A housing assessment of downtown Davenport reveals that not only is the rental housing market still strong, but opportunities are present for future growth.

DiSalvo Development Advisors presented its findings for the 2017 fourth quarter, and while apartment occupancy saw a small drop, Davenport's figures remain above the 95 percent occupancy benchmark for a healthy housing market.

"The occupancy rate in downtown Davenport is especially high at 96.7 percent and the industry standard for a healthy rental market is 95 percent," president Pete DiSalvo said. "This data tells us there remains a demand for additional rental units."

DiSalvo said that 114 apartment properties were surveyed, representing 70 percent of all apartment buildings in Scott and Rock Island counties with four or more units.

For 60 percent of those properties, there were no units available.

Properties that were recipients of tax credits also showed high demand as 96.8 percent are occupied.

While the downtown has added an average of 202 new rental units per year, projected demand through 2022 shows a remaining deficit of 290 units.

Over the next five years, DiSalvo said projections show growth of 140 rental units per year.

In assessing the downtown housing potential, DiSalvo said the area is in the early stages of becoming a vibrant community.

"It's continuing to get more and more variety of commercial uses to make it so," he said.

To strengthen and make it more competitive, DiSalvo recommended adding more units with balconies, decks or patios and having properties with integrated green space.

He also said that larger properties should look to provide concierge services and more technology to cater to the interests of millennials.

For housing built on top of commercial uses, vacant ground floor space has affected the marketability of units.

Overall, the assessment provided promising results especially given that 102 units are being planned between the Kahl Building and Bucktown Lofts in the near future.

"We've had growth and there will continue to be growth and we're not done yet," Downtown Davenport Partnership Director Kyle Carter said. "One of the things I get from a lot of finance folks is 'Are we overbuilt? Have we done too much and if I build this, is it going to  be empty?' I think a numeric case to be made is that the answer is no."

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