Business & Economy
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Hollie Dugan   
Wednesday, 05 November 2014 16:04

Hometown Plumbing & Heating, 13606 - 118th Avenue, Davenport, Iowa, received a prestigious construction award from Associated Builders and Contractors of Iowa during the association’s annual Excellence in Construction Gala held recently in Altoona.

Hometown Plumbing & Heating was recognized with a 2014 Award of Excellence in the Plumbing - Commercial & Industrial $250,000 - $1 Million Category. The award was presented based on the company’s work on Heart of America Group – Elmore Marketplace Site Utilities – Davenport, Iowa. McClure Engineering Associates, Inc. was the architect/engineer for this project. Criteria for the award included complexity of the project, attractiveness, unusual challenges, innovation, safety, and budget compliance.

“This project is an example of the innovation and commitment to outstanding craftsmanship that embody merit shop construction. The superior workmanship illustrates the high level of quality produced by merit shop contractors,” said ABC of Iowa President and CEO Greg Spenner.


West Music Announces Closing of Ottumwa Store Location PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Kelly Goerdt   
Wednesday, 05 November 2014 11:14

Ottumwa, IA - November 4, 2014 - West Music Company announced that it will close its Ottumwa, Iowa store location effective December 31, 2014. West Music began its presence in Ottumwa in 1995. The music store, located at 404 West Main Street, had previously been owned by Milo Sorden and then Harry Carter.

West Music's commitment to the area school music programs and local musicians remains extremely important to all parties. Through weekly visits by West Music's Educational Sales Representatives, West Music will continue to provide quality instruments, products, and services to the Ottumwa community. As an additional convenience for musicians in the community, West Music is in the process of searching for local partners to establish satellite locations that will stock every day musical accessories such as reeds, lubricants, and popular method books. For more information, please contact Robin Walenta, President of West Music, at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 319-351-2000.

"After 20 years of servicing the Ottumwa community and continuing the tradition of Sorden's Music, we are sad to close our doors in Ottumwa. This is a decision we did not take likely - with the shrinking economy in southern Iowa, it became necessary for us to make this decision.  The school music business remains strong and our commitment to those accounts remains strong as our Educational Sales Representative will continue the great work he is doing in servicing the southern Iowa communities." said Robin Walenta, President of West Music.

Beginning November 1 through December 31, 2014, West Music Ottumwa will host a Store Closing Store with drastically reduced prices on musical instruments and accessories. Southeast Iowa continues to have a strong music tradition and West Music encourages the community to come to West Music Ottumwa during the Store Closing Sale to take advantage of incredible deals and celebrate the impact that West Music Ottumwa has had on the community. The deals won't last long, stop in early for the best selection.

West Music remains committed to servicing southeast Iowa and encourages customers to shop online at or visit other West Music stores - located in Cedar Falls, Coralville, Decorah, Dubuque, Marion, Moline, Illinois, or the piano gallery in Urbandale, Iowa.

About West Music Company

Founded in 1941, West Music continues to fulfill its mission of creating musical communities by providing knowledge, products, and services people need to experience the power of making music! West Music specializes in pianos, guitars, drums and percussion, band and orchestra instruments, and print music as well as offers music instruction, repair and music therapy services. West Music has seven retail locations in Iowa and western Illinois including two new locations with their recent acquisition of Kephart’s Music Center. For more information, visit West Music’s website at or call 1-800-373-2000.

News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Aleisha Chiesa   
Monday, 03 November 2014 13:43
New Energy and New Look for Moline’s Favorite Shopping Center

MOLINE, Ill ― October 31, 2014 ― SouthPark Mall is ready for its big reveal. For the past 12 months, the center has seen significant enhancements and today, in partnership with the community, retailers and shoppers, the new SouthPark will be unveiled.

At 10am on November 13th, SouthPark will officially reveal the new shopping experience. Officials from the City of Moline, the Chamber and a special guest, Santa will attend. “Rediscover SouthPark” festivities will include a ceremonial ribbon cutting, a free family concert with The Blenders, the 44th annual Mr. Thanksgiving’s press conference, the opening of the newly designed Children’s Play Area, and a multitude of local performers including Rockridge Show Choir, CASI New Horizon Band and Black Hawk College Choir.

