Recent News

EMC skywalk closes for 2-year renovation project

Reported in the Business Record – 10/20/14

The downtown skywalk across Eighth Street south of Walnut Street closes for about two years, while EMC Insurance Cos. begins demolishing a trio of century-old brick buildings to make way for a new four-story office, reports Check a map of current and expected skywalk closures here.

Winter Market dates announced; Downtown market to end this weekend

Reported in the Business Record, 10/20/14

As this year’s Downtown Farmers Market comes to an end, Greater Des Moines residents can still take advantage of the 2014 Winter Market which will be held Nov. 21-22 and Dec. 12-13 at Capital Square and Kaleidoscope at The Hub. The Winter Market will feature more than 130 vendors, entertainment and more. This weekend will be the last for the Downtown Farmers Market, held in the Court Avenue district from 8 a.m. to noon. This Saturday will also be Trick-or-treat at the Market. Attendees are encouraged to dress up in costume to celebrate Halloween.

World Food Prize Breakfast

The Downtown and West Side Chambers held their annual World Food Prize Breakfast on October 16th at Terrace Hill. This year’s Borlaug Lecture Series speaker was Jim French, Senior Advocacy Advisor for Agriculture with the non-governmental organization Oxfam America. The presentation was titled: “International Detente from a Center Township Farm in Kansas.” Chris Branstad, First Lady of the State of Iowa, and Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds attended as well.

Jim French, a fifth-generation farmer and rancher, grew up in Reno County, Kansas. He farms land homesteaded by his great-great grandparents in 1871. He and his wife, Lisa, took over management of the operation in 1979. Their operation has received national and regional recognition and awards for conservation and innovation. Jim and Lisa have been dedicated volunteers in their community, and in state organizations. In 2005, French scaled back his farming and ranching activities in order to take a position with Oxfam America. Oxfam is an international development agency that focuses primarily on addressing hunger and poverty in the world’s poorest nations. Over the years, French has helped organize and coordinate US speaking tours for farmers from around the world including Ethiopia, Haiti, Peru, Vietnam, Tanzania, and Mali. In addition, French accompanied a group of US farmers to Senegal and Mali to view firsthand the impact of US commodity subsidies on African farmers in 2006. As the Senior Advocacy Advisor for Agriculture, French works to support policies that strengthen the rights, resiliency and productivity of people challenged by extreme weather, rigged markets and access to resources.

The event was Sponsored by: Iowa Public Radio, Walker Coen Lorentzen, and Cognizant


SURVEY: What’s your big idea for the Riverfront YMCA site?

BY ANNE CAROTHERS-KAY | Managing Editor | @AnneCKay
Business Record – 10/8/14

It’s the last developable lot downtown along the Des Moines River. What would you like to see there?

It’s looking less likely that the 57-year-old Riverfront YMCA will be designated as an historic landmark, so it could be either demolished or redeveloped by the Wisconsin developer who is negotiating to buy the property. Or perhaps someone else will control the property.

The site is considered so valuable that Des Moines Redevelopment Corp. has agreed to pay $4.5 million to clear it if the YMCA of Greater Des Moines fails to sell it.

So what would you like to see there? What big idea do you have for downtown Des Moines? Whether you think downtown needs more housing or an arts, cultural or recreational gem there, we’d like to hear your ideas. Tell us what you think by taking our quick survey.


Participate in the DART survey on station locations and designs

DART is conducting a survey on station locations and designs. The survey will be available at any of the public meetings or online at . The survey can also be requested by phone at 515-283-8100.