Retailer HomeGoods will open its first store in the Quad-Cities later this year and round out Elmore Marketplace in Davenport, developer Heart of America Group announced.

The off-price home fashions retailer will locate in a new 22,000-square-foot store to be built between Beauty Brands and the J Bar, part of Heart of America's Holiday Inn & Suites. The hotel/retail development sits between Elmore Avenue and Interstate 74.

"It has been the target retailer we've been working with and trying to get the last couple of years," said Mike Whalen, founder and owner of Heart of America, a Moline-based restaurant, hotel and development company. "We feel like we landed the whale."

According to Whalen, he has received countless requests in person and by email from Elmore Marketplace shoppers and Quad-Citians to bring the retailer to the Quad-City region. "Women love this store," he said. "HomeGoods has a unique niche, it's like a high-end treasure hunt."

The developer said the $4 million store represents nearly three years of work recruiting HomeGoods to the retail complex.

"Right now with retail being so skittish with the whole Amazon thing, we feel we have somebody who definitely will be successful for the long-term," he added.

HomeGoods is part of The TJX Cos. Inc., operates more than 500 stores across the country. Its sister stores include T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, Sierra Trading Post and Homesense in the United States. TJX operates more than 3,800 stores in nine countries. The global company employs about 235,000 associates.

The new Davenport store will be the fifth HomeGoods in Iowa joining Coralville, Cedar Falls, Cedar Rapids and West Des Moines. HomeGoods also is in Peoria and Rockford, Illinois. Davenport's store is set to open in the fall.

"I think it will be a huge boost for the retailers already there," Whalen said, adding he also has fielded requests for HomeGoods from the other store managers.

According to Whalen, Heart of America will build the store and lease it to HomeGoods. But the project will employ many local subcontractors. Construction is expected to begin soon.

First built in 2014, the development represents a $50 million investment including the $25 million Holiday Inn & Suites, which anchors the property and what will be $25 million in retail development when it is complete. 

In addition to the hotel and J Bar, Elmore Marketplace includes these retailers: Beauty Brands, Charming Charlies, Gap Factory Store, Banana Republic Factory Store, Lane Bryant, Carter's, DSW, Pier 1 Imports, Mattress Firm, Anne Taylor LOFT Outlet and Fleet Feet.

The new store announcement also comes on the 40th anniversary of Heart of America, the company Whalen founded with a 100-seat Machine Shed restaurant in northwest Davenport. Today, the hospitality company operates a portfolio of restaurants, hotels and commercial developments across the Midwest.

Whalen said developers are beginning to see a shift in retailers again looking at new construction to expand. "The problem you had after 2009 was there was a lot of vacancy and a lot of retailers took advantage of existing space. So it was hard to compete if you wanted to build a new building for them. It was very hard to make the numbers work."

But Heart of America kept its eye on HomeGoods. "I think they finally focused on us and we focused on them simultaneously and that's what happens before these things get done," Whalen said.

Elmore Marketplace's focus has been on new-to-market retailers for the Quad-Cities. With the exception of Pier One and Lane Bryant, which both relocated from other stores in Davenport, Whalen said they have been successful.