“For over 40 years, SouthPark Mall has been an anchor in the community,” said Kathy Jurgens, Property Manager for SouthPark Mall. “We are committed to bringing in the best brands and elevating the experience. We invite everyone to help us celebrate this major milestone as we share the new SouthPark Mall.”

In total, thirteen national retailers have reinvested new prototypes into the center including Journeys, Shoe Dept. Encore and Bath & Body Works. Improvements to the interior and exterior aesthetics are making the mall a completely new shopping experience. The new lighting, brighter colors and soft seating amenities are transforming the center. The newly designed Children’s Play Area will be revealed on November 13th as well. Located next to Express and DEB, the new area will feature a tribute to our farming community.

More excitement is set for the center as DICK’S Sporting Goods is now under construction. Known for an extensive assortment of authentic, high-quality sports equipment, apparel, footwear and accessories to serve the athletes and outdoor enthusiasts of the Moline community, DICK’S will be a great complement to the shopping center. The store will open in summer 2015.

“The City of Moline is very pleased and grateful for the substantial reinvestment made by Macerich into SouthPark Mall symbolizing their commitment to the Moline and Illinois Quad Cities community,” said Mayor Scott Raes. “SouthPark Mall has been the community’s commercial anchor for many years and this revitalized shopping center, with new prototype stores from national retailers and the addition of DICK’S Sporting Goods, creates an entirely new shopping experience for all citizens in the Quad Cities. The city is appreciative of its partnership with Macerich to make this goal a reality.”

For more information on free, fun events, visit or follow us on Twitter @SouthParkMallIL and like us on Facebook at

Macerich, an S&P 500 company, is a fully integrated self-managed and self-administered real estate investment trust or REIT, which focuses on the acquisition, leasing, management, development and redevelopment of regional malls throughout the United States.

Macerich currently owns 57 million square feet of real estate consisting primarily of interests in 53 regional shopping centers. Macerich specializes in successful retail properties in many of the country's most attractive, densely populated markets with significant presence in California, Arizona, Chicago and the Greater New York Metro area. Additional information about Macerich can be obtained from the Company's website at


Hilltop Campus Village Grand Opening PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Scott Tunnicliff   
Friday, 31 October 2014 14:31
Here is a great opportunity to welcome another new business to the Hilltop Campus Village!
Saturday from 3pm to 7pm book binder, conservator and store owner Andrew Hout will be opening his shop at 230 West 15th St.
For those in need of landmarks, the shop is right next to the Eastside Bakery, across the street from Harrison Lofts, and just north of the Hilltop Plaza Park.
More information can be found at
This promises to be another unique destination point that is helping to make the Hilltop Campus Village a one of a a shopping area where people can come to find things unavailable
Andrew Huot, Bookbinder and Conservator
Big River Bindery
230 W 15th St.
Davenport, IA 52803
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Governor Quinn Joins UI LABS to Break Ground on New Digital Manufacturing Hub PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Dave Blanchette   
Friday, 31 October 2014 14:10

Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute Set to Open in 2015, Create Jobs

CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn today was joined by U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and leadership from UI LABS to break ground on UI LABS’ future headquarters and the new Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute (DMDII). The event is part of Governor Quinn’s agenda to create jobs and drive Illinois’ economy forward.

“I’ve made this facility a major priority for Illinois by personally making our case to both the White House and Secretary of Defense, as well as securing key private sector partners because I know how important this institution will be to revitalizing our manufacturing industry,” Governor Quinn said. “The Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute will help keep Illinois’ economic comeback going. I’m pleased to break ground on this facility that will solidify Illinois’ position as a high-tech manufacturing hub, support our growing technology and innovation sectors and create jobs across the state.”

The Governor personally petitioned the Secretary of Defense twice and made the case to key White House officials about the benefits and importance of DMDII. The Governor also worked to bring key private sector partners into the initiative, including CAT, Deere & Company, Lockheed Martin, Boeing and many more.

