Near the western edge of the John Deere Road work in Moline, one Quad-City transplant is making himself comfortable.

Prior to last month, however, Michael Anthony Sofarelli had never heard of the Quad-Cities.

The 59-year-old arrived in mid-April to oversee construction of the new Panda Express on 39th Avenue Drive, just south of John Deere Road. 

"I travel the country building these things," said Sofarelli, who works for MCO & Associates, a general contractor based in Phoenix, Arizona. 

Before coming to the Quad-Cities, the traveling superintendent said he had jobs in Lubbock and Austin, Texas.  

"When I get done, they'll tell me to head to another city," he said. "I love it."

During his stay, Sofarelli is living out of a 38-foot mobile home at RV Interstate Park in Davenport. Every two weeks, his company flies him home for the weekend. 

Although his residency here is temporary, he said he has enjoyed exploring the area and learning about the history of the Quad-Cities. 

Most recently, the bachelor went bar-hopping, and discovered a couple new favorite spots, including Hardtimes in Moline and The Old Palace Tavern in East Moline. 

At the construction site in Moline, Sofarelli works out of a small 8-foot-by-20-foot structure. He furnished the space with items he salvaged from Ryan's, which was demolished to make room for a 5,400-square-foot development directly to the west of Panda Express.  

He said crews, a majority of which are Quad-City-based subcontractors, broke ground on the projects on April 24, and expects them to wrap up work by late July or early August.

"We're trying to keep money in the area," he said, "and these guys are doing an awesome job bringing this up out of the ground."

Sofarelli is flying home this weekend, but he plans to stay here over Memorial Day weekend. As for what's ahead, he does not know yet where his company will fly him next.

"It's a good life," he added. "You get lots of frequent flyer miles."

Next door to the future Panda Express, another chain, Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, is moving in at the corner of 38th Street and 40th Avenue.

Chris Porter, the project's superintendent for Build to Suit, the Bettendorf company that owns the building, said the restaurant will not open for another six to eight weeks.

The strip center also will include a Great Clips and U.S. Cellular store.

Porter said the property will be landscaped and blacktopped within the next month.

Editor's note: Look for reporter Jack Cullen's Notes @ Noon Tuesday, Thursday and Friday online at noon. He captures various sides of life in the Quad-Cities. Contact him at or 563-383-2363.


Jack Cullen is a reporter uncovering offbeat stories about people and places in the Quad-City area.