These projects will change the face of Des Moines in 2017

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Friday, December 23, 2016

Construction crews in central Iowa should have plenty to keep them busy next year.

New hotels, apartments, offices and roads are expected to break ground around metro Des Moines in 2017.

City leaders and real estate observers said they expect the building boom that has characterized Des Moines’ rebound from the recession will largely continue in the coming year.

“It’s going to be a big year,” said Clyde Evans, community and economic development director for the city of West Des Moines.

Many of the region’s most notable projects, such as downtown’s convention hotel, Kum & Go’s new headquarters and the new outlet mall in Altoona, already have broken ground.

But developers and local municipalities have a long list of new projects on the docket for 2017.

Among the new developments are three luxury apartment towers, a major hospital renovation, a massive data center and a flurry of new hotels. Construction crews will be at work in the heart of downtown, in older neighborhoods such as the area around Drake University and on the outskirts of the city.

“We’re already swamped from the phone calls, the engineers and the site selectors that are in and out of here,” Altoona City Administrator Jeff Mark said. “The economy is at just the right point, and Altoona is positioned at the right place in the metro that we’re getting a lot of eyeballs right now.”

Here are some of the most interesting Des Moines area projects expected to break ground in 2017:

16. Lots of apartments

Minnesota-based Roers Investments plans to build a

Minnesota-based Roers Investments plans to build a 90-unit apartment complex at 1400 Walnut St. The company is trying to start construction before the end of 2016 to meet a tax break deadline. (Photo: Roers Investments/Special to The Register)

Several small and mid-sized rental developments in and around downtown will break ground in 2017.

  • 14 Walnut, a 90-unit complex at 1400 Walnut St.
  • Lyon Flats, a 23-unit townhouse development in the East Village
  • Velocity, a 118-unit apartment complex in Hubbell Realty's Bridge District
  • Eagle View Townhomes, a 23-unit development on the Des Moines River
  • Prime 23, a 192-unit apartment complex on Ingersoll Avenue
  • Connolly Lofts, a 48-unit development in the Market District
  • Carbon 550, a 50-unit apartment complex adjacent to the Wellmark YMCA
 

Take a look inside Prime Towers as developers transform the former senior living center into a new apartment building called The Lyon. Michael Zamora/The Register

15. Several new hotels

  • Best Western in Ankeny attached to the former Chips restaurant
  • Home2 Suites in Altoona
  • La Quinta Inn in Altoona
  • Courtyard by Marriott on Fleur Drive
  • Holiday Inn Express in West Des Moines' Jordan West development

14. Drake neighborhood mixed-use development

Nelson Construction & Development plans to build a mixed-use development with a hotel, apartments, townhouses and retail space at 26th Street and University Avenue. The project will be built in phases, with construction on the apartments and retail space likely to begin in 2017, said Alexander Grgurich, a development analyst with Nelson.

13. Southeast side industrial expansions

Company president John Paul Muelhaupt of Des Moines

 (Photo: Rodney White/The Register)

Two companies plan to build new facilities at the Southeast Agrimergent Technology Park near Southeast 43rd Street and Vandalia Road in Des Moines.

  • Electrical Power Products, which manufactures power management equipment, plans to build an $18 million production facility and move its 300-employee operation from the north side of the city.
  • Des Moines Cold Storage plans to expand by building a $17 million, 111,000-square-foot cold storage facility at the industrial park, which sits just north of the Des Moines River.  

12. Johnston mixed-use development

A conceptual rendering shows what the Roughwood development

A conceptual rendering shows what the Roughwood development could look like. The developer plans market-rate apartments and lower-level retail at the corner of Northwest 86th Street and Northwest 54th Avenue. (Photo: Special to the Register)

A $19 million mixed-use development in Johnston that has irked some neighbors could break ground in 2017. Developer Steve Scott wants to construct a five-story building with about 85 apartments and first-floor retail space at Northwest 86th Street and Northwest 54th Avenue.

