An analyst hired to conduct marketing research has proposed a development near Jumer’s Casino in Rock Island that would include large and small commercial properties, restaurants and apartment buildings.

During a presentation Monday to the Rock Island City Council, Errin Welty of Wisconsin-based Vierbicher said she recommended a project at Jumer’s Crossing that would include of about 58,000 square feet of service and commercial retail, such as restaurants, gas stations and small retail stores, 214,000 square feet of “large format” retail, such as a large retail store or an outlet mall, and 75 multi-family residential units.

The proposal could generate about $2.4 million in annual sales and fuel tax revenue for the city, and about $450,000 in annual property tax revenue, Welty said.

Welty said her research included interviews with developers from the Quad-Cities and from outside the area.

The council voted earlier this month to buy about 91 acres of Big Island land for about $1 million for the purpose of developing it.

Therrin Protze, president and general manager of Jumer’s Casino & Hotel in Rock Island, said the project would create cross-promotional opportunities between the development and the casino and help make the entire area more marketable.

Alderman P.J. Foley, 3rd Ward, said he thought the development would complement the casino.

“This is a very exciting opportunity, an exciting time for Rock Island,” he said.

Mayor Dennis Pauley also touted the development plan as a way for the city to partner with Jumer’s.

“I think this is an excellent opportunity,” he said.

Alderman Joy Murphy, 6th Ward, said she had expected the proposed development to be “a lot of concrete,” but was pleased to see the inclusion of greenspace.

Welty said the requirements to control storm water runoff from the property created opportunities to develop small ponds, greenspace and possibly recreational opportunities in the development.

Welty said the process of getting necessary approvals, building the base infrastructure and marketing the site would take 12 to 18 months, and it would take another three years to fully develop the site.

City Manager Thomas Thomas said the city also is waiting for approval from the village of Milan and the Big Island River Conservancy District for proposed changes to the levee system that would be necessary for the development.

Assistant City Manager Robert Hawes said getting approval for the levee changes from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers also could take about 18 months, but that work could be done concurrent with other work on the project.


(7) comments


Couldn't agree more about the indoor waterpark. There is certainly no reason for a family from Dubuque to come here and spend money.


I am not opposed to this as long as it is privately funded. This includes modifications to the flood protection scheme. If someone wants to build in a flood plain lets make sure they don't come to the taxpayers for a bailout when the area eventually floods.

Devin H
Devin H

Another strip mall and sporting goods store isn't that imaginative. Why hire analysts like this, to just "preach to the choir" and tell the city officials what they want to hear? You know what would work there? A hotel with an indoor water park. It would attract folks from across the QC, as many families like to spend nights or weekends at such places in the winter. Right now, folks have to drive to Dubuque or past Iowa city.

Devin H
Devin H

But yes, residential, restaurant, small and large commercial and a gas station are all feasible. And will work, of course. But why hire a consultant to tell us something so blatantly obvious?


Easy solution. Don't live there Tyler

Tyler Guth

This sounds horrible.


Hold me back.


I think what they need in the area is some sort of theme park. If they want to attract tourists they should have things a whole family can enjoy.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.