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LeCLAIRE – Work is well underway to transform a familiar and long-abandoned building on the downtown riverfront into a trendy retail space for four businesses. Long-time LeClaire residents and investors Rodney and Kimberly Collier have purchased the 127-year-old building at 423 N. Cody Road and are moving quickly to make eye-popping improvements to the site. Over the years, the building has housed businesses offering general goods, appliances and hardware, and most recently, antiques. The teal awning of the former River Bend Antiques is gone now, and the building’s red brick has been given several fresh coats of white paint in preparation for a totally new black-and-white look. “Kim and I walked by that building every day during our walk along the river,” Mr. Collier said. “Nothing had been done to the building at all. The building was not for sale, but I called the owner and asked if he would consider selling. I didn’t want to see it empty for another seven to 10 years.” With the sale completed a few weeks ago, the Colliers are working quickly to turn a building with years of neglect into four separate modern retail spaces. Each business will have its own sign and entrance from the sidewalk. Inside, the spaces will be separated by sliding barn doors. The couple also has cleared brush and debris that surrounded the property, revealing a park-like setting with a stunning view of the river. A final name for the retail building is still to be determined, but it will contain “Root 67,” Mr. Collier said. The inspiration for root comes from the stump of a large tree on the south side of the building’s 1950 addition. “You can see all the roots,” Mr. Collier said. The 67 reference, of course, is U.S. Highway 67 – LeClaire’s main artery through downtown. “Kim came up with Root 67,” he said. Three of the four tenants have been identified:
- Cody Rose Flower Co., a full-service floral business offering unique experiences.
- Nest, whose owner, Olivia Soseman, describes it in a mission statement as a modern-day general store, charcuterie and bottle shop.
- Buttercupp Candles, owned by KC and Jennifer Cupp, which currently has space at Grasshoppers Gift Shop.