April 1-6, 2013 was proclaimed official Community Development Week in Davenport. We were honored to host an event at The Taylor Renaissance on April 5th with the city of Davenport to celebrate National Community Development Week. Many successful housing developments like Taylor have been made possible through federal housing rehabilitation programs like HOME and Community Development Block Grants (CDBG). Investments made with these federal dollars have had a huge impact on Davenport and the Quad Cities, helping to build and expand neighborhoods and spur the creation of even more housing and business start-ups.
“Part of what happens when you’re able to do something like this – take a vacant property and turn it into something as nice as this – it helps stimulate surrounding properties and the neighborhood to do the like,” said Nancy Kapp, President and CEO of The Renaissance Companies.
Davenport Mayor Bill Gluba and Congressman Dave Loebsack (IA-2nd) spoke to the assembled crowd of media and guests, lauding the progress made in our community through the use of CDBG and HOME, and congratulating developers who teamed with the city to make senior and family housing projects (like ours) possible. Mayor Gluba and Congressman Loebsack took the time to thank the many local contractors who’d built Taylor and other properties funded by these dollars, and touted the many jobs created in the process. Aldermen Bill Boom and Ray Ambrose, who helped secure the federal funding for Taylor and Jackson, were at the celebration. “There’s been a transformative renewal in this neighborhood. The houses have been painted, the back yards have been cleaned up,” said Boom.
But now, cutting federal spending has become the central focus on Capitol Hill. Gluba says cutting this spending would be a big mistake. “There are a lot of ways we can save money at the federal level, but we shouldn’t cut things that actually put people to work and improve communities like Davenport.” Loebsack agrees. “What we have to do is look carefully at all the programs. There’s no question about that, but where you have a program like this where it has proven its success, where jobs have been created, where people can find low-income housing in a renovated, old building that is now a beautiful building that is very appealing…that’s a sound investment and that makes sense.”
Taylor received its due recognition under the lights and cameras, since it’s become one of Davenport’s signature housing success stories. This 110-year-old school, successfully renovated into luxury senior housing, wowed visitors with its 19th century splendor. Even more exciting, we rolled out our sister property, The Jackson Renaissance, located at 16th and Fillmore, and due to open this June. Jackson, also funded by HOME, is under construction just a few minutes west of Taylor.
We’re proud to be part of the history here in Iowa and in Davenport, part of the redevelopment of our community and, more importantly, we’re proud to be good neighbors.