Bettendorf downtown 2.0 starting to look like old version: gas stations and convenience stores

The revised downtown Bettendorf streets aren't yet complete, but gas station/convenience store developers are already moving to re-establish their presence along the busy State and Grant Street corridors.

An engineering firm is seeking rezoning of downtown property to permit construction of a gas station and convenience store along 16th Street between Grant and State Streets.

Missman, Inc. wants to rezone property at 325 16th St. and 1625 Grant St. from C-2 (community shopping district) to C-3 (general business district) to allow the project by an unnamed company. The request will go before the city's Planning and Zoning Commission at its Wednesday (8/17) meeting.

Remnants of vacant gas stations along State Street have been long-time eyesores along the downtown corridor, and establishment of a convenience store hawking beer and liquor near the new QC Waterfront Convention Center raised concerns of city officials.

City planners have developed several downtown redevelopment concepts over the years seeking to remake the downtown into a more diverse and attractive retail area.

The city's new comprehensive plan, which is to go before the city council for final approval this week, calls for more mixed use retail and residential development downtown along with a pedestrian "alleyway" to improve walkability in the corridor.

That proposed alleyway would extend between Grant and State Streets through the entire downtown, providing pedestrian access along the corridor and linking to the riverfront recreation trail.

However, one of the main access points to the proposed gas station/convenience store would via the alley between State and Grant Streets.

City staff supports the rezoning, but wants to include a requirement that the new downtown design standards are in place before acting on the project's site development plan.

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