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Des Moines Projects Thread

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Thought I would highlight the bulk of the projects going on in Des Moines. A little about Des Moines, it is a white collar city of 200,000 in a metro of 520,000 that is experiencing very respectible growth (over 10,000 people estimated growth in 2005). There have been some very big job annoucements lately, and like most midwestern cities, the downtown has seen a pretty tremendous rebirth.

I am a City Planner for the City of Des Moines and there even more projects I would like to show you, but confidentiality agreements won't allow me to just yet! Maybe I will update this thread in the future when some of the larger projects are announced. Downtown has added/soon will add 2 million square feet of new office space, unfortunately everything has been primarily low-to midrise so far. There are a few middle-sized towers in the works, but renderings have not been made public yet. Downtown has seen 2,700 new units of housing proposed, built, or under construction since 2001 with seemingly a new project every week or two. There are many quality of life and civic projects underway downtown as well. I'll spare you the smaller projects and listings of projects I don't have renderings for. There's even more going on than what's shown here. I might add, you can read up about all the projects on the website I am the co-founder of,

The suburbs are adding the lion's share of the growth in the Des Moines area, and they have a few projects to boot which I will show. The bulk of the interesting projects worth showing are being built around a new super regional mall called Jordan Creek Town Center.

Downtown/Midtown Projects:

Downtown Civic Improvements

Principal Riverwalk--under construction





Asian Botantical Gardens/Cultural Center--under construction



Science Center of Iowa--recently completed



Iowa Events Center (17,000 seat arena, new convention hall)--recently completed



Central Library--under construction



Gateway West Park--under construction



Higher Education Learning Center--recently completed


Principal Park Baseball Stadium Improvements--under construction



Drake Stadium Renovation--under construction


Capitol Complex Visitor's Center--proposed


Commercial Projects

Wells Fargo Credit Division II--under construction (1,000+ new jobs)



Allied Insurance Headquarters (4,600 new jobs)



Records and Property Building Renovation--under construction


Mercy Medical Center Expansion--under construction


EMC Insurance Parking Ramp



Masonic Temple Performing Arts Theater--recently completed


Federal Building Renovation--recently completed



World Food Prize Renovation--proposed


Court Avenue Entertainment Development--conceptualy proposed


Residential Projects

Equitable Building Conversion--under construction



Kirkwood Hotel Residential Conversion--under construction


Hubbell Building Conversion--under construction


Gateway Lofts--under construction


Metro Lofts--under construction


Gateway West Condo Tower--proposed


Water Street Brownstones--recently completed


Brownstones on Grand Avenue--under construction


10th Street Lofts Conversion--recently completed


111 City Lofts Conversion--under construction


Whiteline Lofts--under construction



Olive Street Condos--under construction


Spaghetti Works Renovation--under construction



Mulberry Lofts--under construction



Liberty Building Conversion & Parking Garage--under construction



East Village Square--under construction



Woodland Avenue Brickstones--recently completed


University Place--completed


SoHo Lofts--recently completed


Adio Lofts--proposed


1912 Grand Avenue conversion--proposed



Younkers Building Conversion--proposed


Rumley Building Conversion--proposed


Riverpoint West Urban Neighborhood (800 urban homes built from scratch)--proposed


Hawthorne Hill Renovation--proposed


Court Avenue Residential Redevelopment--proposed



I-235 Freeway Reconstruction--under construction



MLK Parkway Construction--recently completed



Suburban Projects worth showing

Jordan Creek Town Center--completed




Wells Fargo Home Mortgage (3,000 jobs and 960,000 sq ft--->this is all we got)



West Glen Town Center--under construction



Village of Ponderosa--proposed



Glennan Square--proposed


Jordan Creek Crossing--under construction



Ashworth Station--under construction


Des Moines Menance Soccer Specific Stadium--proposed


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Leave it to Iowa to construct something as seemingly out of place as the "Asian Botanical Gardens"... so modest, yet so open minded.

I think it's actually a great idea. Asian botanical gardens are very relaxing and soothing and will offer something new and different than the typical oak tree/squirrel/fake pond parks that riddle midwestern cities. Everybody will be saying "Well, I'll be darned. Isn't that just a nice little slice 'a Asia right in our own back yard. Hey Barb, why don't you go ahead and serve me up one-a-yer gosh darned delicious Lemon drop-kick-me-sideways-died-and- gone-to-heaven bars." Or is that too Minnesotan? There are subtle differences.

