Two Quad-City companies with more than 180 years of combined history are planning a move to a new office building under construction on Utica Ridge Road in Davenport.
Molyneaux Insurance Inc., a Davenport insurance agency founded in 1926, will relocate in October to the new building at 5025 Utica Ridge Road. It will occupy more than half of the building being developed by First Equity, a Bettendorf development company owned by the Geifman family. First Equity also will move its headquarters into the new 18,000-square-feet building in July.
"Our business is to own and rent space to other people and it's always been a goal of ours to build our own office building and operate from our own building," said Steve Geifman, managing partner. He said the decision by Molyneaux to move made the project a reality.
For Molyneaux, the new building answers its need for more space. The company has operated out of one or two buildings on the corner of Kirkwood Boulevard and Brady Street for nearly 50 years. Dan Molyneaux built the 126 Kirkwood building in 1969 and the corner office at 100 Kirkwood in 1989.
Roger Schemmel Jr., president of Molyneaux, said the company worked two years to find a way to expand the location but could not find a viable solution. "We have enjoyed being an important part of central Davenport for almost 50 years and we really preferred to stay right where we are."
But he added that it "has never been an ideal situation" working out of two buildings. "We determined three years ago that it was important to our continued growth to get all of us together under one roof again."
Dan Molyneaux, the CEO, said as the company marks its 90th year "our client list is growing rapidly and we need a facility that will be able to accommodate us." He said the agency's staff could grow as much as 50 percent over the next several years.
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Ryan Companies is building the one-story office. First Equity purchased the ground in November from Utica Corner Holdings for $294,875, according to Scott County Court records. Geifman did not disclose the investment for the new building.
The insurance company will be the majority tenant, occupying 11,000 square feet of the new building, Geifman said, adding that his family's firm will have a 1,600-square-foot office and space still is available for lease. The fourth generation family business also includes Richard Geifman, who is chairman, and his three sons, Steve, David and Jeff.
First Equity is the development company that grew out of the Geifman family's former Quad-City grocery stores, which trace their roots to 1921. With the move, the company is re-branding itself as Geifman First Equity, Steve Geifman said.
Molyneaux Insurance was founded in 1926 by Marie and D.M. Molyneaux, who remained a contributing member of the agency until his death in 1988. Dan Molyneaux joined the agency in 1959. The agency merged its operation with Des Moines-based LMC Insurance and Agri-Business Insurance Services in 2011.
In addition to the new office building, located in the commercial area known as Coventry South, First Equity also has acquired the adjacent 20,000-square-foot retail center that includes Cafe Indigo, Ethan Allen, Bayside Tan and more, Geifman said. "We bought additional land out there as well where we are thinking of a multi-use building with office and residential."
First Equity owns and manages 2 million square feet of commercial space, including several former Geifman grocery stores, three of which are now HyVee grocery stores.