Demolition Site at 324 Main Street in Davenport, Iowa on June 13, 2023

How Did the City of Davenport, Iowa Allow This Disaster to Happen?

All citations below linked to source documents regarding the history and demise of the building and lives inside 324 Main Street in downtown Davenport, Iowa and were either acquired via Freedom of Information Act requests made to the city of Davenport, or are publicly available documents or links to published articles.

1907. The Davenport Hotel, designed by local architects Temple and Burrows, is completed.

September 1, 2015. 324 Main Street is sold by “The Dav Bldg LC” to City Center Properties, LLC for $3,300,000. City Center Properties was created by Mark Roemer on August 12, 2015. It would be legally dissolved on September 7, 2021.

September 7, 2018. Official City Notice and Order of substandard dwellings. Six windows are rotting out.

October 11, 2018. Final Official Notice. “As of this date… sub-standard conditions have not been corrected.” This begins a common theme at 324 Main Street: Existing problems are not fixed, new problems are added to the list.

December 12, 2018. Official Notice to Vacate. “This is the Final Notice to vacate this building by 1/28/2018 12:00 AM.” Existing problems are ignored. The building is not vacated.

September 10, 2019. Complaint Notice and Order. “…conditions were found which render dwelling substandard.” This Order contains a new list of complaints, but this time the order is sent to Saratoga Capital Group, LLC, in St. Louis, Mo.

December 20, 2019. 324 Main Street is sold by City Center Properties to Waukee Investments I, LLC. for $550,000. The registered address of Waukee Investments is 4, Summer Place, Bettendorf, Iowa 52722. This is also the address of Mark Roemer.  In other words, Roemer controlled corporation City Center Properties, LLC sold 324 Main Street to another Roemer controlled corporation, Waukee Investments I, LLC, for $2,750,000 less than he paid for the same property four years earlier. Waukee Investments I, LLC is a defendant in eight lawsuits filed after the partial collapse of 324 Main Street.

January 28, 2020. Photographs from rental inspection include the deteriorating red brick wall. Starting on page six of the report are clear photos of the infamous brick wall beginning to fail (the photo is time-stamped 01/24/2020). This is three years before this section collapsed.

January 30, 2020. Official Notice and Order. “…conditions were found which render the dwelling substandard.” The same six windows still haven’t been fixed.

June 30, 2020. Official Notice and Order. The violations include mold, mildew, water damage, “evidence of roof leakage,” “entire sixth floor leaking at roof drains and seams.” Nothing is being fixed; new, more serious violations are being added to the list.

August 26, 2020. Official Notice and Order. Seventy four violations including, “Throughout the entire 6th floor. Replace/Repair water damaged ceilings,” Inoperable Fire Alarm system, and “Exterior Walls-Deteriorated / missing exterior block / brick / stucco / stone.” This is the wall that will collapse three years later.

February 16, 2021. Notice of Extension. “… an extension has been granted for the above captioned property…” Note (in image to the right) the list of apartment units that must be re-inspected before occupancy. However, on August 2, 2021 (see above) Director of Development & Neighborhood Services Rich Oswald put all re-inspections at 324 Main Street on hold. We know that at the time of the collapse, units #203, #306, #312, and #511 were occupied even though they could not be occupied without a re-inspection. “Municipal infraction citations,” should have been issued, and “substantial penalties assessed,” but they were not.

May 26, 2021. Final Official Notice. Seventy-four Violations cited with photographs included. None of these violations will be fixed.

June 21, 2021. 324 Main Street is sold by Waukee Investments I, LLC to Davenport Hotel, LLC for $4,193,000. Davenport Hotel, LLC was created on May 20, 2021 by Andrew Wold.

August 2, 2021.RI [Re-Inspections] on existing violations [at 324 Main Street] on hold per Rich Oswald – TCH [Tony Haut]” Rich Oswald is Director of Development & Neighborhood Services. Anthony (Tony) Haut is the Code Enforcement Officer at Neighborhood Services. The Development and Neighborhood Services Department is responsible for planning, zoning, and code enforcement activities. No further re-inspections were performed at 324 Main Street after this order. Tenants were placed in apartments that had open housing violations. Rich Oswald is currently being sued by 324 Main Street's tenants and deceased tenants' surviving families.

