Third time’s the charm for former VanDerGinst building

Local News

ROCK ISLAND, Illinois — City leaders in Rock Island are taking another look at the agreement with a developer who wants to turn the old VanDerGinst building into a boutique hotel and apartments.

The building at 2nd Avenue and 17th Street has sat vacant for years after another developer had to abandon the project.

Saratoga Capital, the new owner, is asking the city to push back the $10 million project’s deadline for the third time. The biggest obstacle for them has the debt left behind from the old one.

A bank is owed $5 million on the mortgage and the new owner has spent the past two years figuring out how to pay it.

The latest agreement going before city council on Monday requires Saratoga to have the doors open by about this time next year. If the owner doesn’t, he’ll lose out on a $500,000 tax break from the city.

Alderman Dylan Parker says that’s going to be a tight turnaround for builders. So they’ve pushed back the deadline for final inspection to next December.

“Historic redevelopment, multi-million dollar investments take a long time,” he said. “From my perspective, we as the city need to work with the developers to try to facilitate getting this done.”

This deal is structured differently than the one with the original developer. They got money from the city upfront and Parker says that’s money the city wasn’t able to get back.

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