Ground broken for Hilton Garden Inn in Bettendorf

BETTENDORF -- A new five-story, 119-room Hilton Garden Inn, the first in the Quad-Cities, is planned to be built by next September at 959 Middle Road, near Interstate 74. Construction of the new $9.3 million hotel is being managed by Bush Construction. It will replace the two-story HomeRidge Inn & Suites and Bennigan's Grill & Tavern, which have been torn down. Built in 1971, the facility for many years was a Holiday Inn with an adjoining nightspot called Sebastian's.

"It will be a marvelous, new, modern, cutting-edge hotel," Joe Taylor, president/CEO of the Quad Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau, said of Hilton Garden Inn at Thursday's groundbreaking. He noted the nearest Hilton Garden Inn -- with 515 locations worldwide -- is Dubuque, with others in Cedar Falls, Des Moines and Springfield.

"It will have a very polished, contemporary look," said A.J. Loss, president of Bush Construction. "The first floor will include the lobby, meeting rooms, offices, kitchens, a bar, a restaurant and a pool area. Floors 2 through 5 will feature the guest rooms." The hotel is owned by North Liberty, Iowa-based Kinseth Hospitality Companies. The company, which also owned the HomeRidge Inn & Suites, owns the Rock Island Holiday Inn & Conference Center among its 80 hotels and nine restaurants in 13 states. The Bettendorf Holiday Inn was renovated into HomeRidge in early 2011. The Hilton Garden plans have been in the works for two years.

"We're very excited," said Kinseth vice president Bruce Kinseth. He said the new 79,000-square- foot hotel will take up a smaller footprint than the old HomeRidge and Bennigan's, allowing for two new outlot buildings -- a standalone Starbucks Coffee, to replace the one across the street at Duck Creek Plaza, and a 6,800-square-foot retail building.

The project is being built in partnership with Bettendorf-based First Equity Development Group, owned by the Geifman family. Steve Geifman, a fourth-generation family member in the business, said as the company has transitioned from running grocery stores to property management its focus has remained constant -- "providing for your community and your family." Bettendorf Mayor Bob Gallagher said the hotel represents a great public-private partnership and a continued refurbishing of the Middle Road corridor.

"I think it's going to be a beautiful hotel and tremendous addition to the area," said Mr. Kinseth. He noted there also are plans to tear down a neighboring gas station and build a new one with a convenience store.