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 Wednesday, April 23, the 113th day of 2014. There are 252 days left in the year.
1864 — 150 years ago: Some persons are negotiating for 80 feet of ground on Illinois Street with a view of erecting four stores thereon. It would serve a better purpose if the money was invested in neat tenement houses. 1889 — 125 years ago: The Central station, car house and stables of the Moline-Rock Island Horse Railway line of the Holmes syndicate, together with 15 cars and 42 head of horses, were destroyed by fire. The loss was at $15,000. 1914 — 100 years ago: Vera Cruz, Mexico, after a day and night of resistance to American forces, gradually ceased opposition. The American forces took complete control of the city. 1939 — 75 years ago: Dr. R. Bruce Collins was reelected for a second term as president of the Lower Rock Island County Tuberculosis Association. 1964 — 50 years ago: Work is scheduled to begin this summer on construction of a new men's residence complex and an addition to the dining facilities at Westerlin Hall at Augustana College. 1989 — 25 years ago: Special Olympics competitors were triple winners at Rock Island High School Saturday. The participants vanquished the rain that fell during the competition, and some won their events; but most important, they triumphed over their own disabilities.