MOLINE -- The vacant John Deere Collectors Center building in Moline could reopen by Jan. 1 as a Hyatt Place Hotel.
Moline Hotel Group LLC, is proposing a a hotel with approximately 100 room, with an indoor swimming pool, fitness center, lounge, restaurant, and some small meeting space in the building at 320 16th St.
The developer of the project, Neil Densmore, said plans are not final, and that he is reviewing a proposed development agreement from the city of Moline.
The proposed development agreement is scheduled to be reviewed by the Project Management Team Jan. 16.The PMT, a group of private and public sector representataives, reviews downtown development plans and makes recommendations to the Moline City Council.
The Deere Foundation operated the building as a collectors center from 2001 - 2008. According to Rock Island County online assessment records, the original brick building was built in 1885.
Mr. Densmore said proposed plans call for most of the existing historic structure to remain and the warehouse building to hold most of the public hotel space. A section of the original building, which has high ceilings, wood floors and exposed red brick walls could be turned into five or six suites, he said.
The hotel would be managed by Great Lakes Management Group, a Wisconsin-based hotel development and management company, of which Mr. Densmore is the founder. The group is operating five hotels in Wisconsin and five in Iowa, including the Holiday Inn Express in LeClaire.
Mr. Densmore said a market study showed a need for additional hotel rooms in the downtown. "We also really like downtown Moline. It is headed in the right direction," he said.
Moline Hotel Group has been in discussions with Moline about the project the past 14 months, he said.
"If everything goes well, we could start construction the first part of March and open by the new year," Mr. Densmore said.
Neither Moline planning and development director Ray Forsythe nor Renew Moline executive director Janet Mathis could not be reached for comment.
Joe Taylor, president and CEO of the Quad Cities Convention and Visitors Bureau, believes another downtown hotel in Moline will succeed.
"Downtown Moline is positioning itself, especially with the new passenger rail system, to see an influx of new visitors," he said.
The proposed hotel will offer smaller meetings a place to land, Mr. Taylor said. "A third hotel should work fine and will probably be beneficial in making more rooms available for visitors," he added.
Today is Tuesday, May 21, the 141st day of 2013. There are 224 days left in the year. 1863 -- 150 years ago: On Monday the 11th inst. on Center Ridge in Mercer County,some citizens got out their cannon to celebrate the taking of Richmond. The gun wasoverloaded and burst. No one was injured, but one 30-pound piece went though thesecond story of a house. 1888 -- 125 years ago: The old folks concert at the Harper Theater last night to benefit St.Luke's Cottage Hospital, attracted a large audience. 1913 -- 100 years ago: Unless depredation by vandals in Rock Island parks is halted,special policemen will be assigned to night duty to protect the flowers and other property. 1938 -- 75 years ago: Station WHBF has received a special citation from Washington forits participation in Air Mail Week, which was observed this week throughout the nation. 1963 -- 50 years ago: A 10-year high in employment in the Quad-City area was reachedat the end of the last quarter, according to an industrial employment barometer releasedtoday. 1988 -- 25 years ago: Pee Wee teams will be able to play baseball and softball as usualon Diamond Three at Dorrance Park this summer, but after that, the ball field is doomed.County crews have put the diamond back in shape after heavy trucks marred the playingfield earlier this spring. Illinois Department of Transportation crews drove onto it to makeborings for the relocation of the junction of Illinois 84 and the Port Byron-Hillsdale road.