The combination of Enterprise Zone sales tax deduction on building materials and tax increment financing incentives have encouraged developers to create 150 new rental and owner-occupied housing units in Downtown Rock Island. Projects range from a four-unit upper floor build-out above a restaurant to a 35-unit warehouse renovation.
Rock Island created the Downtown loft housing program, encouraging the use of vacant spaces above first floor commercial, to improve the appearance of upper floors and increase the viability of Downtown commercial space. Projects include market rate apartments, rental units with income eligibility requirements and a three-story condominium development with commercial units on the ground floor.
To date, $16.5 million has been invested in the partial or complete renovation of 10 Downtown buildings.
Enterprise Zone incentives were used to build 52 units of loft housing in vacant upper floors of the Renaissance and Goldman buildings in downtown Rock Island.