Ground was broken this morning on new development in Bettendorf for a five-story Hilton Garden Inn and two new retail outlet buildings that will include a new Starbucks at 959 Middle Road.

"This has been a long, long time in the making," said Bruce Kinseth of Kinseth Hospital Cos. of North Liberty, Iowa, which will own the hotel. "It has been a tremendous labor of love."

Construction of the 79,000-square-foot hotel is expected to cost $9.35 million and will replace the two-story HomeRidge Inn & Suites and its onsite Bennigan’s Grill & Tavern, which were torn down. The facility was built in 1971. For many years, it was a Holiday Inn with an adjoining nightspot called Sebastian’s. Kinseth Hospitality Cos. also owned the HomeRidge Inn & Suites.

“The new hotel will be a five-story structure with a total of 119 guest rooms,” said A.J. Loss, president of Bush Construction, which is handling construction of the building. “It will have a very polished, contemporary look. The first floor will include the lobby, meeting rooms, offices, kitchens, a bar, a restaurant and a pool area. Floors 2 through 5 will feature the guest rooms.”

Demolition of the HomeRidge Inn hotel began in August. According to Loss, the structure of the building will be erected through the winter, and project completion is scheduled for next fall.

The city created a TIF district at the site, and the new development is expected to increase the property's value from $2.35 million currently to $9.35 million when complete. The city also will rebate property taxes to the developer, Bettendorf Hotel Associates, of up to $1.675 million or for a term of 10 years, whichever comes first.

The two additional lots on the property are owned by First Equity. Managing partner Steve Geifman said he is looking for tenants that range in scope from restaurants to professional services. He announced Thursday that Starbucks will move from its current location across the street in Duck Creek Plaza to a new building that will have drive-through services, something the current store lacks.

"This store is a cafe-only store, and the new store will have the drive-through window, which will help customers go through faster," store manager Elizabeth Wilson said.

She said Starbucks expects the new store to be completed sometime in the spring.

Also, officials with Molo Petroleum, which owns Big 10 Marts, including the one located near where the hotel will be built, said they are looking at demolishing the current station and convenient store and building a new one in the same spot.

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