August 27, 2021. Andrew Wold applies for rental license for 324 Main St. Wold does not pay fee.

October 3, 2021. The city of Davenport sends Wold a dunning notice to pay his rental license.  Wold does not pay his rental license fees.

January 28, 2022. The city of Davenport sends Wold a Final Notice of Delinquent Rental License fees. “This letter is your final notice that all delinquent fees are to be paid in full by the end of the business day on 2/11/2022.” Wold did not pay the delinquent fees by 2/11/2022 and no actions were taken.

February 4, 2022. The city of Davenport includes Wold on the list of active rental licenses even though Wold had not paid his rental license fees for 324 Main Street (or his other rental properties).

June 22, 2022. The Davenport city council passes a resolution in support of the state of Iowa awarding tax credits for “the 324 Main Street – The Davenport Project,” and offering local matching funds from the city in an amount not less than $1,000 per dwelling unit...”

July 1, 2022. The city of Davenport sends Andrew Wold a Delinquent Rental License Notice. He didn’t pay this, either.

September 22, 2022. The City’s Community and Economic Development lists Wold as having a valid rental license. This is important because the city of Davenport is paying Andrew Wold thousands of dollars to house HUD recipients and Veterans at 324 Main Street.

November 11, 2022. Andrew Wold appears in the city’s Accounts Receivable Active Rental Licenses spreadsheet.

November 23, 2022. The city of Davenport sends Wold another dunning notice including a list of unpaid rental licenses and rental inspection fees. (source document link pending as of January 31, 2024) Wold doesn’t pay these bills, either.

January 26, 2023. Humility Homes Executive Director Ashley Velez writes in an e-mail to Third Ward Alderman Marion Meginnis that tenants at 324 Main Street have not had heat for weeks. “I am hoping that you can help address this as this property management company is not a great one and we feel are taking advantage of tenants,” she wrote to Meginnis. The next day, Meginnis forwarded Velez’s complaint to Rich Oswald, director of Davenport’s Neighborhood Services, Mayor Mike Matson, and City Administrator Corri Spiegel. No further action was taken by anyone at the city. Rich Oswald and Corri Spiegel are both defendants in multiple lawsuits, including being sued by 324 Main Street tenants and deceased tenants' families.

January 30, 2023. Tenant complaint to city: no heat since October.

January 31, 2023. Tenant complaint to city: no heat.

February 2, 2023. Notice of Public Hazard. “Part of the south-west wall has been gradually failing. This failure is seen to continue on the inside whythes of brick masonry as well. There is visible crumbling of this exterior load bearing wall under the support beam.” This report contains numerous photographs which visibly show that collapse is imminent.
This document is signed by Trishna R. Pradhan, Chief Building Official. Ms. Pradhan resigned her position with the city the day after the partial collapse of 324 Main Street. She is also named as a defendant in the combined lawsuits. She is represented by the city’s outside counsel Lane and Waterman.

February 7, 2023. Tenant complaint to city: no heat.

February 8, 2023. Electrical Work & Permits at various properties. “We will not be issuing any Occupancy Certificates for you properties until these issues are resolved: 324 Main: Boiler Permit. Permit was cancelled by Quinn Electric.” So the boiler doesn’t work, there isn’t any heat, there aren’t Occupancy Certificates, and people are living there.

February 10, 2023. Tenant complaint to city: no heat.

February 14, 2023. Tenant complaint to city: no heat.

February 27, 2023. Tenant complaint to city: no heat.

March 13, 2023. Letter from Fire Marshal Jim Morris to Andrew Wold. “The lack of responsiveness with this property is unacceptable, this is a R-2 building that has many occupants and requires the life safety equipment to be fixed and inspected as required by code.”

March 14, 2023. Tenant complaint to city:  no heat. Davenport Fire Department Captain Terrell, wrote in a report, “The boiler was making some loud noises that did not seem to be normal, and the alarms were sounding on the boiler panel.”

March 15, 2023. Tenant complaint to city: no heat.

March 28, 2023. Tenant complaint to city: no heat.

April 4, 2023. Tenant complaint to city: no heat.

April 26, 2023. Tenant complaint to city: no heat.

