October 26, 2014

Rock Island Economic Growth Corporation (GROWTH) broke ground on the rehabilitation of the historic Star Block, 1821-1823 2nd Ave., on Friday, Aug. 1, 2014, in downtown Rock Island.

The Star Block was designated a Rock Island landmark in 1991.  Although appearing to be one single entity, Star Block consists of multiple buildings, all under one ownership structure. To further meet the housing needs of the community, this 140-year old historic, landmarked structure at 1821-1823 2nd Ave. will be rehabilitated by GROWTH. 

 

About the Project:

The nearly $1.8 million project includes the creation of eight residential rental units and rehabilitation of approximately 1,200 square feet of commercial space, facing the Great River Plaza in downtown Rock Island. This effort will preserve and transform the Star Block into one and two bedroom live-work rental units ranging in size from 564 to 1,100 square feet. Accessible, affordable units targeting veterans will be created at the rear of first floor:  

  • 1st Floor- rehabilitation of first floor commercial space facing the Great River Plaza and creation of two accessible affordable rental units targeting veterans.
    • 1 accessible apartment (1 bedroom, 1 bath, approximately 564 sq. ft.)
    • 1 accessible apartment (1 bedroom, 1 bath, approximately 675 sq. ft.)
    • Commercial space (approximately 1,200 sq. ft.)
  • 2nd Floor- creation of three live-work rental units ranging from approximately 800 to 905 square feet.
    • 2 apartments (2 bedrooms, 2 baths, each approximately 905 sq. ft.)
    • 1 apartment (2 bedrooms, 2 baths, approximately 800 sq. ft.)
  • 3rd Floor- creation of three live-work rental units ranging from approximately 900 to 1,100 square feet.
    • 2 apartments (2 bedrooms, 2 baths, each approximately 1,100 sq. ft.)
    • 1 apartment (2 bedrooms, 2 baths, approximately 900 sq. ft.)

 

Project Team

GROWTH is serving as the developer, general contractor and property manager.  Gere-Dismer is serving as architect.  The targeted completion date for the Star Block project is August 2015.

 

Funding Sources 

  • Illinois State Attorney General, National Foreclosure Settlement Funds: $600,000
  • Modern Woodmen Bank- Leverage: $550,000
  • City of Rock Island- TIF: $350,000
  • Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA), State Affordable Housing Tax Credits: $169,650
  • City of Rock Island- Façade: $30,000
  • Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Lead Hazard Control Grant: $24,000
  • Modern Woodmen Bank- 10th Anniversary Donation: $10,000
  • Deferred Developer Fee: $57,305

  

Commitment to Downtown

The Star Block project complements downtown Rock Island’s history while addressing the need for growing downtown’s residential base. The project will combine historical integrity with contemporary convenience.

 In celebration of its 10th Anniversary, Modern Woodmen Bank was the first contributor to the Star Block project. The Bank donated $10,000 to GROWTH for predevelopment costs associated with the Star Block redevelopment effort in January 2013.

 “We are the only bank headquartered in downtown Rock Island and have a strong local economic impact,” said Steve Ollenburg, president and CEO of Modern Woodmen Bank. “To celebrate 10 years, we wanted to further our commitment to the downtown community.”

 “The fact that this project will help veterans is particularly important to us,” said W. Kenny Massey, Modern Woodmen Bank chairman of the Board of Directors and Modern Woodmen president and CEO. “These heroes deserve housing that is accessible and affordable.”

GROWTH is maintaining a list of those interested in living in Star Block. To get on the list to receive information about leasing, please call (309) 788-6311 or click here. Star Block is an equal housing opportunity.

The remaining buildings that are part of the Star Block, 1825 and 1829 2nd Ave., are owned by Renaissance Rock Island. Redevelopment plans for these buildings are being considered in partnership with the City of Rock Island. The buildings remain in use and continue to serve the downtown: 

  • 1825 2nd Ave., first floor commercial space, houses business East Town Chinese, which is under new ownership with a new menu and interior renovations. An August 2014 ribbon cutting is being planned.
  • 1829 2nd Ave., first floor commercial space, is currently being used by Quad City Arts as a preparation site for its upcoming Festival of Trees fundraising event. Volunteers for Quad City Arts will be occupying the space until November 2014.