Rock Island Breaks Ground for $8.7M Rebuild Project

The City of Rock Island, in partnership with the Quad Cities Chamber and Rock Island Downtown Alliance, held a groundbreaking ceremony on Monday, April 15, to kick off construction
of the $8.7 million Rebuild Downtown Rock Island project. The ceremony was held at the intersection of 18th Street and 2nd Avenue. Valley Construction will work with design and engineering firms Veenstra & Kimm and Streamline Architects on the project.

“The Rebuild Downtown Rock Island project is an exciting opportunity for the City to revitalize the downtown historic area through the largest single investment in more than 30 years,” Mayor Mike Thoms said. “We are excited for what this project will bring to our community. The goal is to encourage private investment and improve the overall quality of life for those who live, work in and visit downtown Rock Island.”

“It’s a great day for the City of Rock Island and for the Quad Cities – this is one of those great initiatives that shows truly what we want to do here in the region,” said Peter Tokar III, President and CEO of the Quad Cities Chamber.

The $8.7 million Rebuild Downtown Rock Island project is being funded with $3 million from a State of Illinois Rebuild Downtowns grant, $3.9 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds, $1.5 million in Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District funds and a $267,000 State of Illinois Tourism Attractions grant. Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) Director Kristin Richards was present at the groundbreaking and spoke about the State’s investment in downtown Rock Island.

“DCEO is committed to supporting economic development projects that boost communities and small businesses,” Richards said. “Through the Rebuilding Downtowns and Main Streets Program, Illinois is proud to provide grant funding to support the Downtown Rock Island project, which will beautify the area, attract visitors, create jobs and provide new spaces for the community to come together.”

The City, in partnership with the Rock Island Downtown Alliance, is committed to working with and supporting businesses and residents who may be affected by the construction project.

“Businesses will remain open during construction, and we are asking for the community’s help in supporting them, especially as access temporarily becomes challenging,” said Jack Cullen, executive director of the Downtown Alliance.

Background: As part of the Rebuild Illinois (RBI) Downtowns and Main Streets Capital program, Governor J.B. Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) awarded $106 million in capital grants to 50 commercial corridors and main streets throughout Illinois, which represents the largest-ever RBI investment focused on community revitalization.