One of the most dramatic recent-memory changes in the Village of East Davenport is snuggled against the railroad bridge at Mound and East 12th streets.
Clinton-based couple Dorothy O’Brien and Charles Pelton turned a tired and structurally questionable Village cottage into a showplace of a wine-tasting room. A large deck on the Mississippi River side of the winery offers ample outdoor seating and another patio on East 12th Street makes room for more.
The wave of costly renovation flows to the east.
Beverly Benmoussa is an Ann Arbor nurse practitioner who also is on the faculty at Michigan State University and another graduate-school program at a college in California.
She was looking for “a friendlier regulatory environment” that is close to Michigan when she visited and instantly connected with the Village.
“I was looking at cottages, and I was told nothing was available,” she said. “I figured it was just a matter of time. I have vision.”
She bought and fully gutted the cottage at 2107 E. 12th and hopes to open her Weekend Clinic in November. She also will relocate to the Quad-Cities — to her apartment at Pierce School Lofts — toward the end of the year.
“They’re so nice (at Pierce), and it’s right across the street from the clinic,” Benmoussa said. “I love the businesses all around me and the residences all around me. They are my customers.
“I get very involved. I’ll be very involved in the community.”
She already has befriended new neighbors, including John Wisor, who demolished the two cottages to the east of the Weekend Clinic.
The cottages were razed last month, and Wisor is awaiting permit approval to begin construction on his next Village project.
He is planning a two-story building with two professional offices on the first floor. Two two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartments will occupy the upper floors. Each will have a covered patio with river views. Basement-level garages will permit tenants to drive in from the back of the property.
The nearly simultaneous creation of the winery, clinic and commercial/residential projects, all in a row, were a happy accident to O’Brien, who is an attorney. Pelton, her husband, is a retired Scott County District judge, and the pair created Wide River Winery.
She said the idea of opening another store in the Village came to her during a winter walk with her daughter, Ann Pelton, who also manages Wide River.
“We were prowling around the Village in January and thought, ‘Boy, there’s a lot of hustle and bustle,’” O’Brien said. “We looked in the windows at 1128 (Mound Street) and that was kind of it.
“The basement needed to be shored up, which was fairly major. It turned into more of a project than we thought, but it’s a solid citizen now.
“I feel pretty lucky to be here, too.”