Six years after a redevelopment plan for East Moline's sprawling Case New Holland plant was unveiled, ground could be broken in the coming year on a new version of the mixed-use project.
The development is called The Bend on The Mighty Mississippi. Construction is expected to begin in January on the site's infrastructure and a co-branded Hyatt hotel, according to the developers.
"We're ready to turn vision into action on the riverfront after the holidays," co-developer and East Moline businessman Dan Murphy said in a news release. "We will begin construction on both the co-branded Hyatt House and Hyatt Place and new apartments, which will ultimately unleash other parts of the redevelopment of this site."
Murphy and Quad-City developer and builder Jim Russell, owner of Russell Construction, are co-developing the $76.5 million project on the banks of the Mississippi River. The 132-acre site was home to Case New Holland, and its predecessors, until the combine plant closed in 2004.
The development company, Great River Property Development, will go before the East Moline City Council tonight for final plat approval. A news conference is planned for this afternoon at Great River Property's offices in East Moline.
The hotel and the first of three apartment buildings are slated to open in the spring of 2018. Financing and pre-site engineering for both projects has been completed, the company said.
Calling it "a once-in-a-lifetime chance to build an exciting development on the scenic Mississippi River," Russell said, "The new year will be defined by action and progress on the riverfront in East Moline."
Russell, whose Davenport construction company will build the project, estimated the $76.5 million price tag for the hotel, apartments and infrastructure. He added that the project also will create new jobs and economic development in the Quad-Cities.
The East Moline Plan Commission gave its unanimous approval to the project's final plat at its meeting Wednesday.
According to Murphy, the first phase will include a nine-story, 230-room hotel and a 108-unit apartment building. He said Great River Property Development worked closely with the Hyatt Corp. to redesign the co-branded hotel, which resulted in a ninth-floor restaurant and lounge overlooking the Mississippi.
Evergreen Management Corp. will manage the apartment complexes, of which three are planned.
Back in 2010, the former River Eagle Investments announced a similar mixed-use development for the vacant manufacturing site to be called Fountainhead of the Quad-Cities. After a series of legal woes, delays and design and ownership changes, The Bend has emerged as the end result.
Murphy, the former owner of Precision Pipeline, was one of the original investors.
Tim Knanishu, the executive vice president of REDEEM (Revitalize, Develop East Moline), said the project is strategically situated for growth with its proximity to nearby Western Illinois University-Quad-Cities campus and the new Interstate 74 Bridge corridor, both in Moline.
The site, he said, "will be part of a vibrant riverfront community ... Our goal is to create a high-quality destination for people throughout the Quad-Cities region and beyond.
"This is a game-changer for the region and a catalyst for redefining the riverfront."