The first consideration of an agreement with the City of Moline and Build to Suit to redevelop the former Mills Chevrolet site on John Deere Road passed city council unanimously Tuesday.

“It will be the rehab of the existing car dealership plus construction of two new buildings along the John Deere Road frontage,” said Moline Planning and Development Director Ray Forsythe. “The Mills existing facility that’s in the building now will stay there and then exciting new retail and restaurants coming to Moline.”

The city council first heard and discussed the plan at last week’s Committee of the Whole, and approved the first consideration of the agreement unanimously at the regular city council meeting. The site, which sits on 16th St. and John Deere Road in Moline right across from South Park Mall has been empty since Mills Chevrolet relocated their dealership to Davenport.

The environmental concerns that come with a former car dealership have been handled, according to Forsythe. 

“All of that work’s been done, and there has been some site clean up but part of the project costs have been to accommodate the removal of a tank that’s been in the ground but the site is clean now.”

Forsythe says a lot of sales tax revenue was lost when the dealership moved across the river, and the economic boost that comes from added retail and restaurants is exciting. Plus, it adds to an already busy commercial area. 

 “Replacing those sales with the new retail and restaurants is a great opportunity for us to kind of recapture the lost sales tax that happened when Mills left,” said Forsythe. 

The consideration goes to council for a second time, but Built to Suit is planning on beginning construction by next month. After that, it’s 10-14 months of construction; that includes new exits and entrances on 16th St., landscaping, building construction and rehab, and parking lot improvements. 

Forsythe says that tenants could be moving in sooner rather than later, and he’s excited to announce who will be filling those slots in the next few weeks. 

“It’s a great time for Moline, you know we have a lot of things going on and the John Deere Road construction, while very frustrating this is a great opportunity for job creation and investment opportunities for private business owners,” said Forsythe. “And also gets people to stay in Moline and not have to drive across the bridge to Iowa to go to retail and restaurants.”