ROCK ISLAND, Ill. (KWQC) – Survey results are in that may provide a new vision for the Quad Cities. In February and March this year, people across the region answered questions about life in the area. And one city is already making strides towards a better Q-C.
Downtown revitalization was one topic a Quad Cities Chamber survey showed needs to be a focus to attract young professionals to the area. Rock Island residents said they believe their city is on the right track.
Morgan Milmer and his family moved to Rock Island just a couple of years ago. They said it’s a great place to live.
“Really liked the look and feel of downtown, found a great place we liked so decided to stay,” Milmer said.
But he said there could be a little more hustle and bustle in the area.
“You’ve got great restaurants and then the festivities, but sometimes just for lunch and right after work you’ll be walking around and it doesn’t have a kind of hopping feel,” Milmer said.
Rita Coine who grew up in Rock Island agrees.
“Used to be a lot of shopping, a lot of retail and there isn’t now, so that’s a big difference,” Coine said.
The survey facilitated by the Quad Cities Chamber reflects that. The top three things young professionals are looking for: more shopping and restaurants, a variety of housing options and downtown revival. Rock Island residents said they’re seeing all of these things.
“Well there’s a lot activity now in the downtown areas,” Coine said. “I think they’re all trying to get more restaurants and eating establishments.”
“They’re doing very well with getting new housing down here,” Rock Island resident Charles Knudsen said. “It’s really nice housing. I have to say they’re doing really good about getting new businesses down here. We’ve had just about 25 new business just within the last year move in.”
“You have art, you have culture, you’ve got a minor league sports, so there really is quite a bit going on and yeah I think any activity to improve the downtown areas would only be icing on the cake,” Milmer said.
Co-chair of the Quad Cities Chamber’s Regional Vision Committee, Joe Slavens, said the next step is for the entire region to build a stronger whole from their individual strengths.
“Rock Island’s not any different than any the communities is viewing themselves as a part of a greater whole,” Slavens said. “And that that really provides us strength to build from as opposed to being each individual city we are sort of like burrows within one larger region.”
The Chamber said they will use information from the survey to drive their plans for the future, while continuing to look for community input.