Recent News

1st Annual Economic Bike Tour with the Downtown Chamber


Highlighting Des Moines’ downtown development projects and B-Cycle program we will be biking (3.2 mi) to various locations to tour and learn about the impact they will have on our thriving local economy. You may register for a B-cycle bike or register with your own bike. All attendees will receive a complimentary helmet, refreshments along the route, and beer at the after party located at Court Ave Restaurant and Brewing Company.

Friday, May 22nd from 1:00pm-3:00pm (Start & Stop at DART Central Station, 620 Cherry St., Des Moines Downtown)


Locations Include: 

DART Central Station
Downtown Hy-Vee
Randolph Hotel
The Des Moines Building
Veridian Branch at MLK/Ingersoll
1440 Locust Housing
CABCo after Party

Downtown Housing
Retail/Housing Mixed Use
Downtown Retail
Downtown Grocery
Downtown Hotels

Date: Friday, May 22nd
Time: 1:00 – 3:00pm



Starting and stopping at DART Central Station


620 Cherry St, 

Des Moines, IA 50309


Street Meters or

Parking Garage at 5th & Walnut







– Downtown Chamber Members ($15)

– Non-members ($25)

All registered attendees receive a free bike helmet

Registration is Required

Spots are limited!


Event Sponsored by:  Veridian

BCycle DMDC_logo




Des Moines Chambers, Brenton Skating Plaza, and Christiani’s VIP Catering Co-Host After Hours Event “Riverwalk Rendezvous Under the Canopy”

Riverwalk Rendezvous Logo

Des Moines, Iowa – (May 14, 2015)  The Des Moines Chambers of Commerce, which include the Des Moines East & South, Des Moines West Side, and Des Moines Downtown Chambers, are co-hosting a Regional Business After Hours on Wednesday, May 27th at the Brenton Skating Plaza, 520 Robert D. Ray Dr. in downtown Des Moines. The event, sponsored by Christiani’s VIP Catering Services, is titled “Riverwalk Rendezvous Under the Canopy,” and will highlight the Principal Riverwalk and the canopy event space at the Brenton Skating Plaza. This event is part of a monthly series offered by the Greater Des Moines Partnership where business members from twenty-one affiliate Chambers of Commerce in the Des Moines metros attend and network. Registration can be found at


DSM Chambers Logos

About the Des Moines Downtown Chamber:

The mission of the Des Moines Downtown Chamber is to make “connections that count.”

By increasing downtown business-to-business interaction, the Downtown Chamber connects businesses to the people and resources that will make them successful.  The Downtown Chamber was established in 2008 and currently serves over 200 business members in the downtown and surrounding metro area. More information can be found at


About the Des Moines West Side Chamber:

The Des Moines West Side Chamber was established in 2008 and currently serves over 150 business members located in and around the Ingersoll Avenue, Grand Avenue, Drake, Merle Hay, and Beaverdale neighborhoods. More information can be found at


About Des Moines East and South Chamber of Commerce
In an effort to better serve our members, the East and South Des Moines Chambers of Commerce have merged, essentially giving our current and prospective members the benefit of two memberships for the price of one. Together the Chambers presently serve over 300 business members. The Chambers are an affiliate of the Greater Des Moines Partnership. For more information about the Des Moines East and South Chambers of Commerce, please visit



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Getting Down in Downtown Des Moines

Reported by Institutional Real Estate, Inc.  5/6/15

It is that time again in Des Moines, Iowa. Every four years, a horde of politicians pining to become the next President of the United States descend on the city and pretend to be people they are not, and make promises they cannot possibly keep. Trailing them is an even larger horde of media reporters from around the world.

Yes, every presidential election cycle is Des Moines’s season in the sun.

Meanwhile, those among us who think in terms of primary and secondary cities see Des Moines’s intermittent elevation into the national spotlight as a bit of an oddity. It is a tertiary city, after all, and what serious real estate investor is going to dawdle in such a diminutive locale?

