Rhythm City Casino plans to be shared Tuesday at public hearing

Posted Online: Aug. 28, 2014, 4:43 pm
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By Stephen Elliott, selliott@qconline.com

DAVENPORT - Plans for a new $110 million Rhythm City Casino and seven-story hotel will get a public hearing Tuesday at Davenport City Hall.

The public hearing will be part of the city's 5 p.m. plan and zoning commission meeting.

Matt Flynn, senior planner with the city's community planning and economic development department, said the earliest the plan and zone commission would be asked for a recommendation is Sept. 16.

He said tentative plans are for the Davenport City Council to then hold a public hearing on Oct. 1. The city could approve the plans on Oct. 8.

The rezoning application is for 108 acres, according to Mr. Flynn. The casino will be located at the southwest corner of Interstates 74 and 80, and could be completed in late 2015 or early 2016.

The property will need to be rezoned from agricultural to a planned development district for it to proceed, Mr. Flynn said.

Plans are now for the construction of an $11 million extension to Elmore Avenue, which is near the proposed casino.

"The key thing is getting the infrastructure to that site," said Rhythm City Casino manager Mo Hyder. "That includes getting the road extended.

"Without extending the road, we just don't have access to the site. We're definitely looking at creating something really iconic, something the community can be very proud of."

The seven-story, 143-room hotel and casino are interconnected and will include four restaurants and a 1,500 seat event center.

The casino is part of an overall plan for a 250-acre mixed use development that city officials hope will add more than $250 million in new tax base to Davenport. Mr. Kehl is partnering with local developer Rodney Blackwell, who plans on building an outlet mall, theater, hotels and restaurants and an indoor/outdoor water park.

Mr. Blackwell's development would be east of the casino.

Mr. Flynn, though, said there are likely concerns that will be addressed.

"We know people are concerned as they should be," he said. "It's going to be a landscape changer for sure. We notified property owners within 200 feet (of the project)."

Those property owners will have protest authority. If the protests are over 20 percent, the project will require a super majority of the city council to approve it.

"I think the key is going to be how does the casino get their wow factor while at the same time, respecting what this development may look like from neighboring properties, even properties quite a distance away," Mr. Flynn said.

"It's a major development, and it will certainly change the landscape."

Some of the concerns city staff will address are traffic and storm water runoff.

"Our obligation is to make sure the questions are answered before we give the green light," Mr. Flynn said.


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  Today is Thursday, Oct. 2, the 275th day of 2014. There are 90 days left in the year.

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1914 -- 100 years ago: Work on the new telephone building on 18th Street between 6th and 7th avenues is progressing rapidly.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Rock Island's new theater at 3rd Avenue and 19th Street will have a name significant of its location. The "Rocket" is scheduled to open Thanksgiving Day.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Two of Rock Island's newest water towers were vandalized last night, including the one at 38th Street and 31st Avenue, where police took five Moline boys into custody about 9 p.m..
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