The Casino boat finally left the riverfront last week, after 25 years of having the boat parked at the front door of the City of Davenport. Now the decision is looming as to what to do with the barge that was used to dock the casino boat.
This evening the Davenport City Council is planning to review the proposal by Restoration St. Louis to re-purpose the barge as a brewery and restaurant for the public use of Davenport. I am neither for nor against this proposal. I believe it would make a great addition to the riverfront and will provide traffic to the riverfront that is much needed. The appearance of the barge parked at the river's edge is not appealing but the use is appealing and will provide an amenity that the city, and in essence the entire Quad Cities has been lacking. A place to have dinner on the river!
I believe what the City RFP process has lacked is an open invitation for all development proposals on the riverfront. The city council is prepared to make a decision on the future of the barge without exploring land-based development options. In the past week we have seen new proposals arise such as using the barge as a riverfront park amenity to dock boats and provide a fishing pier and also citizens have voiced their opinions to what the riverfront should not be.
The City of Davenport has many architectural features that sets itself aside from other cities in the region, including the historic buildings, the FIGGEE art museum, the freight house, the ballpark and even the skybridge to no where. Therefore I believe it would be a missed opportunity if the City Council does not entertain land-based development ideas. I have provided the following proposal as a courtesy to city staff, city council and the citizens of Davenport to share the perspective of what a land-based development could look like at the base of the skybridge and to encourage the City Council to provide an open invitation to land-based development on the riverfront.