Fareway seeks delay in RI project

Fareway seeks delay in RI project

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Fareway Stores Inc. is asking the Rock Island-Milan School District for an extension of its agreement to purchase the former Audubon Elementary School at 2601 18th Ave., Rock Island.

Fareway, based in Boone, Iowa, is in the process of buying the building so it can construct a grocery store on the site. The sale price is $475,000.

Fareway will request the extension at Tuesday night’s school board meeting, said Jeff Eder, city of Rock Island economic development director. He said the deal has been delayed because of the discovery of more asbestos than anticipated in the building.

David Levin, vice president, Illinois region, NAI Ruhl & Ruhl Commercial, and the broker for the sale, also said more asbestos was found. Otherwise, the project is moving along as expected, he added.

“They have all bids for demolition, and they are hoping to close the sale next month,” Levin said. “They have 120 days to complete their due diligence. They met with school and the city and are finalizing a bunch of things.”

Fareway officials could not be reached for comment.

Eder said Fareway has until April 17 to submit all its site plans to the city planning commission.

After that, a public planning commission meeting would be held May 7 when public comment would be received. Eder said he has heard from some area residents who are concerned about the concept. Concerns include increased traffic, noise and demolition of the building.

He said a school crosswalk light at 27th Street would be converted to a four-way stoplight. While he is not aware of a specific date when demolition will occur, he said completion of the store is expected sometime in 2014.

This would be the fourth Fareway store in the Quad-Cities. The Davenport and Moline stores were opened in 1998 and the Bettendorf store in 2004.

Audubon, built in 1923, became the Center for Math and Science in 2009. It closed in June 2010 when the new Center for Math and Science opened at the former Villa de Chantal school site.

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