May 3, 2023. Official Notice to Vacate. “…conditions / violations have not been corrected therefore the building [324 Main Street] has been tagged / ordered vacated and is deemed substandard.” “This is the Final Notice to vacate this building/unit by: 6/3/2023, 07:30 AM.”

May 8, 2023. Tenant complaint to city: no heat.

May 15, 2023. Tenant complaint to city: no heat

May 20, 2023 00:18 AM. City issues rental license to Wold for 324 Main Street for the previous year. Wold still doesn’t have a valid rental license for 324 Main Street for 2023.

May 27, 2023 2:51 PM. Davenport Fire Department 911 Report. “E1C was dispatched to… [324 Main Street] for a passer-by who called in 911 in regards to large multi-story building with bricks “bulging” out… Chief 1 also arrived on scene and stated this matter has already been addressed and there was no further action needed from E1C.” Davenport Fire Department was on scene for 4 minutes. The next day the building would collapse.

May 28, 2023 4:55 PM. 324 Main Street partial collapse. Branden Colvin, 42, Ryan Hitchcock, 51 and Daniel Prien, 61, are killed. Peach Berry is trapped in the rubble.

May 28, 2023 5:01 PM. Peach Berry’s leg is amputated on site. “It was determined that empathy for the victim and her partner [Lexus Berry] should be employed. The victim’s partner was donned in protective gear and lead (sic) to the rescue area to see the victim and exchange any words they desired; no physical contact was allowed due to the nature of the area. The very brief exchange was discontinued and the civilian was led out of the building…”

May 29, 2023. Fire Marshal Jim Morris, "The City is demanding the immediate demolition of the structure; therefore demolition will commence upon securing a contractor."

May 29. 2023 12:46 PM. City Administrator Corri Spiegel writes in an e-mail, "We have authorized the emergency demolition contract with Valley Construction, who is mobilized on-site." In fact, no contract with Valley Construction was ever authorized. D. W. Zinser Co. Inc. of Walford, Iowa would eventually be paid $647,000 for the work.

May 29. 2023 12:59 PM. Alderman at Large Kyle Gripp writes in an e-mail, "On Monday, May 29, 2023 at approximately 9:45 AM, the DFD [Davenport Fire Department] transitioned to a recovery operation…" "no known fatalities."

May 29. 2023 2:07 PM. Third ward alderwoman Marion Meginnis writes in an e-mail to the 3rd Ward, "…emergency demolition will likely begin tomorrow morning."

May 29, 2023 5:00  PM. Lisa Brooks found alive on fourth floor of 324 Main Street. Woman emerges from Davenport apartment building set to be demolished hours later.”

May 29, 2023. Crowds gather to protest demolition after woman pulled from collapsed Davenport apartment

May 30, 2023. "Stop" the demo' rally held outside collapsed Davenport building as residents remain missing.

June 5, 2023. The first of eight lawsuits is filed.

June 16, 2023. Judge issues an emergency order halting any remaining demolition of The Davenport.

September 28, 2023. All seven lawsuits that were filed after the collapse at 324 Main St. in Davenport have been consolidated, according to a ruling filed on Sept. 26 from District Court Judge Mark Lawson. Many of the suits have the same defendants.

November 17, 2023.  The estates of Daniel Prien and Ryan Hitchcock file the eighth lawsuit for wrongful death.

January 6, 2024. Attorneys argue proceeds from Wold property sales should be kept in court-monitored account. Defendants named in the master petition are: 

Davenport Hotel, LLC

Andrew Wold

Andrew Wold Investments, LLC

Village Property Management, LLC

Alliance Contracting, LLC

Select Structural Engineering, LLC

Bi-State Masonry, Inc.

CT Engineering, Inc., doing business as Townsend Engineering

City of Davenport

Waukee Investments I, LLC

Parkwild Properties, LC

Trishna Pradhan

Richard Oswald

Corrin Spiegel

QC Rental Group, LLC

Kyle Robinson

Dorothea LLC

2200 11th LLC

246 W. 3rd Street Cooperative


HUD Section 8 & Veterans Administration Supplemental Housing

The Housing and Urban Development agency and the Veterans Administration agency both have programs (Section 8 for HUD, and VASH, or Veterans Administration Supplemental Housing) that give money to cities to provide housing for people in need. The city is also paid by HUD and VASH to administer these programs. Section 8 and VASH housing in the city of Davenport are run out of the Community and Economic Development department. Bruce Berger is the director of Community Planning and Economic Development.

