Many of us, on the council, labeled the Brady/Harrison (Hwy. 61) corridor as a key focal point for economic re-investment in the city.
This council voted for the North URTE (http://www.ci.davenport.ia.us/images/latest/urte.htm) Zone this spring. Now DavenportOne is forming a task force, of business owners along the corridor, to form a long-term strategy for revitalization of this area. It is a key gateway and transportation route for our city.
Over 30,000 travel the 5-mile Brady/Harrison stretch daily, which ranks third for traffic count, behind the Kimberly and 53rd St. corridors. Incentives can be found from the Riverfront to I-80, now it is the hope of many that the final components come into place.
A solid list of anchors exist: a major interstate, a hospitality corridor, a major mall, an office tower, a large auto dealer, one of the QC's best parks, a university, a junior and senior high school, a chiropractic college, and a new downtown amenity base. These anchors, coupled with a new 65th/67th St. connection, are positives. Filling the voids, between these areas, is the challenge.
Some new businesses have recently popped up on the corridor (restaurants, sports complex) and some existing folks have or are expanding (Running Wild, Lujack's, St. Paul's Church, St. John's Church, plus others).
So what are the next steps? Elimination of one-ways has been proposed, but is rather costly. Additional bike lanes (perhaps a connection from Duck Creek - through Vanderveer - to the Riverfront) might help tie things together (utilizing Main).
I, personally, would like to see a focus on smaller/neighborhood business redevelopment South of Kimberly and more opportunities for larger "box store" developments closer to I-80. Perhaps some additional funding or grants might be available. Better neighborhoods and a reduction of crime, obviously, will help in certain areas.
Bottom line: if, through zoning and incentives, we are able to focus on this corridor and successfully revitalize it, then the areas surrounding the corridor will be better for it.
It is dangerous to have a decaying spine in the center of our city. The anchors are in place, the focus is coming, let's all hope sound initiatives are implemented and a rejuvenated corridor follows.
What are your thoughts? Any ideas for Brady/Harrison?