Regardless of what side Davenport residents are on regarding Costco Wholesale, progress on the development at 53rd Street and Fairhaven Road is expected in the coming months.
Alderman Rich Clewell, 6th Ward, centered Monday's ward meeting around providing an update on the project and allowing residents to ask questions that have lingered since the project was approved for rezoning in August.
"I said I know the decision has been made," Clewell said. "Costco is coming, but what we owe these folks, especially in the 6th Ward, is the dignity of respecting the investment they have made in the property they own."
In late August, the Davenport City Council approved the third and final reading of an ordinance that rezoned 17.88 acres of land from A-1 agriculture and R-1 and R-2 low density residential to a Planned Development District.
The rezoning paved the way for Costco to construct a 156,170-square-foot building and fuel station.
Clewell said that in knocking on doors when he was campaigning for the election, he heard residents' concerns about the condition of crumbling Lorton Avenue, the ability for fire trucks to leave the station on 53rd Street and the increase in traffic.
City engineer Brian Schadt, Community Planning and Economic Development Director Bruce Berger and Shive-Hattery engineer Pat Lynch were invited to provide an update on where the project was and is going.
Berger said that while Costco still does not own the property, the purchase may go through next month once all the necessary permits are approved.
At the earliest, demolition could begin in March, Berger said.
While it was announced during the first neighborhood meeting that 53rd Street would be expanding all the way to Brady Street, Schadt said that project would not begin for at least 18 months and would take two years to complete.
The corridor was already identified as needing improvements so the timing of Costco coming and receiving the grant funding from the Federal Surface Transportation Program was a "happy accident."
Lynch said based on the current timeline, the Costco project could be completed by late fall.
But for all the information provided Monday night, some residents were left with a sour taste in their mouths because they are stuck with some of the inconveniences Costco will impose on them.
One homeowner mentioned how she and her five neighbors will have to commute longer distances just to access their properties, but even Clewell was resigned to the fact that there was no solution.
"That's an honest to god inconvenience and I'm sorry," Clewell said. "I don't see any way around that, but I hear you. That's a hurt."