So when did things go wrong????
Spent the weekend with some friends, and the discussion of Davenport came up. After a few beers, a good friend asked a very good question. When or why did things go wrong? Specifically the discussion centered on the lack of progress in Davenport, it’s downtown and the economic progress (or lack thereof) these last two years.
Think back to the early 2000-2003 period. Those councils doubled the budgets for street and sewer projects, actually hired extra environmental inspectors to help central city Davenport as well as collaborated with the private sector to bring River Renaissance forward. Think about it, a countywide vote said yes to spend millions in downtown Davenport. By late 2003, I had friends in Cedar Rapids pointing to Davenport with envy.
During that same time period, you had major commercial developments in NE & NW Davenport, the re-use of four-decade-old “vacant industrial site” in downtown and all signs pointing to a strong economic up swing.
But things have changed. What the Quad City Times calls “bumps”, my local friends call a complete collapse; especially the relationship between the private sector and city hall. A few others point to the frustration with Quad City Development and a few “selected” aldermen. Others blame the “anti-Davenport folks” and or the lack of strong leadership from the Davenport One board of directors.
I enjoyed the dialogue, and thought I would extend the question or premise here. In 2003, it appeared Davenport, it’s council and business/union groups where all heading on a unified front to move forward. That “momentum” appears to have hit a brick wall.
Chime in, and provide a viewpoint. I will share mine later in the post.