B. Pritzker recently signed legislation into law giving municipalities in Illinois the right to obtain excess property not needed for highway projects. The legislation, sponsored by State Representative Mike Halpin (D-72), provides downtown Moline with a way to obtain property in the I-74 Redevelopment Area for both public and private uses. The legislative was unanimously supported by the Illinois House and Senate, along with the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT).
 
“The benefit of the new law extends across the State of Illinois but is especially important to the local community as the City of Moline redevelops the area that was significantly affected by the new I-74 Bridge,” Rep. Halpin said. “This cooperative effort will benefit the public good by bringing forth new jobs and new investment in our community.”

Moline Mayor Sangeetha Rayapati said the Legislature’s action supports local governments’ economic development efforts and benefits cities by ensuring that land needed for local public purposes is made available to local governments by giving them the ability to assemble sites suitable for development by others.

“The City’s first-in-line right to secure property allows us to thoughtfully plan for the future of downtown and assemble property for maximum benefit to the community,” Mayor Rayapati said. “We are grateful to Governor Pritzker, Representative Halpin and IDOT for providing this important tool in our redevelopment toolbox.”

There are over a dozen properties near the new I-74 bridge alignment in downtown Moline that will become available to the City as a result of this new law. The City of Moline and its redevelopment partner, Renew Moline, have conducted studies through the Urban Land Institute and public engagement to solicit ideas for the future of the area. Some of these ideas have included a skate park, additional residential development and a “Heart of the Arts” District, anchored by the Spiegel Building.

“The City of Moline has been forward-thinking and ambitious in its planning for the future of downtown. The vision that has been endorsed by the community just got a shot in the arm with this new law. The right of first refusal is the foundation on which the City will rebuild Moline’s ‘front porch.’ We are looking forward to continuing to support Moline in creating its future,” said Renew Moline President and CEO Alexandra Elias.