About 10 single-family homes owned by Scott’s firm LSJT would be demolished. Some nearby residents have raised concerns about increased traffic and the building’s height.

11. IMT Corporate Headquarters, West Des Moines

 IMT Group Iowa’s Top Workplaces, 4445 corporate drive,Buy Photo

IMT Group Iowa’s Top Workplaces, 4445 corporate drive, West Des Moines - Sean Kennedy, CEO of IMT Group, left, with employee Rosie Jones, right, Tuesday Aug 23, 2016, in West Des Moines, Iowa. (Photo: Rodney White/The Register)

IMT Group, a West Des Moines-based insurance firm, plans to start construction in 2017 on a new office in the Jordan Creek area. The $28 million, 85,000-square-foot building will be located just west of Athene USA’s headquarters, near Mills Civic Drive and 81st Street.

10. New civic buildings in Ankeny

An aerial photo of Ankeny in the Prairie Trail area.

An aerial photo of Ankeny in the Prairie Trail area. (Photo: Special to the Register)

Ankeny plans to hold a ballot referendum in May on the construction of a new library, civic building and a new fire station.

If approved by voters, the new civic building would be constructed in Prairie Trail as part of a commercial development known as The District. The roughly 50,000-square-foot building would include a library, City Council chambers and other civic functions.

It would fulfill the city’s promise to put a municipal building in The District, an area that has grown in recent years with the addition of tenants such as Fong’s Pizza, Simpson College and Jethro’s BBQ n’ Lakehouse.

The fire station would be built near Interstate 35 and Northeast 36th Street.

Ankeny economic development coordinator Derek Lord said the fire station would break ground in 2017, if approved by voters, while the schedule for the civic building has not been determined.

9. Hotel Fort Des Moines renovation

A renovation of the 99-year-old landmark is expected to start sometime in 2017, said Raj Patel, an official with Burlington-based Hawkeye Hotels, which bought the hotel in 2015. The firm had hoped to start a full renovation more than a year ago but faced delays in financing the project and securing a hotel brand to operate the facility.

 

Raj Patel of Hawkeye Hotels talks about renovating Hotel Fort Des Moines. Rodney White/The Register

8. Westfield Office Complex

An 180,000-square-foot office called the Westfield Complex is in the works near Jordan Creek Parkway and Ashworth Drive. While West Des Moines-based R&R Realty has already started moving dirt for the project, the office will really take shape in 2017.

The Westfield Complex is the largest speculative office (meaning it is not owner-occupied or built to suit a specific tenant) planned since the recession. It will fill the last undeveloped parcel in County Club Plaza, R&R’s sprawling office complex near Interstate 80 and Jordan Creek Parkway.

7. 100th Street interchange in Urbandale

A drone view of the 100th Street bridge construction

A drone view of the 100th Street bridge construction near Urbandale. (Photo: Special to the Register)

Construction will start in 2017 on a full diamond interchange at 100th Street and Interstate 80/35 in Urbandale. A new 100th Street bridge over the interstate opened earlier this month, and now construction crews will focus on building the four exit and entrance ramps.

The new interchange is part of a larger overhaul to the interstate bend known as Rider Corner. Eventually, a new flyover will be added at Highway 141, and ramps to Northwest Urbandale Drive will be closed.

Officials in Urbandale hope the project will open up new land to development, but some existing retailers worry that the project will route traffic away from their stores.

6. Miesblock

Des Moines-based Nelson Construction & Development

Des Moines-based Nelson Construction & Development plans to build this 12-story apartment and commercial building at Seventh Street and Grand Avenue. (Photo: BNIM and Nelson Construction & Development/Special to The Register)

Nelson Construction & Development plans to break ground in the spring on a 12-story mixed-use building at Seventh Street and Grand Avenue called Miesblock. The $66 million development will include 168 apartments and three floors of retail and office space.

It will replace a parking garage demolished in 2016.

5. $500 million Mercy Campus renovation

Mercy Park apartments will close in September 2016.

