A bluff-top Davenport mansion converted into a nursing home may find yet another life, this time as senior apartments.

Gold Coast Housing LLC, comprised of DeWitt, Iowa, businessmen Dave and D.J. Necker and Quad-City developer Chris Ales, proposes converting the former Kahl Home, 1101 W. 9th St., into 68 independent senior apartments. The nursing home, which operated on the site for 60 years, moved to a new location in northeast Davenport last year.

A neighborhood meeting with the developers is 5:30 pm. today in the nursing home's former chapel.

The Neckers and Ales have an option on the building but would await confirmation of receiving historic tax credits and affordable housing tax credits before closing on the property. That would occur sometime early next year.

D.J. Necker said they think the project works well for the site and the neighborhood.

"We think it is a win-win because housing for 55 years old and older is needed," he said. A building like that lends itself well for that use.

Eighty percent of the apartments would be for residents older than 55, and the rest would be rented to those older than 50. Developers estimate the typical tenant would be retired with annual Social Security benefits and other supplemental income of $26,000 to $30,000 and, on average, have less than one car per household.

Alderman Bill Boom, in whose 3rd Ward the property sits, is in favor of the development and said he has received positive feedback from residents. Several area neighbors have informally discussed the proposal and view it generally favorably.

"It is always scary when you think about rezoning something, so we need some questions answered and some clarifications," said neighbor Linda VanHese. "But as far as it becoming senior housing, all of us feel that is a good thing."

Developers say converting the building to apartments would lower traffic in the area, with fewer trucks making delivers and late-night ambulance calls to the nursing home.

Ales said his previous projects have taken neighbors' concerns into account.

 "In the past, we have tailored a project in response to feedback we’ve heard in these meetings," he said. "That is the history of my developments in Davenport, Muscatine and Maquoketa."

Ales, of Moline, became widely known in the Quad-Cities several years ago when he took on several high-profile redevelopment projects involving historic buildings. In addition to the former St. Katharine's School and Marycrest College in Davenport, those included the former Villa de Chantal in Rock Island, the Hurst Hotel in Maquoketa, Iowa, and the Welch Apartments in Muscatine.

Ales' projects ran into financial difficulty and he ultimately lost them all, but they all have been completed. Most recently he's been working on projects in Arkansas and Texas.

The Neckers' business relationship with Ales dates back to the 1990s when he was their accountant, D.J. Necker said.

"Chris is getting back into it and we’ve forged a consulting partnership with him," D.J. Necker said. "It was a project he’d looked at three, four, five years ago, or similar projects like that."

The original Spanish Colonial-style Kahl mansion was built by Henry “Hummer” Kahl in 1912-14. In 1955, it became a nursing home, and two  additions were built to the east, one in the 1960s and another in the 1980s.

 

 

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