The Hyatt Place/Hyatt House, headliner of The Bend on the Mighty Mississippi development in East Moline, should be open by Thanksgiving.
And the bandshell on the property at Murphy Park should be done in the next two to three weeks.
Mike VanDeHeede, managing partner of Great River Property Development LLC, the developer of the $80 million project on a 132-acre site along the Mississippi, said he actually expects the hotel to open before Thanksgiving.
The 134-room Hyatt Place and 99-room Hyatt House for extanded-stay customers will be managed by Olympia Companies, based in Portland, Maine.
“I’d say it will be for sure open before Thanksgiving weekend,” said VanDeHeede of the nine-story building on River Drive at the former Case-IH property. “Actually, the hotel is on the Hyatt (web)site right now for reservations.”
Ray Stoddard, general manager of the Hyatt Place/Hyatt House, is plenty excited, too.
He soon will open a 100-seat full-menu dinner restaurant on the main floor of the hotel, along with the ninth-floor 80-seat River Room, which will offer a bar and small-plate food.
“We are less than 60 days out; we are extremely excited,” Stoddard said. “We are getting a lot of positive feedback from everybody we talk to. From the hotel to the ninth-floor lounge, we think it’s going to be quite a popular place.”
The first-floor restaurant and bar will be called 9 Dots Bar & Bites. For now, it will only offer dinner. Breakfast will be served in another part of the hotel, Stoddard said.
Following is an update on the rest of The Bend, including the apartments, event center and another restaurant, retail center, convenience store/gas station and bandshell.
“We’re confident that there will be five buildings under construction very soon, as soon as the weather breaks for us,” VanDeHeede said during last week’s heavy rainfall that delayed some construction work. “We are very happy, and things are going to really start cooking down there.”
The park will run from the fountains near the development entrance off of 12th Avenue all the way back to just beyond the bandshell, a total area of three acres. It will be known as Murphy Park in honor of Dan Murphy, owner of developer Great River Property Development.
The park will have room for 2,000 spectators, but it will not have permanent seating. It will have concession stands and bathrooms, VanDeHeede said.
“The bandshell will be done in two and a half weeks,” VanDeHeede said earlier this week. “It’s a simple building, so it doesn’t take long.”
It will be an amphitheater-type park, he said. “There are areas for people in wheelchairs to get their wheelchairs down there. It’s cement and grass.”
Landscaping work in the park, which will have walking paths through it, has already begun.
“It will all have beautiful landscaping,” VanDeHeede said.
The 350-seat event center, adjacent to the hotel, should open in March or April, owner Larry Anderson said.
“The first event is booked already for April 21,” VanDeHeede said. “There are six or seven events booked already. Most are weddings for late summer.”
A yet-to-be-named well-known restaurant also will be part of that center. It will seat 70 to 80 people and include a bar area, according to VanDeHeede.
Anderson said his 72-unit apartment complex, featuring decks overlooking the Mississippi, should begin taking tenants in January.
Design work has begin on the foundation for the $10 million facility, he said. “We have to engineer basically the footings on the soil we have,” Anderson said. “We are just about done with that. Then we know what we need to do for the foundation.”
VanDeHeede said he expects the apartment complex to go up quickly.
“I don’t think we are falling behind at all,” VanDeHeede said. “The apartments, because they are pre-manufactured, it takes them no time to pour the slab to start assembling the apartments. All that work is being done down by Peoria. They start trucking them ... in and start setting them with a crane. That thing goes up in no time.”
It has taken steel and other materials longer to reach the site than originally planned, VanDeHeede said. “The event center might be a couple of weeks behind schedule just because it’s been a little hard to get everything in to get started,” he said.
“Materials are hard to come by right now. The I-beams and stuff like that were supposed to be a four-week turnaround. Now, it’s 12. That’s because everybody is so busy.”
Anderson, owner of East Moline Glass, said the apartment complex is “a little upper end” in terms of rent.
He expects to begin work on the event center in about a month and have it completed by March or April.
The 12,000-square foot facility will seat 350 people and have a restaurant/bar that is separate but part of it.
The retail center, located at the front end of the property off 12th Avenue, is 9,000 square feet and will include six individual suites, VanDeHeede said.
“We are getting our final numbers put together,” he said. “The plans are in, and we are going to look at closing on a loan here in the next 30 to 45 days.”
“The retail center doesn’t take as long to build because it’s just a shell,” he added.
Convenience store/gas station
Owner Bill Ernst said he expects to break ground this month on his latest QC Mart, which will be located at The Bend on the corner of 3rd Street and 12th Avenue.
In addition to a gas and a convenience store of about 2,500 square feet, there will be two retail spots of about 2,500 square feet each, and a 1,000-square- foot video-gaming area. Ernst said he is hoping to have food or coffee-related spots for the retail.
All about the view
The star of The Bend truly remains at the top in the River Room. “It’s got a great 180-degree view of the river,” Stoddard said. “It’s all about the view of the Mississippi.”