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Davenport Riverfront

Photo taken from the skybridge of LeClaire Park looking to the Centennial Bridge.


Join us on Iowa’s Front Porch, the view is spectacular!

What's New on the Riverfront?
Photo of hand railing with the Mississippi river behind it


Want to see the Queen of the Mississippi or the America as it docks at Oneida Landing?  Click here to see the schedule of visits.


Looking at Petersen Pavilion Bandshell from the LeClaire Park lawn




Large paddlewheel boat at Oneida Landing


The Upper Level Event Space at the Freight House is a popular destination for your next special occasion. This unique riverfront Quad City facility will make your event especially memorable for all your guests.  To learn how to rent this amazing venue, please click here.

Projects and Planning
Five iconic views of Davenport riverfront

RiverVision is a far-reaching and broadly participatory waterfront development plan for Davenport, Iowa and Rock Island, Illinois. Seldom, if ever, have two cities in two states planned and implemented a bi-coastal water’s edge riverfront and brownfield reclamation project. The project continues to redefine the Quad Cities’ region, attracting more visitors and branding the Quad Cities as having one of the most compelling riverfronts in the nation, even the world.

The RiverVision project is on the Mississippi River, one of the largest and most significant rivers in the world. World renowned urban designers, Hargreaves Associates of Cambridge, Massachusetts, have worked with hundreds of Quad-City residents to shape RiverVision, a plan that has won the approval of the Cities of Davenport and Rock Island and has garnered the priority attention of business and civic leaders alike.

The RiverVision planning process is a unique model for cooperation between two cities and states to achieve both shared regional objectives as well as projects specific to the needs of each city. By pooling the resources and energy of two cities and states for the greater good, the communities of Davenport and Rock Island have created an ambitious model for neighboring communities across the country. The RiverVision Plan provides a coordinated framework for channeling development and configuring urban public open space to enhance and improve the quality of living in Davenport and Rock Island.

The RiverVision initiative is noteworthy in many ways. That two neighboring cities through open processes are working together on a revitalization and economic development program – rather than competing with each other – is quite rare. That the cooperation crosses what is increasingly viewed as an artificial state line is extraordinary. That the plan, which received unanimous support from both cities (along with unanimous support from groups as diverse as the local chambers of commerce and conservationists) integrates two fundamentally different approaches to floodplain management and urban design is … unprecedented, remarkable, amazing...

To learn more about the 2004 RiverVision Plan, click here.

To learn more about the RiverVision Plan 2014 Update, click here.

Riverfront Improvement Commission

Expansive riverfront view with LeClaire Park in foreground

Davenport's Riverfront Improvement Commission
Mission Statement

The Davenport Riverfront Improvement Commission enhances the quality of life in
our community by improving the riverfront through stewardship, innovative planning
and management of resources.

 
All regular meetings of the Riverfront Improvement Commission take place on the fourth Tuesday of each month at 5:30 p.m. and are held in the Police Department's Community Room.

Regular Monthly Meeting Schedule:

2017
October 24
November 28
*December 19 - Due to HolidayThe logo for the Davenport Riverfront Improvement Commission contain a view of a bridge with flowing water beneath

2018
January 23
February 27
March 27
April 24
May 22
June 26
July 24
August 28
September 25
October 23
November 27
*December 18 - Due to Holiday

Click here to download Meeting Minutes & Agendas.


Each Alderman and the Mayor shall have an assigned commission position for which they are the appointing authority. Appointments shall be confirmed by the City Council and the term of office is six years. The Mayor and Aldermen shall give due consideration to appointing members focused foremost on the stewardship of the Riverfront, overall gender balance of the commission, and professional representation reflective of such areas as education, finance, real estate, law, construction, engineering or other design professions. Members shall have no other official position in, or connection with, the city. Each member so appointed shall, upon taking office, take the oath prescribed for officers elected in the city.

In order to assign a seat to the Mayor and each Council Member, the following transition plan shall be in place:

1st Ward – Kelli Grubbs; term ends 4/30/2023
2nd Ward – Carolyn Ontiveros; term ends 4/30/2023
3rd Ward – Patrick Walton; term ends 4/30/2022
Vice-Chairperson
4th Ward – Karin Elftmann-Gross; term ends 4/30/2021
5th Ward – Karl Rhomberg; term ends 4/30/2020
Secretary
6th Ward – Bill Ashton; term ends 4/30/2020
7th Ward – Bill Churchill; term ends 4/30/2021
8th Ward – Dee Bruemmer; term ends 4/30/2019
At Large – Mike Veal; term ends 4/30/2018
At Large – Shelley Chambers; term ends 4/30/2018
Mayor – Frank Clark; term ends 4/30/2022

Richard Thomas, Liaison to the Commission
Parks and Recreation Advisory Council

Riverfront Improvement Commission Governing Ordinance.

Contact

Five night time iconic images of Davenport riverfront

Steve Ahrens

Executive Officer, Riverfront Improvement Commission
Davenport City Hall
226 West Fourth Street
Davenport, Iowa  52801
563-888-2235
sahrens@ci.davenport.ia.us
To leave a message about the riverfront for the Commission and/or Staff, please click here

Gazebo with Crescent Bridge in background from Centennial Park

History
Davenport riverfront with Centennial Bridge and Modern Woodman Stadium prominent

 In 1909 the Iowa Legislature passed a law allowing cities, acting under a special charter, to improve their waterfronts. The law provided for the creation of a Levee Improvement Commission which was done by the Davenport City Council by ordinance in 1911. Also, in 1898 the United State Government, through the Corps of Engineers, established a harbor line along the Mississippi River's edge in Davenport. Since these events occurred, land has been acquired, and property has been filled to create nine miles of publicly-owned riverfront. The land under the jurisdiction of the Commission is south of River Drive and the IC&E Railroad to the centerline of the channel of the Mississippi River, and between the east and west city limits of Davenport.

Even though the Iowa law allowed for the creation of a property tax levy, most of the funds raised in Davenport have come from revenue generated by leasing land to business and industry. Additional funding comes from the City Council approved Capital Improvement Program for specific projects. Therefore, the Commission has two focus areas: the creation of public improvements along the waterfront and economic development benefiting the community. It has control of the funds which are generated from rents and it supervises the improvements which are made along the waterfront.

The Commission has eleven members who are appointed by individual aldermen with consent of the City Council for staggered terms of six years. The Commission elects its officers on an annual basis and holds a public meeting once a month to conduct its business (fourth Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.). City staff provides administrative and program support to the commission. If you are interested in serving on the Commission, please contact Steve Ahrens, 563-888-2235, for more information.



To download a brief history of Davenport's Levee Improvement Commission, click here.