A majority of local business executives recently surveyed by the Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce think the Quad Cities economy will improve in 2014.
Dr. J.B. Penn, Deere & C.'s chief economist ratified their opinion during a presentation to community leaders at our annual Economic Forecast. Penn called the national outlook "brighter this year than it was in 2013."
The Quad Cities has major projects underway in every corner of our region, equaling millions of dollars of investment. Just look around our community and you can see retail growth on Elmore Avenue, a new hotel and other improvements at the Quad City International Airport, a Quad Cities campus of Western Illinois University nearing completion, and major projects like the new casino and City Square taking shape.
These developments are building tax base for our local governments, providing jobs for our families, and adding to the diversity of our regional economy.
The Quad Cities Chamber advocates and applauds balanced growth throughout our region.
We have reason to celebrate the significant progress made on changes to SouthPark Mall, a major tax generator and anchor attraction for our community. We extend our thanks to owner Macerich and the City of Moline on recently executing a development agreement that will result in significant redevelopment and major improvements to the mall property. SouthPark Mall is celebrating 40 years as a staple in our community, and we cannot think of a more appropriate way to mark this milestone than their plan to meet the future retail needs of our citizens. As this important transformation is now becoming reality, we encourage community leaders to continue the momentum in other geographies that hold great promise for attracting private investment and increasing dollars for local services.
One such location is the intersection of Interstate 280 and Highway 92.
From the chamber's vantage point, this area offers one of only a few interstate interchanges in the Illinois Quad Cities capable of generating more private investment and thus, more tax base for our community. Investment at this intersection began seven years ago with the casino development, and we should maximize the power of that interchange to the benefit of the community and all taxpayers.
We look forward to the announcement of a sound development plan for the "Jumer's Crossing" site. Its proximity to the highway is an opportunity we cannot afford to miss. Let's grow the tax base for the entire Quad Cities region. Tara E. Barney is president and CEO of the Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce.
Today is Thursday, July 31, the 212th day of 2014. There are 153 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: A corps of surgeons now occupies the new hospital quarters at the Garrison Hospital on the Rock Island Arsenal. A fence has been installed to enclose the prison hospital. 1889 -- 125 years ago: B. Winter has let a contract to Christ Schreiner for a two story brick building with a double store front on the south side of 3rd Avenue just west of 17th Street. The estimated cost was $4,500. 1914 -- 100 years ago: Germany sent simultaneous ultimatums to Russia and France, demanding that Russia suspend mobilization within 12 hours and demanding that France inform Germany within 18 hours. In the case of war between Germany and Russia, France would remain neutral. 1939 -- 75 years ago: Civil service offices at the post office and the Rock Island Arsenal were swamped as more than 700 youths sought 15 machinist apprenticeships at the Arsenal. 1964 -- 50 years ago: Last night, American Legion Post 246 in Moline figuratively handed over the trousers to a female ex-Marine and petticoat rule began. Olga Swanson, of Moline, was installed as the first woman commander of the post . 1989 -- 25 years ago: The Illinois Quad City Civic Center captured the excitement and interest of a convention of auditorium managers this weekend in Reno, Nev. Bill Adams, civic center authority chairman, said the 10,000-seat arena planned for downtown Moline has caught the eye of construction firms, suppliers, management teams and concession groups.