Moline May Buy Collectors' Center

January  10, 2014

      The former John Deere Collectors' Center in downtown Moline may soon belong to the city. Today the John Deere Foundation announced a tentative agreement to sell the property in the 300-block of 16th Street. 

      The center closed in 2008. And since then Foundation spokesman Eric Hodson says there've been some potential buyers, but the foundation wanted to make sure the future use of the property fit in with Moline's plans for downtown. 

      "It was built in 1885 by the Davis Brothers. Then through the years it eventually changed hands and became Moline Heat. They were the longest occupant - they were in there from 1900 to 1994."

      It was vacant until 2000 when the Collectors' Center opened.

      Moline's planning and development director, Ray Forsythe, says the city plans to combine the one-acre property with the adjacent parking lot along River Drive. 

      "The goal would be to have a mixed use development on the city's lot along River Drive. And then build a parking structure on the site where the Collectors' Center is to provide parking for the new building as well as all the other uses around there."

      The price is just over 1 million dollars (1.035), and the Moline council will vote on the purchase on Tuesday.  Forsythe says the sale could close by late next month.