Recent News

Greater Des Moines Partnership To Return To 700 Locust St. In 2015

Reported by The Greater Des Moines Partnership – 11/21/14

The Executive Committee of the Greater Des Moines Partnership today formally accepted a proposal to return to its former office space at 700 Locust St.  Lawmark Capital Inc. has owned The Partnership Building, located on the corner of Seventh and Locust Streets in Des Moines, since 2011.  The Greater Des Moines Partnership had been a tenant in the building since 2001, prior to being displaced due to the fire in the adjacent Younkers building earlier this year.  The Partnership issued a request for proposals (RFP) on May 1, seeking lease options downtown.

“All the proposals submitted were attractive options, making the decision before the Committee a challenging one,” said Paul Schickler, President of DuPont Pioneer and 2014 Partnership Board Chair. “The review came down to finding the best space for the best value.  We are pleased to be able to assure our investors that we secured a highly competitive package which offers outstanding visibility, identity, and accessibility for our investors, members, and stakeholders.”

In its proposal, Lawmark Capital Inc. expressed both vision and commitment to renovating the property. Lawmark’s proposal to develop the property includes a street level entrance, a feature staircase design that connects the two levels of office space, and high profile outdoor signage. As the regional economic and community development organization serving Central Iowa, Partnership leaders look forward to playing a contributing role in the redevelopment of the downtown block most impacted by the fire.  The project promises an exciting opportunity and a new chapter in the legacy of the Greater Des Moines Partnership. Construction on the project could begin as soon as January, with occupancy anticipated in the spring of 2015.

For more information, contact the Greater Des Moines Partnership at (515) 286-4950.  Media inquiries should be directed to Susan Ramsey at (515) 286-4954 or sramsey@desmoinesmetro.com.  Images are available upon request.

Wilkins Project Replaces Plans on Old Younkers Site

Reported in the Des Moines Register – 11/17/14

Des Moines city officials shared updated information on Monday about The Wilkins Building project, formerly known as the Younkers Building project.

Alexander Company plans to build 60 mixed-income apartments with a $18.7 million mixed-use project in the west building, along 8th Street, according to Matt Anderson, assistant city manager in Des Moines.

The project replaced plans for a $37 million project with 120 apartments and more retail and commercial space along Walnut Street.

Plans changed in March when a devastating fire gutted the Younkers building.

The main east building was leveled and cleared this fall — with no immediate plans for development on the site — and the Wilkins Building was salvaged.

The Wilkins project will bring 29 market-rate units and 31 affordable units downtown, plus 14,000 square-feet of renovated retail space on the street level, Anderson told Des Moines City Council at a Monday work session. It will also include a renovation of the iconic Younkers Tea Room, creating a 10,000 square-foot event space for public access, and basement parking with 22 spaces.

Developers are requesting $1.54 million in local assistance from the city, compared to $2.35 million via tax increment financing set aside for the original Younkers renovation, Anderson said.

Mayor Frank Cownie and Anderson said the demolition of the east building complicates plans to revitalize Walnut Street with commercial and business activity.

“We’ve lost one of our two anchors and it makes you rethink what you’re going to do,” Anderson said.

The ordeal has also created a void in the skywalk system, which developers are responsible to reconnect within three years, Anderson said.

He said the most likely course of action will be a temporary enclosed walkway built on scaffolding.

MAP: Downtown Des Moines Development

Reported in the Business Record – 11/13/14

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Downtown development is booming. In last week’s Business Record, reporter Megan VerHelst highlighted many of the developments in Downtown Des Moines that are planned to be completed in the coming months. The 16 projects she highlighted will cost more than $550 million, but her list and that figure didn’t take into account a variety of other projects in the works, such as Kum & Go

LC’s new headquarters, the downtown Hy-Vee, the proposed convention center hotel, the still-undecided plans for the Riverfront YMCA and future development at Gray’s Landing and River Hills.

Utilizing Google’s Maps Engine, we decided to plot the projects on a map in an effort to provide a comprehensive view of downtown development. That interactive map is now available on our website for viewing. CLICK HERE >>>

You can zoom in and out and click the different icons to learn additional information about the projects, and in some cases read past stories about projects. We’ve broken the projects into four color-coded categories: new construction, renovations/improvements, demolition and future development sites.

Our goal will be to continually update the map with new projects and to provide updates about existing projects in the central business district as they happen.

It will be an ongoing process, and the map, which we hope to infuse in future coverage, will get more robust as time goes on. Enjoy the new tool!

Gene Meyer to lead Downtown Community Alliance

Reported in the Business Record – 11/11/14

Greater Des Moines Partnership President Eugene Meyer also will serve as president of the Downtown Community Alliance, group leaders Mary O’Keefe and Suku Radia announced.

“Shortly after commencing a formal search for an executive for DCA, it became apparent that Gene’s extensive role in promoting and developing downtown was an invaluable asset,” Radia said in a statement. “Gene’s experience serving Des Moines Redevelopment Co., his support of the Capital Crossroads vision implementation work, and his long history of building regional relationships with business and community leaders made him the obvious candidate. The DCA board of directors has tremendous confidence in Gene to continue to build upon Downtown Des Moines’ success story.” Meyer replaced Glenn Lyons, who took the position in 2010. Lyons resigned in October.

Meyer served as mayor of West Des Moines from 1997 to 2006. He served three terms on the West Des Moines school board from 1988 to 1997. During that time, he served on the Metropolitan Advisory Council and the Metropolitan Planning Organization.

An employee of the Iowa Department of Public Safety for 37 years, Meyer retired as director of of the Division of Criminal Investigation in 2006. He returned to the department as commissioner in 2007, serving through January 2011.

Named president of the Partnership in January 2012, Meyer also has helped guide the work of the Des Moines Redevelopment Co. and the Greater Des Moines Committee.

The Downtown Community Alliance is a nonprofit organization that provides leadership, initiative, advocacy and assistance in building partnerships.

East Village Promenade scheduled for Nov. 21

Reported in the Business Record – Nov. 10, 2014

The 2014 holiday season will kick off in downtown Des Moines during the annual East Village Promenade, Nov. 21 from 5 to 9 p.m. This year’s event, designed to highlight and encourage shoppers to visit East Village businesses, will include ice skating, a visit from Santa, horse-drawn carriage rides and music. For more information about the event, visit the Historic East Village Inc. Facebook page or website.