Quad-City developer Rodney Blackwell is selling both the former Kone building and elevator tower in downtown Moline as well as most of the new $40 million Kone Centre his company built and opened in 2012, according to a Moline city official.
Heritage Church, with four locations in the Quad-City region, announced Thursday that it is under contract to buy the former Kone building and elevator from Financial District Properties, or FDP, later this summer. Blackwell is the managing partner of FDP.
And Ray Forsythe, Moline planning and development director, said Blackwell also is selling the first through seventh floors of the new Kone Centre to an out-of-state company, retaining only the eighth floor that is intended to be built out as seven residential condominiums.
Neither Blackwell nor a representative of FDP returned messages for comment.
The sale of the majority of the new Kone Centre will allow Blackwell to pay off a loan of $3,398,631 that he owes the city of Moline for the purchase of the old Kone building, Forsythe said.
"He is using the sale of the new to pay off on the old," he said.
Just last week the Moline City Council approved a two-month extension on the balloon payment that is owed.
Blackwell bought the former 117,000-square-foot Kone headquarters and tower from Kone as part of a deal in which Kone would agree to be the majority tenant in the new Kone Centre that Blackwell was building, Forsythe said. The company's North American headquarters is in the building.
The former headquarters has been essentially vacant since Kone moved to the new building except for some warehouse space that is leased, Forsythe said. The elevator tower continues to be leased by Kone and is used every day for testing, he said. That use would continue under Heritage Church, he said.
Heritage Senior Pastor Shawn Cossin said in a news release Thursday that the church, with locations in Bettendorf, Moline, Rock Island and Kewanee, Illinois, would repurpose the former headquarters building to serve "as a center of community engagement and transformation."
He said he expects the building to be used in a similar fashion to the Esperanza Center, the former Ericsson School, which is another Heritage Church location in Moline's Floreciente neighborhood. Heritage would put its central offices in the former Kone building and offer programming.
Forsythe said the deal with Heritage has been in the works for about two years and one aspect of the purchase the city is keenly interested in is working with Heritage on Mississippi River flood control.
The city owns and maintains most riverfront property except at Kone, the Celebration Belle landing and RiverStone, and "if the river floods and breaches there, it breaches into the city," Forsythe said.
"We'll continue that partnership," Forsythe said.
Although some people think the Kone elevator tower is coming down for construction of the new Interstate 74 bridge, that's not so. The existing bridge is downstream from the tower, and the new bridge will be upstream.
In addition to the Kone properties, Blackwell and his company own the Union Arcade and former Davenport Bank & Trust Co. building, both in downtown Davenport, that have been converted into residential apartments.