“Our U.S. industrial base is the engine that drives our economy and equips our soldiers, sailors and airmen. It is critically important that we maintain our technological advantage within a strong, adaptive and resilient U.S. industrial base,”  Andre Gudger, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary, Manufacturing and Industrial Base Policy, Department of Defense said. “The Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute, along with the other pilot Institutes for Manufacturing Innovation, will provide this competitive edge to not only the Department of Defense, but to other federal agencies, industry, and the nation as a whole.”

“DMDII will enable Illinois to lead the nation in a 21st century manufacturing renaissance, which is precisely why I worked hard over the past two years to help bring the Institute to our state,” Senator Durbin (D-IL) said. “World-class partners from around the state and across the country—including General Electric, John Deere, Caterpillar and Boeing—will work to improve manufacturing efficiency to create new opportunities for businesses and workers. DMDII will make our small and midsize manufacturers more competitive globally by allowing them to integrate computing capabilities throughout design, testing and production. But most importantly, the Institute will be a great source of innovation, development and economic growth in our state and position us as a leader in the field for years to come.”

“Manufacturing has been an important part of Chicago’s past and we are making sure that the next generation of advanced digital manufacturing will play an even greater role in our future. This is an important milestone in a long effort and a larger strategy to put the City of Chicago front and center of the digital manufacturing revolution,” Mayor Emanuel said. “The research that comes out of the Digital Lab will underpin the products, the patents, and the production of so many new technologies, create new companies and help us attract existing companies to Chicago, and most importantly, create and sustain a new generation of good-paying jobs right here in the City of Chicago.”

Located on Goose Island, DMDII is set to revitalize America’s manufacturing industries by enabling U.S. manufacturers to harness data to make their products better, faster and more cost-competitive. Leveraging a co-investment of $70 million from the U.S. Department of Defense and matching investment from industry, university and state and local government partners, the Institute will help U.S. manufacturers increase productivity through a more effective use of data across every stage of the manufacturing process.

“We are building the factory of the future – where business and academia will convene to tackle important manufacturing challenges,” Caralynn Nowinski, Executive Director of UI LABS said. “At the same time, this facility will be the place where American workers – and the next generation of workers – will have an opportunity to see, learn and participate in the transformation of U.S. manufacturing.”

Early support from the Quinn Administration was essential to the launch of DMDII. In March 2013, Governor Quinn approved the investment of $60 million in Blue Waters at the University of Illinois, which provides the supercomputing power for this initiative, and set Illinois’ application apart from other contenders for the DMDII. The Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute will reduce development and deployment costs for U.S. manufacturers while creating billions of dollars in value for the industrial marketplace—spurring long-term economic growth and job creation. The facility is scheduled to open late in the first quarter of 2015.

“Advances in digital manufacturing are already improving companies’ performance all across America,” Dean Bartles, Executive Director of DMDII said. “DMDII is going to take these advances to the next level by bringing technical expertise and connecting the dots across America’s supply chain.”

DMDII demonstrates Chicago’s increasing prominence as a national leader in advanced manufacturing. DMDII is a public-private consortium that brings together over 40 leading manufacturing and technology companies with more than 30 university, government and community partners, including: Boeing, Caterpillar, Dow Chemical, General Electric, Illinois Tool Works, John Deere, Lockheed Martin, Microsoft, Northwestern University, PARC, Purdue University, Procter & Gamble, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rolls Royce, Siemens, University of Chicago, University of Illinois and University of Texas-Austin.

Prior to the official groundbreaking ceremony, guests took a tour of the 94,000-square-foot facility. Dignitaries viewed renderings of the soon to be completed space by architecture firm Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill (SOM). The building is located at 1333 Hickory Ave. on Goose Island, an industrial zone in the heart of the city that is rapidly becoming an “Innovation Island.”

SOM’s design for the DMDII space plays on the idea of transparency by adding glass storefronts and window bays to the existing building’s exterior. Glass walls, exposed plumbing and mechanical systems reinforce the theme and foster an open, collaborative environment. The completed building will include a manufacturing floor for demonstrations, classrooms, a lecture hall and collaborative meeting rooms.


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