Ribbon Cutting celebrates GROWTH’s newest single family development, The Garden District.

Unique housing development completed in downtown Rock Island

ROCK ISLAND, IL – Rock Island Economic Growth Corporation (GROWTH) and the City of Rock Island partnered together to create the Garden District, seven single-family, new construction townhomes in downtown Rock Island.

This housing development is unique only to downtown Rock Island. Homes are built in an urban, downtown environment ranging in size from 1,440 to 1,760 square feet with sales prices starting at $149,900 up to $215,900. Two of the seven units are targeted towards live-work households. Downpayment assistance is available for each of the homes, and is broken out as follows:


In July 2015, GROWTH broke ground on The Garden District, a $2.1 million new construction single family development, located on once vacant land located just north of Jackson Square. Now October 2016, GROWTH is proud to present new construction options to those wishing to live in an urban environment, close to many amenities such as the Quad City Botanical Center, downtown Rock Island, the Great River Trail, Schwiebert Riverfront Park, and employers such as the Rock Island Arsenal.

“We are excited to be celebrating the completion on such a unique development in downtown Rock Island. GROWTH’s completion of seven new single family homes capitalizing on the success of Jackson Square and initiatives set forth in the Arsenal Gateway Plan” said Brian Hollenback,

President & CEO for Renaissance Rock Island. “When looking at the funding sources that make this development possible, you will see words like program income and sales proceeds, these are funds that GROWTH earned from its other various development activities that were recycled back into the community through the Garden District development, furthering GROWTH’s efforts to bring new housing resources to Rock Island to invest in Rock Island.”

Unique Features:

Shared Common Amenities: The Garden District completes a new neighborhood created by GROWTH with Jackson Square lofts (2011) and the Garden District homes (2016). Shared common elements such as an outdoor patio, raised urban gardens, and dog park, will be constructed between the two developments that can be used by homeowners of the Garden District and residents of Jackson Square.

New residential fire safety systems: The Garden District is the first single family residential new construction development in the Illinois Quad Cities that will incorporate the new residential fire safety systems- providing the highest level of life safety protection. The system runs off an existing water line, that circulates and builds continuous water pressure, ensuring optimal life safety assurances in new construction homes part of The Garden District.

Due to being The Garden District’s unique design and being first to install such system in the region, GROWTH has received attention from regional and local buildings trades and labor who experienced first-hand what the system looked like during the installation process.

Energy Efficiency: Homes part of the Garden District are well insulated, with the walls insulated at R-21 and roof is insulated at R-40 to best improve The Garden District home’s
energy efficiency.

Maintenance Longevity: According to the Metal Roofing Alliance, a metal roof is a premium roof system which adds value. as a metal roof is just about maintenance-free. With a 30-year plus lifespan, having a metal roof gives the buyer of a Garden District home high chances never have to re-roof the home again.

Metal roofs are excellent insulators. Not only will your metal roof keep your house comfortable regardless of the weather outside, but it can actually lower air conditioning and heating bills. With home heating costs doubling in the last year, you may be surprised to learn that metal roofs are excellent insulators. A light-colored metal roof, like the ones on the homes in The Garden District, actually deflect UV radiation, keeping your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.

Downpayment Assistance: Downpayment assistance grants are available on each home part of The Garden District, ranging from $5,000 up to $10,000, depending on the sales price of the home.

Project Team:

GROWTH served as the developer, GROWTH General Contracting LLC as the general contractor, and Walker, Coen, Lorentzen Architects as the architect.
An insulating material’s resistance to conductive heat flow is measured or
rated in terms of its thermal resistance or R-value. The higher the R-value, the greater the
insulating effectiveness.


This project was made possible by the following funding sources:

  • First National Bank- Debt
  • Neighborhood Stabilization Program 1- Sales Proceeds
  • Neighborhood Stabilization Program 2 – Program Income
  • Illinois Housing Development Authority- State Affordable Housing Tax Credits
  • City of Rock Island- Tax Increment Financing (TIF)
  • Deferred Developer Fees & Sales Proceeds

Community Alignment:

In 2011, GROWTH celebrated the completion of Jackson Square, an $8.8 million, adaptive reuse development that converted a former Brownfields site into an award-winning community asset. The Garden District compliments the rise of economic development activity in the area surrounding Jackson Square, with nearly $20 million of business growth, expansion and investment planned and occurring within the Arsenal Gateway.

Partnership with Ruhl&Ruhl- Buyer’s Agents Welcome

GROWTH has partnered with Ruhl&Ruhl to have open houses each Sunday for The Garden District homes. A successful realtor open was hosted by the Ruhl&Ruhl Moline office on October 4th, inviting all real estate offices in the Quad Cities to show off the new homes. More than 30 realtors toured the homes.

The next open house is this Sunday, October 16th from 12:00-1:30 p.m. The first open house was hosted on October 9th and had 11 groups through that expressed interest in purchase. GROWTH welcomes buyer’s agents.


Rock Island Economic Growth Corporation is a 501(c)3 Community Housing Development Organization (CHDO) and is regarded as a national leader in developing innovative housing opportunities by convening and facilitating work among various community partners. GROWTH has over 30 years of experience and has successfully leveraged over $170 million in housing and housing related activities, and is a HUD approved and Freddie Mac certified housing counseling agency. In addition, GROWTH has also impacted more than 1,200 units of single family housing throughout northwestern Illinois through its single family rehabilitation and owner-occupied programs, and and welcomed nearly 700 homebuyers to Rock Island.

GROWTH is also a nationally recognized, award winning non-profit organization, most notably being award the National James Leach Award from National Community Reinvestment Coalition, recognizing the most outstanding rural non-profit organization in the country that best promotes fair and equal access to credit and capital and/or contributes the most in its community toward promoting wealth building in traditionally underserved populations.
The total number of downtown housing units created by GROWTH is now 235, soon to be 243 with the upcoming completion of Star Block, a historic preservation rehabilitation that consists of eight (8) residential units and first floor commercial space located at 1821-1823 2nd Avenue off the Great River Plaza in the heart of downtown Rock Island.

The Garden District continues the success of GROWTH’s previous downtown developments. The Locks ($6.2 million) Goldman Family Block ($1 million), Jackson Square ($8.8 million), McKesson Loft Condominiums ($6.5 million), Voss Brothers Lofts ($5.5 million), Murphy Lofts ($635,000), Bowlby Condominiums ($750,000), Sala Flats ($5 million), Clipper Condominiums ($2 million),
and Goldman and Renaissance Lofts ($6.3 million). To date, GROWTH has been successful in leveraging nearly $170 million in revitalization efforts throughout the city of Rock Island.

GROWTH works to:

  • Enhance the overall image and vitality of underserved markets,
  • Improve housing market dynamics, especially in its older neighborhoods,
  • Encourage and promote homeownership,
  • Develop new housing opportunities,
  • To assist households with housing counseling, homeownership preparation and
    foreclosure intervention.

Fair Housing Statement: Rock Island Economic Growth Corporation and its subsidiaries are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. Policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the nation. We encourage and support an affirmative advertising and marketing program in which there are no barriers to obtaining housing because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.

About Renaissance Rock Island

Renaissance Rock Island is the umbrella name for three inter-connected organizations dedicated to the revitalization of Rock Island. Rock Island Economic Growth Corporation (GROWTH) is a 501(c)(3) Community Housing Development Organization (CHDO); Development Association of Rock Island (DARI) focuses on commercial and industrial development; and The Downtown Rock Island Arts & Entertainment District (The District) markets the downtown and produces unique downtown events.