COMMENTARY: The year ended with the completion by Sherman and Associates of the Harrison Loft apartments, the completion by Hilltop Campus Village of the Parking lot at 15th and Ripley, and the institution of a new snow plowing and snow removal policy on Harrison Street. Each of these bode well for the area, but all will take some getting used to.
o It is great that the apartments are filled; now we need to concentrate on helping to lease the commercial spaces.
o It is great to have parking at 15th and Ripley so homeowners won't have vehicles parking in front of their house; now we will see just how many parking spaces are necessary for the Harrison Lofts.
o It is great that there is parking on the west side of Harrison, and that the Dept. of Public Works is not only plowing the snow there, but also committed to its removal; we'll all have to get used to seeing that cars are moved off Harrison so the plow and trucks can do their work.
With every new development comes new responsibilities.
HCV actions and activities:
o Nomination has been made by the HCV in three categories to the Main Street Iowa Annual Awards Ceremony, set for May 2 in Des Moines. We have nominated a Volunteer of the Year (from Organization work group, Image Building of the Year (from Promotion work group), and New Construction of the Year (from Design work group). This is a great event which last year recognized the HCV for attaining a major reinvestment milestone.
o Camille Cooper, a junior from St. Ambrose University, started interning for the Hilltop Campus Village on January 10. She is majoring in psychology and was drawn to the HCV mission by its need for research on numerous elements. Camille is working primarily but not exclusively on updating lists of businesses in the HCV, and of property owners within the Hilltop Association, which is the SSMID within the Hilltop Campus Village.
o A Main Street Iowa Business Innovation Challenge Grant is being worked on by the HCV Promotion work group and staff. The Board has okayed the project, and the deadline is Feb. 14, with award notification in March.
o Street light installation and maintenance, the major elements of our streetscaping plan, are being co-advocated for with the Downtown Davenport Business Partnership, which is keen to extend their streetscaping to additional blocks. The idea is to emphasize to the city as their CIP budget is crafted our respective desire to have our streetlighting linked.
o Landscaping for the Hilltop Plaza and Parking lot at 15th and Ripley (can anyone think of a name for the lot? Ideas welcome.) will be done in the spring, finally using funds from the Tri-City Garden Club and other resources in the design coffers.
o A four-person team of MBA students nearing graduation from St. Ambrose are making a portion of the Hilltop into a special project, part of their Integrated Project course, taught by Professor Bill Lynn. They intend to use their skills in research and strategic planning to identify challenges and craft solutions.
o Developers with an appetite for mid-sized redevelopment are being invited to meet with the Hilltop Campus Village Economic Restructuring work group to review an inventory of buildings and sites that are ripe for .... Well, redevelopment. Persons who know of potentially interested parties are invited to contact the office.
HAPPENINGS IN and near THE HILLTOP
o Thursday January 30 marks an event vital to the interests of many residents in the Hilltop Campus Village and vicinity when Genesis Navigators opens their staffed offices at 114 W. 2nd Street. The navigators are there to assist individuals and families in accessing and signing up for healthcare coverage under the Affordable Healthcare Act. It is important that everyone accesses this informed decisions can be made to suit individual circumstances. Additional information may be had by contacting Austin Bird, Genesis Corporate Communications at 563 421 9276 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
o A Valentine's Sweetheart Dinner is being offered on February 14 at the newly opened Greatest Grains Event Center at 1600 Harrison Street. Reservations are being taken for a multi-course goumet dinner, complete with live entertainment, the perfect way to celebrate with your sweetheart. The charge is $50 per couple, beverages of choice may be brought with you. Call 563 323 7521 or email email@example.com for reservations. Don't delay!
o On February 11 at 6pm the Weed and Seed program will have its meeting in the offices of the Hilltop Campus Village. It is an open meeting of persons whose aim is to bring about strengthened neighborhoods by "weeding" the undesirable elements out of an area and "cultivating" good things to grow in its place.
o The Valentine's Serenade is also available that day for those wishing to send a surprise singing Valentine to their loved one at home or work, anytime between 8am and 6pm that day. Quartets of the Chordbusters and the Bend of the River Chorus will be singing all day, surprising people with love songs from their special someone (or their secret admirer). The cost is only $39.95 and comes with a quartet singing 2 love songs, providing a red rose and a Photo of the Moment. Make the Hilltop sing out with love and affection by ordering today. To order call 563 505 5895.
