MOLINE — Three Corners Development is planning an $82 million development next to Western Illinois University Riverfront Campus, with student and market-rate housing and retail to serve campus and community needs.
Officials on Wednesday said construction on Phase I of Riverbend Commons could start in October and be completed in 2014.
The three-phased project was unveiled Wednesday to the Project Management team, a group of public and private-sector individuals and officials who review proposed developments and make recommendations to the Moline City Council
Three Corners Development President Christopher Woods and Noel Davis, an architect with Holabird & Root, explained the design concept and plans for the 16-acre riverfront parcel west of the campus.
Holabird & Root also designed Phase II of the WIU campus, now under construction.
Mr. Davis said Riverbend Commons was designed to be dense. Student housing will be built on the eastern edge of the site, closest to the WIU campus. The middle of the site will hold one-story commercial buildings. The western end of the site could be market-rate housing and commercial space for retail and an anchor tenant, such as a grocery store or pharmacy.
The project, as proposed Wednesday, includes:
— Phase I: 20,000 square feet of commercial space and 68 units of student housing — two and three bedroom apartments offering a total of 252 beds
— Phase II: 150 market-rate housing units and 13,500 square feet of retail space
— Phase III: 30 townhomes and 22,000 square feet of retail space, with more than half of that space for an anchor tenant.
Mr. Woods said he believes the retail space will hold things such as a coffee shop, an acute care center and restaurants. He said the commercial component is going well, but potential tenants want to see the student housing developed first to lower their risk.
“We consider this a legacy project,” Mr. Woods said, adding Three Corners is taking great care with it to make Riverbend Commons a legacy project for all stakeholders, including the city, WIU and the development team.
“It is something we will devote all our attention to,” he said.
PMT Chairman Joseph Rives — also WIU vice president for Quad-Cities and planning — said the development would provide needed services to students while containing costs for WIU and its students.
“What we are doing together is amazing,” Mr. Rives said. “We really are on the cusp of something great.”
He said now when WIU-QC students ask where they can live, he can say, “Next door.”
“We are really, really excited — not only about the plans but the project is coming to reality,” Mr. Rives said. “We will have everything we need at our fingertips.”