By: Christine Souders
What's in store for the 90 acres of land next to Jumer's casino in Rock Island?
In Monday night's meeting, the consultant hired by the City of Rock Island advised council members which businesses would generate the most money and visitors.
A map outlined a possible game plan for the 90 acres, the city recently purchased next to Jumer's Casino.
Based on the consultant's recommendations, a high end or retail outlet mall at the I–280 and 92 crossing would draw the most visitors to the area.
Therrin Protze, the President and General Manager of Jumer's Casino Hotel said it's a natural fit, "For us, I think it's an opportunity to now have a true destination. It will offer incentives to go to the mall and shop based on our casino offerings."
Another business said to be high in demand is a big box sporting goods store, and other added conveniences like a gas station and restaurant.
Sarah Ford is a small business owner in Rock Island. She told us the more shopping Rock Island has to offer, the better, "Anything that will help diversify the city and bring more revenue in I think is definitely worth considering."
City leaders said this new development will also help Rock Island stand out from the rest of the Quad Cities.
"You're going to start to see a trend of people shopping, going from Iowa, you're going to start see them come back to the Illinois side of the river, which is great," said PJ Foley, 3rd Ward Alderman.
Officials said the overall process is expected to take about 2 and a half years.
We're told the city is pursuing certain retailers, but at this point they're not sharing any names.
One hurdle the city faces is finding a straight route from Milan to the casino.
City leaders plan to look at their options in the upcoming months.