1829 4th Avenue, Rock Island
33 Rental Units
2023: $4.6 Million (acquisition/rehab)
2005: $5.1 Million (original redevelopment)
In March 2023, GROWTH announced receipt of $2.5 million in funding from the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) to preserve and upgrade Sala Flats, located at 1829 4th Avenue in Rock Island. Providing additional leverage through a $230,056 TIF investment, the City of Rock Island’s support is integral to these upgrades. The combined investments of GROWTH, IHDA and the City of Rock Island bring $4.6 million to preserve and upgrade this historic apartment building.
Sala Flats is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the last remaining historical apartment in downtown Rock Island and received the prestigious Richard Driehaus Preservation award from Landmarks Illinois in 2006. Dr. Elmo Morgan Sala commissioned construction of this Italian Renaissance Revival in 1903 and lived there until his death in 1921. Many of the original fixtures have been preserved.
Sala Flats was originally renovated and redeveloped by GROWTH and Brinshore Development in 2005. GROWTH recently took full ownership of the property and spearheaded this new investment. Brian Hollenback, the President and CEO of GROWTH, has championed Sala’s preservation since 2005 and restates GROWTH’s long-term commitment to Sala Flats and downtown Rock Island with this recent effort.
The scope of construction includes installation of a new security system, new appliances, masonry restoration, tuckpointing, exterior painting, new gutters, new windows, new HVAC, electrical and plumbing updates, and railing restoration. Using a model based on the National Homebuilders Association, the Sala Flats development is estimated to support 45 construction jobs, 3 indirect jobs through construction activity and retain 15 jobs in the community direct and indirect economic impact.
The development team for Sala Flats includes:
Creating and supporting housing that is affordable to working families and near their places of employment is a critical component of GROWTH’s 40-plus year mission.
Original Development Effort (2005)
After more than $5.1 million of original investment obtained by GROWTH in 2005, Sala Flats’ redevelopment gave new life to an entire city block. The effort created 33 mixed-income studio, 1, 2 and 3-bedroom apartments that were all rented within the first 45 days. The effort restored 22 original Victoria and Craftsman style fireplace facades, original kitchen pantry cabinets, pocket doors, and wood wainscoting. A major hurdle during original construction involved the removal of a rare form of asbestos.
Sala Flats’ original redevelopment was made possible by many partners including the City of Rock Island, Development Association of Rock Island, Illinois Housing Development Authority, Illinois Historic Preservation Office and National Park Service, Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity, Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago, and other equity and lending partners.
Interesting Fact: Sala Flats was one of nine projects to receive the 2006 Richard Driehaus Foundation Preservation Award for Outstanding Rehabilitation from Landmarks Illinois.
Above: Façade picture of the Sala building in 2005 and circa 1920.
Below: Interior photos of Sala Flats apartments. Refinished balconies on the west side of the building.