 (Photo: Special to The Register/Polk County Assessor)

During the next five to eight years, Mercy Medical Center plans to complete a $500 million renovation of its Des Moines campus, including the construction of an 11-story inpatient center and new parking garages.

Most of the work will happen in later years, but a few projects will start in 2017. The hospital plans to demolish the Mercy Park Apartments, which stand along Second Avenue, in the first half of the year. Construction of new parking garages and improvements the hospital’s medical imaging department will also start in 2017, said Laura Vanden Bosch, a Mercy spokesperson.

4. Microsoft data center Osmium

A conceptual alignment for West Des Moines' Veterans

A conceptual alignment for West Des Moines' Veterans Parkway, which will connect Iowa Highway 5 west to Grand Prairie Parkway and extend north to Interstate 80. This design was released as part of Microsoft's Project Osmium. (Photo: Special to the Register)

Microsoft is expected to break ground around summer 2017 on its third data center in West Des Moines, Evans said. Code named Project Osmium, the massive server warehouse will be Microsoft’s largest in the U.S., with an estimated cost reaching $2.5 billion. The data center will straddle the Warren-Madison county line just south of Dale Maffitt Reservoir and west of Interstate 35.

Microsoft recently bought part of the land for the project, paying $8.4 million for 160 acres.

The tech giant is also expected to break ground in 2017 on the fourth and final phase of its $1.1 billion data center near Willow Creek Golf Course.

3. The Fifth

 
 

'The Fifth' will become Iowa's fourth tallest skyscraper when it opens in Des Moines' Court Ave. entertainment district with a movie theater and restaurant, a climbing gym, luxury apartments and much more.

Nearly 18-months ago, local developer Justin Mandelbaum made headlines with a proposal to construct a 32-story mixed-use building at Fifth and Walnut streets. His plan called for high-end apartments, a movie theater, a climbing gym, restaurants and a parking garage.

Since then, little progress has been visible. The site has gone untouched as Mandelbaum has worked behind the scenes to secure financing and hire an architect to turn his concept into reality.

Now, city officials and Mandelbaum say they think the project will be ready to break ground next year.

Assistant City Manager Matt Anderson said he expects the City Council to review a development agreement with Mandelbaum as early as January. The aging parking garage that currently occupies the site would probably be demolished in the summer, which would allow Mandelbaum to start construction in 2017, he said.

2. 26-story apartment tower

 Des Moines developer Blackbird Investments wants to

Local developer Blackbird Investment plans to break ground in April on a 26-story apartment tower at Seventh and Walnut streets, the site where the former Younkers building was destroyed by a fire. If all goes to plan, the $85 million, 276-unit apartment building should open in early 2018.

Notably, the project includes a cantilevered pool that will jut out 12 feet from the top floor of the building. It would also include a pocket park, retail space, a rooftop patio, a business center and underground parking with electric cars available for tenants to rent.

 

An apartment tower planned in at the former Younkers site in downtown Des Moines will include a swimming pool that hangs over the edge of the 26-story building — giving swimmers a view straight down. Zachary Boyden Holmes from Neumann Monson Archtects renderings

1. The Southwest Connector and Raccoon River Bridge

West Des Moines plans to start construction in 2017 on a bridge over the Raccoon River and extensions of Grand Prairie Parkway and Veterans Parkway. Ultimately, the projects will complete a bypass known as the Southwest Connector.

While a new road may not draw the attention of other developments, the Southwest Connector has the potential to be a transformational project.

West Des Moines officials hope the bypass will open up thousands of acres of currently isolated farmland to new development, pushing the suburb further into Warren, Madison and Dallas Counties. The road will provide a connection from Waukee to the south side of Des Moines, spanning from Interstate 80 to Highway 5.

The new bridge, a key link in the Southwest Connector, will be the only place to cross the Raccoon River between Interstate 35 and Booneville.

Read more here: http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/money/business/development/2016/12/22/these-projects-change-face-des-moines-2017/95724430/

 

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