Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, very visible progress is being made on a long-awaited federal courthouse in downtown Rock Island.

Davenport-based Russell Construction is erecting the steel frames for the three-story, 53,356-square-foot federal facility being built at 320 18th St., Rock Island.

The skeletal structure of the new federal courthouse at 320 18th St., Rock Island, rises (with the WHBF-TV tower in the background) on Sept. 20, 2022 (photo by Jonathan Turner).

The 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BITCO facility in downtown Rock Island, to allow their new $7-million building to be constructed, and sold the original outdated property to an investment group in 2017.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 sat vacant in a state of disrepair, with no possibility of reuse, and it was demolished last fall.

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 U.S. District Court for the Central Illinois District left its old location two blocks away (322 16th St.) in October 2018, and has been using the federal courthouse in downtown Davenport until the new Rock Island facility is completed.

Russell is expecting to have construction finished by the end of summer 2023.