A Great Blue Heron rests on a log in the Mississippi River above Lock & Dam 15, Davenport on a foggy fall morning.

Building permits issued for the sports complex at Middle and Forest Grove Roads, Bettendorf, total $38 million, about $8 million less than the value specified in the city development agreement.

Rendering of new $9-million Ascentra Credit Union headquarters proposed for part of city's Town Square block. Source: Legat Architects

Construction work on support piers for the new Interstate 74 bridge between Bettendorf and Moline now is under way.

City/Ascentra Credit Union eye Town Square deal; includes 10-year, $2-million TIF and land swap

Bettendorf's vacant Town Square block – between State and Grant Streets and 20th and 21st Streets – would become the site of a new four-story, $9-million Ascentra Credit Union headquarters under a development deal before the city council.

Iowa awards up to $25 million in sales tax rebates to sports complex; annual sales projected at $7 million

The Bettendorf sports complex under construction at I-80 and Middle Road was awarded up to $25 million in state sales tax rebates recently (10/11) based on the developer's estimate more than $66 million in sales will be generated over the next 10 years by the project.

Alcoa superfund report – remediation to contain/treat groundwater contamination apparently working

Remediation efforts to prevent contaminated groundwater at Alcoa's Davenport Works from reaching the Mississippi River appear to be working, according to a five-year analysis issued recently (7/28) by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The report states the system of wells and pumps around the site are preventing contaminated groundwater from moving offsite. Once captured, the contaminated water is treated to remove the pollutants: polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB's), volatile organic compounds (VOC's), polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH's) and metals.

Middle and Devils Glen Road developments hit snags over traffic and parking concerns

Three commercial developments proposed for the busy Middle and Devils Glen Road corridor hit snags at the Bettendorf Plan and Zone commission last week (9/20) because of parking and traffic concerns.


• Hy-Vee wants to demolish Governor's Pub & Grill on the northwest corner of the Middle and Devils Glen intersection to build a gas station, convenience store and coffee shop with a drive-thru lane.

New 92-bed psychiatric hospital planned for 'technology park' property along Interstate 74

The prime Interstate 74 property – once promoted for technology businesses in Bettendorf – will likely become the home to a new 92-bed psychiatric hospital.

Strategic Health LLC is asking the Bettendorf Board of Adjustment for two parking setback variances which would pave the way for construction of the facility north of Tanglefoot Lane and east of Interstate 74. The requests are scheduled to go before the board at its Thursday (9/14) meeting.

Bettendorf sports complex building permits $8 million less than specified in development agreement

Building permits issued for the Bettendorf sports complex at Middle and Forest Grove Road total $38 million, some $8 million less than the $45 million value specified in the agreement with BettPlex developer Douglas Kratz.

Meanwhile, the cost of city infrastructure – sewer lines, stormwater facilities and street improvements to serve the 79-acre complex – is expected to be well above the $3.87 million specified in the same development agreement.

The sports complex builder, Build To Suit of Bettendorf, obtained the building permit August 28. The permits listed the building cost of $28.6 million, electrical work $4.11 million, heating/air conditioning $1.85 million and plumbing costs of $950,000, for a total value of $35.5 million. Two months ago, the developer obtained a permit for the sports complex foundation for more than $2 million.

Bettendorf casino reverses decade long decline; new land-based facility ups admissions, revenues

The move to a new land-based casino in June of last year has reversed a decade long decline in gamblers and gambling revenue at Bettendorf's Isle of Capri.

For the fiscal year ended June 30, the Isle (now owned by Eldorado Resorts, Inc. of Reno, NV) attracted more than 1 million gamblers, up more than 30 percent from fiscal 2016. With more admissions, the Isle's adjusted gross revenue climbed to $77.5 million, up more than 11 percent compared with the previous fiscal year.

Both numbers are still far below the heyday for casino gambling. Admissions at the Isle of Capri peaked at more than 2 million in 2000, while adjusted gross revenues reached a high of $105 million in 2004.
A similar rebound also was seen at Davenport's Rhythm City Casino with the opening of a new land-based facility in June of 2016.

Lee Enterprises looks to widen use of cash beyond debt reduction; may include print, digital acquisitions

After reporting an upswing in third quarter earnings Thursday (8/3), Lee Enterprises, Inc. executives told analysts the company will look to widen the use of cash flow beyond debt reduction and may seek additional print or digital acquisitions.

The Davenport-based media company acquired its Quad Cities newspaper competitor, The Dispatch-Argus, in June for $7 million. The Dispatch-Argus primarily served the Illinois Quad Cities (East Moline, Moline and Rock Island), while the Quad City Times serves mainly readers in the Iowa Quad Cities (Bettendorf and Davenport).

"We expect the acquisition to be accretive to earnings and free cash flow in our September (4th) quarter," President and Chief Executive Officer Kevin Mowbray said. "The transition is off to a good start and we are pleased with the contributions we are already seeing from the Dispatch-Argus."

Bettendorf taxpayers to pay far more for sports complex streets, sewer and stormwater detention

Bettendorf taxpayers will pay far more for streets, sewers and stormwater detention than the $3.87 million stipulated in the contract with the Bettendorf sports complex developer.

In private 3-on-3 meetings with aldermen July 5, city officials outlined a summary of estimated infrastructure costs for the sports complex showing construction bids received so far are $844,000 above the cap set in the development agreement between the city and developer Douglas Kratz.

And then there was only one. . .

The news surprised no one in the Quad Cities news business.

The Dispatch-Argus succumbed to the same malady facing newspapers from coast to coast: falling subscribers, Googlizing of news into an everywhere commodity, double digit declines in display advertising, and loss of classified advertising to Craigslist and dozens of other online marketplaces.

The biggest question was why it took Lee Enterprises (with its competing Quad City Times) so long to gobble up its rival.

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