o The Hilltop Campus Village is pleased to have been part of the planning process for the Scott County Regional Economic Development Summit, to be held on February 13 at the Isle Conference Center, Isle of Capri in Bettendorf. The event is a half-day of panelists and speakers, covering topics related to rural and regional economic and community development and concludes with a luncheon and keynote address from Debi Durham, Director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority. The event is presented by Scott County, and the charge is only $15. Register by calling 563 823 2676 or going to QuadCitiesChamber.com
o A Request for Proposal was sent out to developers, seeking project designs and concepts for the city-owned land at 5th and Brady. Four submittals were received by the January 6 deadline, and are being ranked by a five member panel including a volunteer from the Hilltop Campus Village.
o The Hilltop Campus Village is making application to Paint Iowa Beautiful, for paint that will go to specific projects. This annual program will provide colors of choice for one project per year. The due date is February 22.
o Another RFP for residential development of land close to but not in the Hilltop Campus Village has also been sent out. Interested parties may contact this office for further information on it.
o Business/Organization office space now available. Low cost office space within the Hilltop Campus Village office at 601 Brady Street for start ups, small businesses and not for profits. Five private enclosed and secure spaces are for lease at very reasonable rates, utilities included. Sizes range from 170 sq ft. to 625 sq ft. Interested parties may contact Ted Priester, firstname.lastname@example.org, 563 322 5386.
o Two commercial properties are now available for sale in the HCV, due to their owner's pending retirement. Both are highly visible commercial buildings, one with abundant parking, the other with an existing income stream of $1000/month. Contact the HCV for contact information on these and other properties.
o Alex Iaccarino has been named to the City's Design Review Board to represent the Hilltop Campus Village on matters pertaining to signage and façade improvement. The HCV Design work group put his name forward, reasoning that relative youth and an artistic perspective were consistent with the HCV's focus. Welcome Alex!
o Robert G. Scott of the Davenport Community School Board is welcomed as a new HCV Board member. Robert is a former Central High School Principal, now charged with oversite for all the District's senior and intermediate schools. His background knowledge and familiarity with the area will be of great use to the board as it charts its course in redevelopment. Welcome Robert!
o The HCV is contacting developers who have a history of success and innovation in mid-sized redevelopment projects and may be interested in the Hilltop Campus Village. While we don't have huge projects available, there are sites and some mixed-use multi-story buildings, some of which qualify for federal and State Historic Tax Credits, that may be of interest. If you know of anyone who might be interested, let the office know or have them inquire personally.
o To the Design work group for their diligence in seeking out quality space for murals as public art. An excellent candidate wall has been found and a grant is being sought to cover the cost of materials.
o To property owners in the HCV, large and small, who have undertaken to improve their holdings. The most recent economic impact report from the Main Street Iowa program showed that of the three Urban Neighborhood Districts, ours had the highest amount of private investment in rehabilitation - over $27 million since we started in 2009.
WORK GROUP SESSIONS: Meetings open to all
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
o Meeting time: Second Wednesday of the month (February 12), 5:00pm, HCV office, 601 Brady Street, Suite 301.
§ Grants submittal (Design and Economic Restructuring)
§ Consideration of Parking on Brady resolution
§ Report on Feb. 4 Winter Workshop in Cedar Rapids
o Meeting time: Second Monday of the month (February 10), 4:00 pm., Hilltop Campus Village office, 601 Brady Street, Suite 301
§ Annual meeting planning
§ RDA and SCRA grant cycle projects
o Meeting time: Third Thursday (February 20), 5:00pm, Hilltop Campus Village office, 601 Brady Street, Suite 301
§ Hilltop Plaza - Parking lot landscaping
§ Mural space identification and grant submittal
§ Street light acquisition, installation and maintenance project
o Meeting time: Second Tuesday (February 11), 4:00pm, Hilltop Campus Village office, 601 Brady Street, Suite 301
§ Plan for Business after Hours event - date, location, invitation
§ Altar Crawl update
§ Fall Festival
ECONOMIC RESTRUCTURING COMMITTEE
o Meeting time: Third Wednesday, (February 19) noon, Hilltop Campus office, 601 Brady Street, Suite 301
§ Developer outreach, marketing site and building inventory
§ MBA study of the Hilltop Campus Village
The Hilltop Campus Village is a not for profit organization dedicated to restoration, redevelopment and revitalization of this area. Questions, comments and suggestions may be addressed by contacting the Hilltop Campus Village office at 563-322-8293 or email@example.com or board members.