Posted online: October 11, 2004 10:39 PM
Print publication date: October 12, 2004

River Centre now open at The Quarter in E.M.

By Jenny Lee,
Joe in The Quarter

Photo: Dan Videtich
East Moline Mayor Joe Moreno speaks during the grand-opening ceremony of the Beacon Harbor River Centre in The Quarter of East Moline Monday.

EAST MOLINE -- Residents now can enjoy the Beacon Harbor River Centre in East Moline's The Quarter development along the Mississippi River.

Mayor Joe Moreno and representatives from the non-profit organization Revitalize and Develop East Moline cut a yellow ribbon in front of the welcome center at The Quarter Monday afternoon.

The Quarter is a riverfront redevelopment project off 7th Street in East Moline. It has a welcome center, two bike paths, a public dock and two condominium buildings. City officials and REDEEM hope a golf dome, a restaurant, a river-education facility and more condominiums will be built in the future.

The Beacon Harbor River Centre has a balcony on the second floor that offers a view of the Mississippi River and allows people to watch eagles in the winter, said Rich Keehner, assistant city administrator.

The River Centre is handicapped accessible, with an elevator to the second floor.

"The Beacon Harbor River Centre provides for the re-creation of the riverfront and the recreation of the riverfront," said Tim Knanishu, executive vice-president of REDEEM.

Construction workers finished building the welcome center and two bike paths in July. But the city took possession of the welcome center three weeks ago. The construction cost $1.4 million and was funded by a federal grant.

The bike paths extend to the Great River Trail and to the American Discovery Trail, which runs across the country.

Deere and Co. donated the land for The Quarter to REDEEM in 1998.

"There were days when you wondered is this ever going to get done," Mayor Moreno said. But patience, persistence and planning prevailed, he said.

Mr. Knanishu said REDEEM is talking with developers who want to build a golf dome in The Quarter, but he said he does not know when it will be built. The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency has to approve the project before any construction begins.

REDEEM also is working out the details with developers to build mid-rise condominium buildings, Mr. Knanishu said.