On May 28, 2023, at least five tenants at 324 Main Street were there because they were placed in the building by the city of Davenport. The city of Davenport paid the landlord, Andrew Wold, thousands of dollars directly for rent for these HUD and VASH tenants.

HUD requires that all rental units in the Section 8 program be inspected. This is an actual HUD inspection for unit #312 at 324 Main Street. Note that unit #312 was specifically mentioned in the inspection on September 16, 2021 as a unit that “must be re-inspected before occupancy,” but all inspections were stopped by order of Rich Oswald, director of Davenport’s Neighborhood Services, on August 2, 2021.

There are two different groups of inspectors at the city of Davenport. One group works in Neighborhood Services. These inspectors compiled a list of 74 housing violations including the crumbling wall at 324 Main Street while the Community and Economic Development inspector passed the same building with flying colors.

Above is a section of the actual HUD Inspection checklist for Unit #312 at 324 Main Street. Note that everything is checked off as ‘passed’ including Condition of Foundation, Condition of Roof/Gutters, Condition of Exterior Surfaces and even the Manufactured Home: Tie Downs (obviously, 324 Main Street was not a mobile home and did not have tie downs).

When I asked Bruce Berger, the director of Community Planning and Economic Development, why it was that all these passed items appeared to be checked off before the form was printed and why the mobile home tie downs were marked as passed when 324 Main Street was not a mobile home, he replied, “No Comment.”

HUD is currently preparing a, “Corrective Action Plan” for the city of Davenport.


City of Davenport Expenditures Due to the Collapse of 324 Main St. Through Dec. 10, 2023

Between May 28, 2023 and December 10, 2023 the city of Davenport paid out $4,027,126.77 in expenses directly related to the collapse of 324 Main Street. This does not include an additional $74,229.50 paid through November, 2023 to Lane and Waterman to represent the city in the eight lawsuits alleging city of Davenport’s responsibility for the collapse of 324 Main Street and the ensuing loss of life and trauma. Among the recorded expenses are:

Davenport Electric Contract Company $23,100.67

Evergreen Partners $36,000.00

Waste Commission of Scott Co (Tipping fee) $449,756.70

Northwest Illinois Incident Management $50,040.00

Shive Hattery - $84,781.77

Lowe’s Home Center, Inc. - $2,672.99

WRS Construction -$30,567.00

White Birch Group, Inc. - $83,128.77

D W Zinser Co. Inc. - $647,000.00

Socotec Engineering, Inc. - $124,946.42

Scott County Emergency Communications Center - $46,701.05

Global Security Services IA - $24,605.09

S & V Fence and Deck Co. - $28,115.00

Terracon Consultants - $6,460.00

Tri State Crane - $12,080.00

B-State Barricade Rental - $3,500.00

Stormwater & Mgmt Services (sod) - $7,208.78

Honeywell Analytics (Haz Mat Recovery) - $2,080.00

Mindfire Communications - $4,486.42

Municipal Pipe & Tool Co - $2,101.18

RACOM Corporation - $24,152.50

Scott County Government - $1,600,000.00

Altorfer - $5,417.21

About the Researcher/Author: D. Ezra Sidran holds a doctorate in computer science from the University of Iowa and is an award-winning computer game designer, who lives in Davenport, Iowa. Before retiring he taught computer science at the University of Iowa.

Support the River Cities' Reader

Get 12 Reader issues mailed monthly for $48/year.

Old School Subscription for Your Support

Get the printed Reader edition mailed to you (or anyone you want) first-class for 12 months for $48.
$24 goes to postage and handling, $24 goes to keeping the doors open!

Click this link to Old School Subscribe now.

Help Keep the Reader Alive and Free Since '93!


"We're the River Cities' Reader, and we've kept the Quad Cities' only independently owned newspaper alive and free since 1993.

So please help the Reader keep going with your one-time, monthly, or annual support. With your financial support the Reader can continue providing uncensored, non-scripted, and independent journalism alongside the Quad Cities' area's most comprehensive cultural coverage." - Todd McGreevy, Publisher