Bettendorf is calling all developers interested in flipping a city-owned building that was purchased for nearly $1.2 million as part of a financial incentive package for Ascentra Credit Union, which is building a new corporate headquarters downtown.
The property has been assessed at nearly $1.4 million, and the city wants to sell it for around $900,000. Dozens of restrictions have been added to the property’s future use, which city officials say is a big reason for the lower price.
Uses not allowed include financial institutions, affordable housing, liquor stores, gas stations, pawn shops and tattoo parlors. Encouraged future development of the area should be “a use indicative of what is traditionally found in a high-traffic urban setting,” Bettendorf spokeswoman Lauran Haldeman said in a statement.
Bettendorf made the financial agreement with Ascentra in 2017. Other incentives in the deal included a tax-increment financing offering capped at $2 million. In turn, Ascentra agreed to buy its property in the Town Square area for $750,000 and create new jobs.
Bettendorf’s elected officials have lauded the construction of Ascentra’s corporate headquarters as a central part of spurring development in the city’s downtown.
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Mayor Bob Gallagher, who is up for re-election, named the new Ascentra office building among the city’s signature achievements toward economic development during his State of the City address in February.
“They’re a great community partner, and this will be our stalwart start to the eastern part of the downtown, creating synergy between these two bookends for other developers,” the mayor said at the time.
Downtown development has been named as one of the city council’s top goals. Major policy decisions aimed toward that end have included the creation of a special taxing district for commercial property owners, which received the city’s stamp of approval two weeks ago.
Money collected from that tax is to be managed by the Downtown Bettendorf Organization, a division of the Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce, for investments aimed toward sprucing up the defined downtown area. Beatification, research and marketing are a few things the organization could spend money on.