In honor of its own 10th anniversary, Modern Woodmen Bank donated $10,000 today to Rock Island Economic Growth Corp., or GROWTH, to kick-start the redevelopment of the Star Block.

The funding will assist with predevelopment costs associated with the downtown housing redevelopment effort. Designated as a Rock Island landmark in 1991, the Star Block is made up of three structures — located at 1821-1823 2nd Ave. — owned by three owners.

GROWTH plans to rehabilitate the 137-year-old structures to create more downtown housing. The project will include eight new residential rental units and 1,600 square feet of commercial space.

“We are the only bank headquartered in downtown Rock Island and have a strong local economic impact,” said Steve Ollenburg, president and chief executive officer of Modern Woodmen Bank. “To celebrate 10 years, we wanted to further our commitment to the downtown community.”

Brian Hollenback, the president of Renaissance Rock Island, said the Star Block will boast one- and two-bedroom live-work rental units, which will range from 540 to 1,400 square feet. Accessible, affordable units targeting veterans will be created on the first floor.

“The fact that this project will help veterans is particularly important to us,” said W. Kenny Massey, Modern Woodmen Bank board chairman and Modern Woodmen president and CEO. “These heroes deserve housing that is accessible and affordable. Modern Woodmen Bank is proud to be the first organization to support the project.”

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Hollenback applauded Modern Woodmen Bank for its partnership with GROWTH and its commitment to downtown since the bank opened in 2003.

Modern Woodmen Bank is a wholly owned subsidiary of Modern Woodmen of America, also headquartered in downtown Rock Island. The bank employs 31 people at its headquarters at 100 17th St. With $250 million in assets and 25,000 account holders, the bank serves Modern Woodmen members nationwide and the general public in the Quad-City area.