Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Cingular Wireless Announcement

I am excited to welcome Cingular Wireless to Davenport and the Quad Cities. The company plans to build a call center in Davenport, creating just over 500 jobs. Cingular is the largest wireless company in the USA and has just fewer than 40 call centers in the country. The Davenport facility will serve "Western states." Dan Kramer, of Cingular, made the announcement today.

The day Cingular opens its' doors it will become one of the QCA's top-20 largest employers. The 74,000-sq. ft. facility will be a $19-million construction project. The project ads $13.5-million to the tax base and an $11-million payroll.

The incentives proposed are in line with similar projects in other cities. I was encouraged to see Davenport emerge from a group of others as Cingular's top choice. It is very difficult to compete for these economic development projects and I was pleased to see some proactive efforts by Thom Hart, the city staff, and administration. Cities cannot sit on the sidelines and hope opportunities will come our way, we need to "close deals" when opportunities arise. I was pleased to see the TIF package/resolution pass on a unanimous vote by our council tonight.

Here's the press release from this afternoon: click here.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

A neighborhood preservation district?

The Gold Coast, and other neighborhoods in our city, are some of the most historic in the state. These neighborhoods are rich in tradition and character and are true assets to our community. The challenge with these neighborhoods often center on uses that are not geared towards the intent of the designations some have come to hold (i.e. National Historic Registry, etc ..). This coupled with crime and other challenges make it difficult to revitalize and encourage re-investment in older areas of town.

The problem is not unique to Davenport. Many residential historical districts in the country face similar challenges. It has been addressed by some cities with preservation districts and special ordinance language to preserve the true intent of these areas: restoration of homes, smart residential in fill that fits the character of the neighborhood, and so forth. These districts specifically stipulate what can and cannot be done in these districts.

I have discussed with staff the possibility of implementing such a status on the Gold Coast. I would assume you would need to grandfather in what is in the area as of now, but limit - moving forward what happens in these districts. The East Village now has a special historic designation status on the commercial side.

What are your thoughts? What might be a good track to head down, perhaps starting with the Gold Coast and looking at other areas? Pros? Cons?

Perhaps a neighborhood preservation district could tie into our historic preservation board?

Here are some examples I found:

Madison, WI click here
Gastonia, NC click here
Chapel Hill, NC click here

Let me know your thoughts, thanks - Ian

Saturday, December 16, 2006

All Wards Meeting Review: Notes, Comments

Thanks to all who attended the "All Wards" Meeting Tuesday at St. Ambrose University. I have posted a review with notes and comments on my website. To view: click here.

Orozco settlement $5,000 not $500,000

The newspaper article this morning stated that the city settled with Robert Orozco for $500,000, the correct number is $5,000. I understand a correction will run in tomorrow's QCT.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

"All-Wards" Meeting Set for Dec. 12th

I will be having an "All Wards" Meeting from 6-8 pm, Tues., Dec. 12th, at the Rogalski Center on the campus of St. Ambrose University in the 5th Ward. The meeting is open to citizens from throughout the community. The agenda will include current topics before the council and any other subjects folks would like to discuss. Additional information, including a campus map, are located on my website, click here. If you wish to e-mail a topic to me in advance, send a message to or feel free to post a comment on the blog. Thanks, Ian