Recent News

Downtown Farmers Market opens May 3

The Downtown Farmers Market will open for its 39th season on Saturday, May 3, spanning nine city blocks in downtown’s Court Avenue District. The market will be open each Saturday, rain or shine, from 7 a.m. to noon until fall hours begin the first Saturday of October, when the market will be open an hour later. Fall hours are 8 a.m. to noon. The Farmers Market will feature nearly 300 local farmers, producers, bakers, artist and more, and will welcome a record 50 new vendors this year. Presenting sponsor for this year’s market is UnityPoint Health.


Ames-Des Moines region dubbed ‘Cultivation Corridor’

The Central Iowa region that runs from Ames to Des Moines has a new marketing name: “Cultivation Corridor.”

Organizers behind Capital Crossroads, a multi-year vision plan for Central Iowa, officially unveiled a branding campaign today that is intended to make Central Iowa the hub for the agriculture and bioscience industry.

An initial budget for the campaign, organizers said, is $1.5 million during a three-year period. The campaign will mainly raise the money through fundraising and donations from participating companies.

The corridor’s branding, organizers said today, is meant to take advantage of Iowa’s strengths in the bioscience sector, such as Iowa State University and Johnston-based DuPont Pioneer to attract more companies to Iowa.

“It really is an opportunity to bring together science, agriculture, biosciences at a regional position across Central Iowa,” said Paul Schickler, president of Johnston-based DuPont Pioneer.

Before the brand was unveiled, Steve Zumbach, a co-chair of the Capital Corridor campaign, said the brand would market Central Iowa as the “best place” for those companies to invest.

“That is an audacious undertaking. It’s bold to announce that we are the very best at something. Today we’re prepared to pound the stake in the ground,” Zumbach said.

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Survey: New Grand Avenue bridge designs unveiled

Reported in the Business Record & KCCI News

April 8, 2014

We are getting our first look at what a new replacement bridge might look like after the downtown Grand Avenue bridge over the Des Moines River is torn down. There are four designs, ranging from a plain beam bridge for $6 million to a beam bridge with arch designs for $8 million. A true arch bridge like the old one would cost $32 million. City leaders would like to keep the arch design since it matches other downtown bridges and is an iconic design for the city. You can get a better look at the Grand Avenue bridge designs 6:30-7:30 p.m. next Monday at Des Moines City Hall. There is also a survey about the bridge on the Des Moines City Hall website.

Lunch n’ Learn – April 8th: Create or Update Your Disaster Recovery Plan

As we learned from this last weekend’s fire at the Younkers Building, emergencies can happen anytime and without warning. Does your business have a Disaster Recovery Plan in place, or does it need updated?

The Downtown Chamber wants to ensure that our businesses and nonprofit organizations are prepared in any situation. We invite you to a lunch n’ learn next Tuesday, April 8th, from 11:30am-1:00pm at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden.

Jami Haberl, Executive Director at the Safeguard Iowa Partnership will discuss tools and resources to help you prepare your business continuity and disaster recovery plans. This event is FREE to members of the Downtown Chamber. Non-members may also attend for a small fee.

Get more information

I can’t make it

Hulse likely to become interim city manager

Via the Business Record – April 1, 2014

Larry Hulse is likely to take over as interim city manager for the city of Des Moines, The Des Moines Register reported. Hulse has worked in the city manager’s office since 2010, and before that served as Des Moines’ community development director. Rick Clark will retire at the end of May, and a search process for a new city manager is underway and expected to be completed by July. Hulse could serve in the role for several months as the new person transitions into the position. The city council ¬†likely¬†will vote on Hulse’s appointment at its meeting on April 7.