Of course, I'm being sarcastic. It's really great to see Des Moines doing so well. I drove through last summer and was surpised to see all the new growth around the city. It was also nice to see green after 800 miles of brown scorched plains. Iowa, in my opinion, really is heartland America, through and through.

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Thanks for the comments.

The Asian Garden thing might seem out of place, but a little known fact about Iowa is that a former Governor offered amnesty to Vietnamiese refugees back in the 1970's after the fall out of the Vietnam war sent several sects of Vietnamiese people into a genocidal downward spiral. 15,000 Vietnamiese refugees ended up settling in Iowa, with most in Des Moines. By and large, the Asian population in Des Moines isn't huge, but it's very comparible if not exceeding percentage wise to many other cities. This garden is a gift to the Asian people that have settled in Iowa, and it's being named after the former Governor that brought them here. There's talk of an entire recreated Asian village and museum area being built just north of downtown.

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Damn DMRyan, I'm really impressed to see how much work you put into this, it must have taken a very long time. I have always thought Des Moines is a cool town, it's very good to see how much is going on there. It's definately well on it's way to being a world class city. I really hope we can gain more Iowa forumers, it'd be real cool to see, Iowa, and Des Moines have their own thread.

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Now that is something I did not know. I just think it shows how the friendliness of Iowans often shines through in their politics. After all Des Moines did give us Bill Bryson, who, by the way, is one of the best authors ever.

But that's really neat. I'm glad to see the progess Des Moines is making.

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Welcome back to the forum DMRyan. If you guys would like an Iowa forum, or even one for Des Moines, we would be glad to create if you will support it.

The projects look great! I had no idea so much was going on there.

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Thanks for the offer, but I really don't have much time to stay on top of an Iowa--Des Moines page on this site with all of the duties that come with the website I currently run.

Here's a better rendering of a new condo tower proposal:



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nice stuff, I never been to des moines, but always seems like a really nice midsized town with a big city attitude, i like that

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This is another mixed use project that is slated to start this summer that was just announced for Downtown Des Moines:







It'll be first two floors retail, 7 floors parking, and top 4 floors commercial (13 stories).

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For a metro of just over 500,000 and its some what isolation. Des Moines is really stepping up. I see it really it breaking away from the group of other the central plains cites that dont seem to be nearly as agressive. It has a very impressive skyline and I belive it will come out as one of the midwest great cities.

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And a couple more:

This is a new mixed use development (includes lofts, retail bays, and parking garage) going into the East Village downtown.

View from E Locust (the building on the left is already there):


Garage and more retail bays facing E 6th:


This project hasn't been officially announced. It's a mixed use project slated for Gateway West. It's at 15th and Locust:


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DMRyan, I am so glad I saw this thread on UP. Very nice work indeed. I really like Des Moines too. That's a nice Skyline yall have there too! :thumbsup: Iowa's premier city is definitly something to be proud of. And those upgrades are helping the city go the next level.

Wells Fargo giant development out in the burbs seemed like it could have been a nice addition to the Skyline. The Jordan Creek Town Center looks impressive.

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I miss out on a lot of things here on UP, especially considering how many cities are under heavy development at the moment. I must say that with everything going on in the country I am extremely impressed with what is going on in Des Moines. I've been there on several occasions on business but it has been about three years since my last visit.

I can't believe how much has been built and is under construction in the little time since then. :blink:

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Looks like Grand Rapids, MI isn't the only mid sized city with DT construction going full tilt. Some very cool looking projects going on in De Moins and lots of 'em.

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Does anyone know what might be coming into the commercial space in e300 Grand in DT DSM? The space is good, the area is good, but it sits empty.

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New proposal for an $85 million, 200 unit apartment tower with 9 screen movie theater, indoor climbing wall, night club and parking lot.  If all goes well, construction could start in late 2016.  This would be the 5th tallest building in the city (and Iowa) if built.









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And I've tried to do a copy and paste job to bring a thread showing all of the projects underway downtown to this thread, but repeatedly received a "this community does not support this type of extension" error message.  If anyone is curious on other projects underway, I will link to this thread on another website (hopefully this is OK).

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That's an awesome project.  I saw it posted at SSP, and I'm glad you posted it on UP.  It's always great to see an under represented city become active on UP.  :thumbsup:


EDIT:  I just got done watching a show on the Travel Channel that featured a Des Moines pizza place that fused Asian food and pizza, and it looked pretty damn good. 

Edited by The ATX

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