The new Element hotel, being built as part of The Q multi-modal station, is on track for an August opening, leaders with Renew Moline learned Tuesday. 

"Now you can start to see the hotel addition," Ray Forsythe, the city's planning and development director, told members of Renew's Project Management Team, or PMT.

He said construction crews are expected to add a floor each week — which are arriving in modular pieces.

The Amin Group is redeveloping the former Sears warehouse, located at 1202 4th Ave., into a $35 million extended stay hotel. Russell Construction is building the 96-room hotel. Together, the hotel project and the adjacent passenger rail station are known as The Q.

The steel for the train station's two-story Grand Hall is expected to arrive next week, Forsythe said, adding "Then you'll really be able to see it's a new building."

Meanwhile, he said the Illinois Department of Transportation's rail division is in negotiations with the Iowa-Interstate Railroad for an agreement to build the high-speed rail track on the railroad's property. He estimated the negotiations will be done by June and track construction will begin once an agreement is in place. 

When asked when train service would begin, he said the state is saying "they'll have service by next year. But it could be the end of next year."

Janet Mathis, Renew's CEO/president, said the hotel now is expected to be completed in August although a few model rooms will be completed by May when the PMT is planning another tour.

Under a federal grant for the train station, Forsythe said the public side of the project must be done in May. 

In other downtown Moline updates, the PMT learned:

  • Bi-State Regional Commission and Quad-Cities First are working to complete an economic impact study of what construction of the new Interstate 74 bridge will mean. 
  • Gorman and Co. Inc., based in Madison, Wisconsin, is moving forward with plans to build 38 market-rate apartments and a cafe in the former Spiegel Building, Forsythe said.
  • Global Communities along with Group O, Renew, the city and Western Illinois University are pursuing a federal grant to conduct a feasibility study of The Mercado concept. Launched last summer by Group O, the outdoor farmer's market could be expanded with a permanent structure or community kitchens to promote food entrepreneurs, Mathis said.
  • Renovations already are underway on converting the former Chase Building into 31 units, she said, adding that Russell expects a summer opening.
  • Heart of America also is moving forward with its plans to renovate the 5th Avenue building into new housing along with a new concept restaurant and a rooftop bar. The Moline hospitality company also is in the conceptual design phase for a 155-market-rate apartment project on the former John Deere Collector's Center site, Forsythe said.
  • He also indicated that a regional pharmacy is looking to locate across from the hotel and train station by summer. But he would not identify the tenant.

"It's really exciting to see all this progress in this tough economy," said Joe Rives, chairman of the PMT and vice president of Western Illinois University Quad-Cities. "It really sends a message that we are a community on the move."