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Beyond Hogs

by 5m Editor
3 April 2006, at 12:00am

US - East Moline leaders did something we thought not possible. They convened an economic development summit that barely mentioned the h-word. Friday’s summit was an unabashed sales pitch for a community already branded for a hog plant that has yet to open. East Moline Mayor John Thodos convened bankers, developers, business owners and others at the city’s Short Hills Country Club to hear a two-hour pitch about every non-hog development under way in this rapidly changing city. He could have used four hours to tell the city’s story. The Case-New Holland plant that closed last year is almost gone and prospects for redevelopment have improved greatly with Moline’s plans to build a Western Illinois University campus just eight blocks away. The city envisions commercial and residential improvements on a site that seemed relegated to industrial. The city’s Great River Industrial Park built on the site of demolished industrial plants is gaining three new tenants, including two expanding from downtown locations. Downtown’s modest facade program has improved nearly a dozen downtown businesses. The city purchased and closed an ugly X-rated movie theater and now is pitching the site for more respectable development. Source: QC times

5m Editor