Renew Moline invites the public to a virtual presentation Wednesday, April 21, by the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Advisory Services Panel to discuss downtown Moline and the future redevelopment in the I-74 area.

Renew Moline, along with the City of Moline, The Deere Foundation, and MetroLINK contributed to fund technical assistance by ULI to develop a strategy surrounding the future I-74 redevelopment area.

Tom Murphy, a former three-term mayor of Pittsburgh, will be part of Wednesday’s discussion.

The panel is comprised of development experts in a variety of disciplines, including retail market assessment, housing development, finance, economic/community development and urban design.

The panel is chaired by Rick Dishnica, President of The Dishnica Company, an infill housing and investment company. Other panel members are based in various locations of the United States and include:

  • Daniel Anderton, a Senior Associate of Community Design & Planning at Dewberry in Hampton, VA;
  • Michael Berne, of MJB Consulting, a national retail planning and real estate consulting concern with offices in San Francisco Bay Area and New York City;
  • Betty Massey, Executive Director of the Mary Moody Northern Endowment, a private foundation in Galvaston, TX (managing two historic properties in Texas and Virginia);
  • Tom Murphy, former three-term Mayor of Pittsburgh who, during his tenure, initiated a public/private partnership strategy that leveraged more than $4.5 billion in economic development in the city;
  • Rick Reinhard, principal of Niagara Consulting Group, and counselor to the Lakelands Institute, advising organizations how to use their resources to build better communities;
  • Ann Taylor, an Austin, TX-based creative service provider for organizations that focus on the built environment; and
  • Nancy Whitworth, former Director of Economic & Community Development in Greenville, SC.

Alexandra Elias is president/CEO of Renew Moline.

The panel will work with support and oversight by Tom Eitler, Senior Vice President of Advisory Services for ULI North America. He has prepared and conducted hundreds of reports on community engagement plans, charettes, advisory groups workshops and panels. He also authored “Ten Principles for Building Healthy Places.” Also joining him in to support the panel’s work is David Zehr, Senior Associate for Advisory Services for ULI.

The advisory panel was posed a series of questions about the I-74 redevelopment area in downtown Moline, addressing matters such as future redevelopment sites, opportunities to connect to the river, and governance structures to fulfill the vision.

The panel’s work, originally schedule to be a five-day, in-person visit, was restructured to a two-and-a-half-day event, conducted entirely virtually due to the pandemic.

“While we would have liked to host the panelists in person, it was important to proceed with the discussions about the redevelopment area, since the bridge construction continues,” Renew Board chairman Carrie O’Neill said in a Tuesday release. “We are looking forward to hearing the findings and recommendations from ULI and the Panel members.”

A virtual session to present the Panel’s findings will take place virtually on Wednesday, April 21 from 9:30-11:30 a.m. The public is invited to participate. Please email aelias@renewmoline.com for a zoom link for the presentation.

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Jonathan Turner has been covering the Quad-Cities arts scene for 25 years, first as a reporter with the Dispatch and Rock Island Argus, and then as a reporter with the Quad City Times. Jonathan is also an accomplished actor and musician who has been seen frequently on local theater stages, including the Bucktown Revue and Black Box Theatre.