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Park at the 4th & Grand ramp (free), then head inside the Renaissance Des Moines Savery Hotel to check-in and receive your custom champagne glass, swag bag full of gifts, and a signature cocktail before starting the Culture Crawl.

Then, tour 3 art deco style downtown buildings completed in the 1920’s.
US Bank Building, Des Moines Building, and Kirkwood Hotel Lobby.

At each location you will get complimentary drinks, including champagne, wine, beer, and moscow mules, as well as themed food. Live entertainment will greet you at each stop. Enjoy swing dancers, the talents of blues musician Frank Strong, and a 1920’s theater setting.

In addition to all of that, and the rooftop views, adorned ceilings, old-fashioned bank vaults, and architecture, you are also invited to the the Embassy Club’s 34th floor for an after party!

Get your tickets today!

(Themed-attire is optional)

Thursday, September 10th
4:30 – 7:30pm
Renaissance Des Moines Savery Hotel (starting location)
2nd floor ballroom
Des Moines, IA 50309
Cost:     $40
Downtown Chamber Member
              $50 Non-Member

Culture Crawl II

This event is brought to you by:

West Bank
MidAmerican Energy
Meredith Corporation
Cognizant Technologies
BNIM Architects
Downtown Community Alliance
Iowa Events Center
Gateway Market
Special thanks to our in kind sponsors and partners:
Jasper Winery
In the Bag Corporate Cuisine
Veridian Credit Union
Des Moines Art Center
ABM Parking Services
Frank Strong
Step Into Swing
Court Avenue Restaurant & Brewing Company
Special Event: Business and Employee Safety Training

Thursday, September 3rd from Noon-1pm

Do you know how to protect yourself and your employees in an emergency involving an active shooter? The Downtown Chamber is partnering with the Des Moines Police Department’s Metro S.T.A.R. (Special Tactics and Response) team to offer Active Shooter Training for our area businesses. Gain safety tips, learn how to reduce and prevent casualties, and develop a connection with safety leaders at this special workshop.

This workshop will take place Noon-1pm at the Wellmark YMCA, located 501 Grand Avenue, Downtown. Parking is available at streetside meters or the neighboring ramp. Attendees are welcome to bring a sack lunch. This training is free and open to anyone interested.

Click Here to Register

Thank you to the Wellmark YMCA for hosting this workshop!


Bike-friendly apartments to replace artist studios

Following the 1993 flood, Davis Sanders decided to try something new and converted an old furniture manufacturing plant on the southern end of downtown into artist studios.

For nearly 23 years, Art316 has been one of the creative hubs of downtown. Now, it’s closing so the building can join the wave of new housing rushing into the city’s core.

Sanders, a principal and architect with RDG Planning & Design, is teaming up with friend and local developer Kent Mauck to convert the Harbach buildings — located in the quickly developing area south of Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway — into bike-friendly apartments.

Read More

Historic downtown D.M. building sold

Reported in the Des Moines Register:  Joel Aschbrenner, August 7, 2015

The Midland Building, a century-old office tower where many of downtown Des Moines’ tech and startup companies reside, has been sold. Revive Community Development Co., a Davenport company that specializes in historic renovations, bought the 12-story building at 206 Sixth Ave. this week for $2.1 million.

The future of the historic office is unclear. Revive President Omar Bradley said the company intends to renovate the building, but it hasn’t decided what the final product will include. Apartments are in high demand downtown. Next door to the Midland, the Fleming Building, a similar-sized former office building, was converted into rental units. Hotel development also is booming downtown, with at least six hotel construction or renovation projects in the works. “It could be a number of things,” Bradley said of the Midland. “Obviously, residential has become more prevalent. There is a pretty vibrant hotel market and even keeping it as an office building is an option.”

Part of “Silicon Sixth,” named for the cluster of startups located along Sixth Avenue, the Midland has been home of several tech and startup companies. Gravitate, a co-working space used by several Web and tech firms, is located in the building. The Midland also is home to several law firms, IT companies and Scooter’s Coffee. Bradley said one of the first steps will be filling the empty, first-floor space next to Scooter’s. Previous owner Jeff Young had hoped to lease the space to a restaurant but never inked a tenant.

Young bought the building in November 2013 for $1 million from Community State Bank, according to Polk County assessor’s records. The bank took possession of the building in 2008, following the death of developer Ed Boesen. Opened in 1913, the Midland was once known as the Hippee Building. It has housed numerous offices over the years. Central Life Assurance Co. once occupied about half of the 75,000-square-foot building. Bradley said he intends to have the Midland listed on the National Register of Historic Places and plans seek historic tax credits for the renovation. It will be the first project in Des Moines for Revive, but it is a homecoming for Bradley. He was raised in Des Moines and graduated from Dowling Catholic High School. “I grew up close to downtown and spent a lot of time downtown,” he said. “Both my parents worked downtown, so it’s going to be a lot of fun for me to be involved in this.”

Renaissance Savery hotel to close for renovation

Reported in the Des Moines Register:  Joel Aschbrenner, August 4, 2015

Hotel saturation questioned

The Savery’s renovation joins a wave downtown hotel development. Two hotels in the East Village and one south of Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway are under construction, plans to build a 330-room convention hotel at the Iowa Events Center are moving forward and the 230-room Hotel Fort Des Moines is scheduled to close temporarily for a renovation of its own.

Herron announced plans for the renovation last week during a panel discussion at the Savery about local hotel development. It was hosted by the Des Moines Chambers of Commerce.

Raj Patel, a panelist and the new owner of the Hotel Fort Des Moines, said he hasn’t decided when he will close the aging landmark to begin its renovation. If he can start early in the fall, he will. If not, Patel said he’ll wait until after the caucuses.

Much of the panel discussion focused on the flood of new downtown hotel rooms. Patel, Herron and other panelists predicted the boom will last two to three more years.

Patel, whose family has built a Burlington-based hotel empire, said he wants buy or build about six more hotels around the metro, including one near the airport.

Panelists and assistant city manager Matt Anderson tried to squash any fears that too many hotels are being built downtown.

“We are absolutely not over-saturating the market,” Anderson said.

As Hampton Inns, Courtyard Inns and similar business-class hotels popped up along suburban highway exit ramps in recent decades, downtown lost hotel rooms. Now, it is playing catch-up, adding hotels to cater to brand-loyal corporate travelers, Anderson said.

“The last couple years seems like this flurry — and it is — of unprecedented hotel room (development), but really it’s capturing 20 years of backed demand,” he said.

And don’t be surprised to see more hotel projects downtown, Anderson added.

“At least once or twice a month somebody floats another hotel idea by me, so I don’t think we’re done with hotel announcements.”

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