True enough for most institutional players, but there are real estate investors of a lesser god who find the getting is very good in plenty of tertiary cities, Des Moines among them. And it turns out the capital of Iowa has an outsized story to tell.

“We do have a resurgence happening here,” says Amy Baker of the Greater Des Moines Partnership. “We are seeing an economic development boom in commercial, residential, hospitality and public spaces.”

The cost of doing business in Des Moines is 17 percent lower than the national average, and the cost of living is also modest. That helps explain why. . .

– See the full article Here 

Major East Village project taking shape

Reported by The Des Moines Register 5/1/15

A plan to develop one of the biggest blank spots in the East Village is starting to take shape.

Local developers and East Village real estate veterans Jake Christensen and Tim Rypma want to build a mixed-use project that would include apartments, a parking garage, retail space and potentially offices on a pair of parking lots directly east of City Hall.

While the plans are still in flux, the development could cover about three acres and come with a price tag of more than $60 million. That would make it the biggest East Village development in recent memory.

Providing parking during construction and navigating the sometimes-fickle office and retail markets could present challenges.

But city officials see potential. They have been hoping to lure developers to the lot for years and say the project is important to fill a void in street-level activity.

“This is a great opportunity to connect the retail and shopping activity in the East Village to the riverwalk and the rest of downtown,” Erin Olson Douglas, city economic development coordinator, said. “Ever since the East Village existed this has been the gap that prevents contiguous development to get people moving freely across the river.”

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Explore Downtown: Gravitate (a Downtown Chamber member interview series)

Located on the third floor of the Midtown Building on 6th Ave., Gravitate is an innovative company dedicated to startup companies in the local area. Describing themselves as “the entrepreneurial center of gravity in downtown Des Moines,” Gravity acts as a workspace for growing small businesses, providing an open work area, the “Google Bullpen,” for professionals to work and interact with other small business owners, conference room space for meetings, and access to office hours with professionals who can provide guidance on growing your business. I had the opportunity to visit Gravitate during a “First Friday” event, which occur on the first Friday of every month, where community members are invited to visit Gravitate and use its workspace for free. From the moment the elevator doors opened and I saw into Gravitate’s office space, I knew this was a special place.

I spent some time in the Bullpen, which provides an amazingly unique environment. For those who want it, a pair of headphones make it a great quiet place to work with an internet connection suitable for any business running needs. However, even better, it is a place of collaboration, where business owners greet each other as friends, share their progress and brainstorm ideas.

I spoke with Geoff Wood, the founder of Gravitate, about the company and the startup community of Des Moines. Geoff describes Gravitate’s workspace as a “shared collaborative environment” where doors are open, not closed. It is a place for local startup companies to get connected, as well as a way for startup owners outside of Des Moines to connect with the community. Geoff describes Gravitate as a place for feedback, a place to get ideas, acting as the infrastructure they need to get started. This is evident through their educational events, where they bring in guest speakers and consultants, and through their open work space. Geoff chose to start Gravitate in Des Moines because it is a “small pond” where it’s easy to get connected, where every potential contact is only two phone calls away.

The work environment like Gravitate is very different from the usual workspace, a difference that many from more traditional established companies are hesitant to consider. Geoff notes that sometimes visitors from these companies express that they can’t understand how anyone gets any work done. As Geoff says, “it’s really something you have to try in order to see the benefits of it,” something Gravitate strives to convince companies to experience.

According to Geoff, Gravitate decided to join the Downtown Chamber to “participate more in the established business community,” stating “I think the Chamber values startup companies for the same reasons that this group does”. Gravitate and the Chamber share the same passion for helping businesses grow, so joining the Downtown Chamber was a natural choice, especially to help connect startup companies to the chamber.

Gravitate invites anyone interested to stop by on the first Friday of every month, where the office is open to visitors. Gravitate’s unique work environment is truly an innovation worth experiencing.

For more information you can learn more about Gravitate at,, and You can also contact Gravitate at or call 515.599.0350.