Recent News

Preservationist seeks to protect Riverfront YMCA building

Reported in the Business Record – 8/19/14
Even as an out-of-state buyer has filed a letter of intent to purchase the Riverfront YMCA, which sits on a prime development lot, a local preservationist is seeking to protect the 57-year-old building by having it declared a historical landmark, reports If Jack Porter, a former city councilman and a preservation consultant, is successful in getting the building declared a landmark, it would put hurdles in the way of altering or demolishing it.

EMC plans new office building downtown

Reported in the Business Record 8/14/14
EMC Insurance Cos. will demolish three buildings on its downtown corporate campus and replace them with a four-story office building at Eighth and Walnut streets, the company said today.
“EMC has been headquartered in downtown Des Moines since the company was founded 103 years ago,” President and CEO Bruce Kelley said in a release. “The company is committed to the downtown Des Moines location and taking advantage of the amenities it has to offer.”
The new building will be located in northwest quarter of the block bordered by Seventh and Eighth streets and Walnut and Mulberry streets. The EMC campus currently includes the EMC home office building at 717 Mulberry St., the 700 Walnut St. high-rise tower, the Hub Tower at Seventh and Walnut, the Kaleidoscope at the Hub, a parking garage and several surface parking lots.
The new building will be constructed where there are three smaller vacant buildings that are no longer suitable for occupancy, the company said. Those buildings are known as the Robertson, Robertson Annex and Foster buildings.
“Several issues, such as structural deficiencies, energy inefficiency and fire safety, prohibit the continued operation of these buildings from being a viable option,” Robert Link, senior vice president of administration at EMC, said in the release.
Plans for the building include space for EMC’s Wellness Center, meeting rooms, and computer, mechanical and printing equipment, along with tenant space on the first floor facing Walnut.
EMC is working with Brooks Borg Skiles Architecture Engineering in Des Moines on the plans for the new facility. The companies have partnered on building projects for more than 40 years, including the EMC buildings at 717 Mulberry and 700 Walnut.
Des Moines bidding to host NCAA men’s basketball tournament

Reported in the Business Record, 8-7-14

The Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau, Iowa State University, and Global Spectrum, which runs Wells Fargo Arena, are bidding to host the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament in 2016, 2017 and 2018. Wells Fargo Arena in past years has held Division I wrestling and women’s basketball championships, and Des Moines hosted the men’s and women’s track championships in 2008, 2011 and 2012. Dan Houston, president of retirement, insurance and financial services with Principal Financial Group Inc., is the honorary chair of a local committee charged with getting the tourney to Des Moines, said Greg Edwards, president and CEO of the Convention and Visitors Bureau, in a news release.

Final ‘community conversation’ on culture is Thursday

Reported in the Business Record – July 30, 2014

Greater Des Moines residents are invited to the final cultural “Community Conversation” at 5 p.m. Thursday at the State Historical Building of Iowa, located at 600 E. Locust St. The event, presented by the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, is designed to help shape the future of arts, history and culture in Iowa. It’s also being held to focus on developing revitalization plans for the State Historical Building. More information can be found on the DCA’s website. Those who wish to attend can also RSVP online.

The Venture School – Registration due August 1st

Reported in the Business Record – July 28, 2014


Have an idea to start your own business? A University of Iowa program coming to Des Moines this fall can help.

The Venture School program is part of the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center and helps entrepreneurs to quickly build and test their products and concepts. Registration for the first session is required by Aug. 1.

“The best validation of your business model is having somebody actually buy a product, and if you wait a year to do that, that’s really too late,” said Lynn Allendorf, director of the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center at the University of Iowa.

So the Venture School program speeds up the process by using a lean startup methodology developed in part at Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley and supported by the National Science Foundation.

“Basically it’s a way to help entrepreneurs vet their ideas before they write a business plan and spend a year developing a product,” Allendorf said.

That vetting process includes things such as defining who the businesses’ customers are and how they are going to reach customers, and how they are going to distribute their product.

Read more:—Innovation/Tech—Innovation/Article/Take-your-idea-to-venture-school/172/834/64572#ixzz38n4AbU1D