Posted online: February 17, 2005 3:38 PM
Print publication date: February 20, 2005  Dispatch Argus

E.M. looks at losses as opportunities

By Jenny Lee,
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Photo: Todd Mizener
East Moline Joe Moreno at the site of the new Jewel-Osco being built on Avenue of the Cities in East Moline.

East Moline expects to see development in the coming year.

CNH Global announced in late January that it has an agreement with Champion Environmental Services to demolish the Case-IH plant in East Moline and remove debris over the next 14 months.

Champion Environmental Services will recycle the steel, concrete and copper wiring from the demolished facility.

The facility at 1100 3rd St., is 2.4 million square feet, which covers 156 acres. The facility is considered obsolete for modern manufacturing outlets.

"We're excited," assistant city administrator Rich Keehner said. Since the Case-IH property will be cleared, it makes it much easier to develop, he said.

The city hopes that the Case property will turn into a commercial and residential development, Mr. Keehner said.

Mayor Joe Moreno said advancements will be made toward the Illinois 5 corridor. The city is involved in planning discussions about the area.

Projects like the Woodside Road subdivision could pave the way for more development along Illinois 5.

The Woodside Road subdivision is located on 100 acres north of Illinois 5 between 179th Street and Denhardt Road. The project will have more than 50 single-family homes and condominium-style units.

A sewer extension would be installed in early 2005 that would be parallel to part of Illinois 5. The sewer extension would make the area more desirable to other developers, Mayor Moreno said.

"I'm extremely happy and excited about the progress in the horizon," Mayor Moreno said. He also pointed to the developments in Kennedy Square.

The construction of the new 54,000-square-foot Jewel-Osco store and Jewel Express gas station on Kennedy Drive and Avenue of the Cities will bring more commercial development to Kennedy Square. The new store will have a Chef's Kitchen deli, Fresh Bake Shop, drive-thru pharmacy and photo, floral and cosmetic departments.

When the new Jewel-Osco store opens in April, it will leave the old 53,300-square-foot building empty for another business to move in starting early June, said John Corelis, marketing agent for Kennedy Square Properties and senior vice president of Ruhl & Ruhl Commercial Co.

Construction workers are extending 1st Street, west of the current Jewel-Osco store, from 41st Avenue to Avenue of the Cities. It will provide better access to the new Jewel-Osco store and other businesses in Kennedy Square.

There will be a bank site west of the future intersection of 1st Street and Avenue of the Cities, Mr. Corelis said.

About 65,000 square feet west of the current Jewel-Osco store, is available for possible retail development, Mr. Corelis said.

Two sites that are 6,000 sqare feet each where the Skateland building used to be are available for commercial development on Avenue of the Cities west of Pizza Hut. Mr. Corelis said the sites would be ideal for restaurants.

An existing 3,600-square-foot space is available for development west of Kennedy Drive and north of the Shell Oil gas station.

In the downtown area, aldermen approved a special tax in August to pay for downtown improvements. Property owners on parts of 15th and 16th avenues will pay a tax of $1.35 per $100 of assessed property value to fund downtown renovation and improvements.

The new tax on property owners in the special-service area will generate about $60,000 a year.

The city will use the money to pay for short-term goals set by the East Moline Main Street Association -- things like putting in signs and benches -- and long-term goals like renovating buildings.

It will be a great shot in the arm for the downtown, Mayor Moreno said.