It would be natural to look at the volume of housing being developed in downtown Davenport and infer some coordinated process or a major new incentive program. Roughly 300 market-rate apartments are either recently finished or in the development process.
There's undoubtedly a trend here. The Downtown Davenport Partnership - part of the Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce - noted in its strategic plan from earlier this year that "nearly 100,000 square feet of office space is currently planned for conversion to residential units."
That includes 11 different projects from seven different developers.
And while the Downtown Davenport Partnership has been a key player, its director - Kyle Carter - said his organization's role has been to "help guide that process. Not own it, guide it. ...
"We always give advice when these developers are shopping," he said. "But the vast majority of those plans are developer-driven. If anything, I'm the tour guide. I'm the guy that is showing the buffet of options down here. So I will certainly push for projects that I think are more catalytic, or locations that will have bigger benefits for the whole down here."
In other words, local government, a downtown organization, or a plan with the scale or taxpayer cost of River Renaissance isn't behind this housing boom. It's largely happening on its own.