DAVENPORT - The use of the city's downtown riverfront space soon will go before the court of public opinion.
Aldermen voted Wednesday to allow public input into what should be done with about 15 acres of city-owned property. The area in question runs from Lock and Dam 15 west to Harrison Street, from the Mississippi's edge north to River Drive.
"This is the mass of our downtown riverfront," said city administrator Craig Malin.
Three meetings, or "downtown waterfront workshops," are expected to be held May 2-3.
Mr. Malin said on May 3 a design team will present sketches of design alternatives and a conceptual economic analysis of the area.
Davenport's prized piece of riverfront has been under the microscope since December, when the Isle of Capri submitted a draft proposal to expand its Rhythm City operations on 7.8 acres near its current area.
"The Isle of Capri is not the only alternative for the site," Mr. Malin said.
In a proposed agreement, Isle said it wants a $43.1 million riverfront hotel and parking ramp on Brady and Perry streets and $13.1 million in concessions from the city.
A majority of Davenport aldermen have said they oppose the agreement, and all said they have been courted by Isle of Capri in smaller meetings.
Isle of Capri has given presentations to the city zoning and riverfront authorities and to DavenportOne. It also held two public meetings in December, then added an enclosed eagle-watching area and removed the Rhythm City sign from the design.
Mr. Malin said the proposal was being redrafted, but wouldn't share details, citing attorney-client privileges. "When the document is complete, it will be released," he said.
Right now, the 15 acres of riverfront is consumed by Isle's parking lots, which Mr. Malin said was an "urban design challenge."
"It's a single-use entity," he said. "People go there but they don't linger. We want them to linger."