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Moline officials tour future 4-star hotel


MOLINE — The 5th Avenue Building's interior looks more like a war zone than the future $18 million four-star hotel it will become.

City officials, including Mayor Stephanie Acri, were on hand to take a tour of the building Tuesday evening. The building is located at 1630 5th Ave.

Kirk Whalen, vice president of Heart of America Group, was very excited about the many historic features of the building.

"We have already taken out about 50 dumpsters of material, but the basement was full of a lot of historic fixtures which we saved," Mr. Whalen said. "We are going to repurpose everything we can."

Mr. Whalen said the focus on the project is to get it done correctly.

"Our vision is long term," Mr. Whalen said. "It will be ready to open when it is ready."

Old lamp shades, exit signs and even an exercise bike were among the items found in the building during the demolition work.

What were once offices is now a large, open space with piles of old ceiling tiles, plaster and debris on the floor.

Caleb Rogers, architect for Heart of America Group, said that most hotel brands offer a prototype of what they would want their hotels to look like.

"We provide a better property and more amenities to our guest than those prototype places," Mr. Rogers said. "So even if we did say the specific hotel that will be here, that probably wouldn't give you the exact flavor of the type of space that we are going to have."

Ray Forsythe, planning and development director, said this was one of the most exciting projects that is going to happen in downtown Moline.

"I think it is going to transform where we are today and where we are going to go in the future," Mr. Forsythe said. "They bring people that don't normally live in Moline to Moline."

He also said that hotels are the best uses for buildings because of the tax revenue that will be generated.

Once completed, the hotel will have more than 100 rooms, which will be located on the second through eighth floors.

Mr. Whalen said restoring the building to make it historically accurate and function as a hotel was not going to be an easy task. Nor will it be cheap, as the company estimates spending between $500,000 to $700,000 and at least five months of work just to make the building historically accurate.

The building also needs a new roof, window replacement and elevator housing. New windows will be soundproof, which should deflect the sound of passing trains, Mr. Whalen said.


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