Old trailer park to become home to RI businesses

March  08, 2013

Four years after a big project fell through, Rock Island and new developers have broken ground at a major entrance to the city. The new project will also make way for Walmart to build a store on 11th Street.

Today, officials from the city, Black Hawk College, Elsberg Insurance, and Missman Inc. celebrated the beginning of work on the $9 million redevelopment of a former trailer park. It's at the intersection of U.S. 67 and Black Hawk Road.

Mayor Dennis Pauley says two organizations at Watch Tower Plaza will move into two of the seven, new office and retail buildings. One of them is the college's Adult Learning Center; the other is the Elsworth office.

As part of a development agreement, Rock Island sold the 7.5 acres for $10 to a new company called, 11th Street Development Partners. Pat Eikenberry, Missman's President and CEO, and Kevin Koellner owner of Build To Suit in Bettendorf, are the principal investors. 

Eikenberry says Missman will move into one of the new buildings. It's currently located in the 1,000 block of 27th Avenue. "The development site needs about $2 million worth of improvements, including roads, sewer, water and a retention pond. So it'll have a water feature."

Mayor Pauley says Rock Island plans to clear the Watch Tower site, and then sell it to WalMart in the summer. He says it will be a catalyst for Rock Island to create jobs, increase the city's tax base and eliminate blight.