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Demo Work Begins on New Federal Courthouse

former bitco building demo begins 

Russell is very proud to announce that demolition has officially began to clear the way for the new federal courthouse located in the heart of the central business district in Rock Island, IL.

Located on the former Bituminous Insurance (BITCO) site in downtown Rock Island, the new 53,356 sf federal facility will be constructed at 320 18th street Rock Island.  The three-story building will have multiple government tenants including the United States District Court (Central District of Illinois).

In 2014, Russell previously collaborated with BITCO’s leadership to design and develop a new national headquarters for the century old organization, which relocated to Davenport, Iowa. As part of the deal, Russell purchased the original BITCO facility in Rock Island, to allow their new facility to be constructed, and sold the original outdated property to an investment group in 2017.  Since 2017, the former BITCO facility has sat vacant in a state of disrepair, with no possibility of reuse.

This project is owned and developed by Rock Island Investors, Inc, a special purpose entity which includes Russell and KATCO Resources Inc.  KATCO Resources, Inc., owned by Mike Fishman and Jeff Eirinberg, is a Kansas corporation with headquarters in Rock Island, IL. This collaborative joint venture team participated in a General Services Administration (GSA) search and solicitation process, dating back to 2018. The awarded joint venture team has extensive experience together providing lease and construction services to federal tenants across the country, including local projects for the Social Security Administration and National Weather Service, both located in Davenport, IA.

Fast forward to present day, with this new state-of-the-art federal courthouse serving as the anchor project for approximately $50 million in investments to downtown Rock Island.

“This historic project is so important to our justice system and will enhance the federal court’s ability to serve the local communities that comprise the Rock Island Division of the Central District of Illinois.  The new building will provide an appropriate setting for the significant proceedings that occur in our court, a place to promote respect for the law in our community, and an environment that inspires civic engagement and gives meaningful access to justice for the citizens of our community.  We are so excited to partner with GSA, Russell Construction, and all of the stakeholders involved in this project to realize a new courthouse that will serve the citizens of our city, county, District and great nation for generations to come,” stated the Honorable Sara Darrow, Chief United States District Judge for the Central District of Illinois.

Demolition for this project is expected to last six weeks with construction beginning on the new courthouse facility in March 2022. Completion of the new courthouse is expected mid-2023.

“I have the awesome opportunity to work on government projects across the country with Russell.  Working with the US District Courts, the GSA and the ownership group is truly an honor, especially to do so in our home community.  I have great appreciation for the city of Rock Island and our all our partners that contributed to this GSA award.  After the demolition work is complete, I look forward to celebrating the facility groundbreaking in the spring 2022 and the ribbon cutting in 2023 with all our stakeholders,” stated Kelly Young, Director of Government Development at Russell.

A video of the complete ceremony is included below or can be viewed on YouTube here.