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Des Moines Development News

5053 Views 31 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  NaptownBoy
I made this thread to invite you to put news about the many development projects going in the BOOMING city of Des Moines.

I'm going to start:

The Principal Riverwalk

Designers hired by Principal Financial Group have unveiled plans for a $20 million, 1.2 mile riverwalk in downtown Des Moines. Principal first announced plans for the project in March, and will pay as much as half of the cost through the company's foundation. The remaining portion will be paid with grants and private donations.

The riverwalk plan includes several possible designs for a walkway over the Des Moines River near Center Street. The arch-like bridge would be the first of its kind in the United States, designers said. An earlier proposal for a mast-like span is still being considered, though developers are concerned that several similar bridges are planned elsewhere, said Principal spokesperson Rhonda Clark-Leyla. Two new designs may be proposed. A decision on a bridge design is expected to be made by a steering commission before a March 24 city council meeting.

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New Science Center Shines in Des Moines

Located in Des Moines’s rapidly growing cultural district, Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Partnership’s new Science Center of Iowa is destined to be a landmark structure when it opens in May. Sited on two city blocks in an area that recently housed rundown and abandoned warehouses, the new $62 million, 117,000-square-foot center will offer the community a modern, technologically sophisticated science center; an outdoor festival plaza for demonstrations, exhibits, and community use; and a landscaped park with water features and native Iowa flora.

The 35-year-old Science Center of Iowa was founded to teach science through interaction and investigation, a program that many museums today have adopted. The center’s previous facility no longer suited its function because it was unable to use and convey fully the abundance of technological and scientific advances over the last three-and-a-half decades. The new facility, on the other hand, will be able to meet the organization’s objectives as it addresses and builds on those advances. The new facility also reflects current thinking in how visitors respond to museum/cultural center exhibits and interpretation.

State-of-the-art programming
The science center will offer “dynamic experience platforms,” six interactive areas that explore:

Who Are We?
What on Earth?
Why the Sky
Small Discoveries
When Things Get Moving
Science Is Where You Find It.
In addition, the museum’s adaptable platform accommodates temporary and traveling exhibits. Reflecting the belief that learning is subjective, the exhibits emphasize “how to learn, not what to learn.”

The facility boasts a 220-seat IMAX© Theater, 175-seat Science Adventure Theater, a 50-seat domed Star Theater, retail shop, and an outdoor dining area. It will include cyber labs, educational resources for students and teachers, early-childhood learning programs, and outreach and distance-learning programs.

The cylindrical, 70-foot-tall IMAX Theater wears a cladding of polished stainless steel panels that reflect and refract light from a surrounding reflecting pool during the day and artificial light from the north façade at night. Says ZGF Partner Evett J. Ruffcorn, FAIA, “We wanted to design a Science Center unlike any other; one that inspires and enriches the lives of its visitors and residents of Iowa. The building will be simultaneously serious and playful on both the interior and exterior, visually reflecting the center’s learning function.”

The architects report that the facility’s vocabulary was “crafted to engage and inspire” the audience. Bold colors enliven the space while ample daylight opens the center to individual exploration and discovery. To enhance the facility’s use as a community asset, the structure was set in the midst of a park-like setting. Façade materials—stainless steel, glass, yellow brick, and terracotta—respond to neighboring red brick buildings, while the reflecting pool and extensive landscaping invite visitors to relax and explore the natural world.

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This is a map of the urban renewal areas in the metro Des Moines

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New $200 million Wells Fargo Arena will open in July 2005

The opening of Wells Fargo Arena in July 2005 promises to put Des Moines, IA back on the map in the entertainment world. The new, state-of-the-art arena will hold up to 17,000 guests for sports and entertainment events, and will be a venue unlike any other in the Midwest.

The moment visitors enter the building, they will know they have walked into an extraordinary facility. The open design of the building provides great sight lines from every seat, a view of the action from concourse areas, and tremendous vistas of downtown Des Moines, including the skyline and Capitol building.

In addition to hosting large concerts and family events, Wells Fargo Arena will be the permanent home of the Iowa Stars hockey organization, the top-level affiliate of the NHL’s Dallas Stars. The building will also host the annual State Wrestling, Boys’ State Basketball, and Girls’ State Basketball Tournaments each spring.

Wells Fargo Arena will provide seating and entertainment options for everyone, and will include a 180 seat restaurant, 36 corporate suites, 20 loge boxes, and 600 club seats offering the finest in fan amenities. In total, the arena will have a capacity of 16,980 for center-stage concerts, 16,285 for end-stage concerts, 16,110 for basketball, and 15,181 for hockey.


Pics of the construction

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Opens New $200 million Jordan Creek Mall Town Center

Jordan Creek Town Center brought a new level of shopping and entertainment to Central Iowa. The two million square foot project is the ultimate destination, a Town Center for West Des Moines. The vibrant master-planned development highlights three distinct features:

The “Shopping District” is a two level enclosed shopping center featuring a dynamic combination of upscale fashion and lifestyle retailers in a streetscape design.

The “Lake District” highlights a 3.5 acre lake surrounded by bike trails, pedestrian walkways, and a boardwalk offering waterfront dining, a hotel and amphitheater.

The “Village” hosts a collection of large and specialty retailers in an open-air lifestyle design.

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very cool developments. Sticky this son of a bitch along with the rest of the city threads mods!
i like the riverwalk
Only a few months after opening Jordan Creek Mall is planning an expansion!!

Des Moines, March 11th, 2005 -Iowa's largest shopping center will soon be a even larger. The Jordan Creek Town Center is expanding just seven-months after it opened.

The center's owner plans to add 51-thousand square feet of retail space to the outdoor shopping area. The center already has two-million square feet of retail, restaurant and entertainment space. Center officials are now negotiating with several prospective businesses.

The buildings are scheduled to be finished by summer.
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Highway I-235 is rebuild

Why Rebuild?
Looking to the Future

The goals of I-235 reconstruction are to improve safety, update the facility to current roadway design standards, reduce congestion, and improve mobility.

Constructed in the 1960s, I-235 is seriously outdated. It reflects 40-year-old design standards, and is wearing out.

The pavement is beyond its 30-to 40-year life expectancy and rapidly deteriorating.
Because of their low clearance, bridges are frequently hit by high-profile vehicles.
Interchanges are too closely spaced.
The limited number of traffic lanes causes congestion during peak travel periods.
The highway fails to meet present traffic demands, and those predicted for the future.
Even with improvements to city streets and other state highways, the area can't handle the projected traffic over the next 20 years.
As the major transportation corridor through the Des Moines metropolitan and state capitol areas, the 14-mile freeway carries significantly more traffic than any other corridor in the state, and is critical to the economic development and growth of the area.
I-235 also has a higher-than-average vehicle crash rate. The crash toll continues to rise, averaging 850 collisions per year along the entire length, including the 21 interchanges. The new freeway could save lives and head off serious crashes.

Planned Improvements

The rebuilding project will reconstruct I-235 to current design standards.
At least six through travel lanes (three in each direction) will be built the entire length of the freeway.
In some sections there will be an additional lane, or four lanes in each direction.
The entrance and exit ramps will be lengthened.
Bridges with low clearances will be rebuilt.
The appearance of the corridor will be enhanced with lighting, plants and color variations on the bridges.

Link to the highway web page

Renders of the finish highway:

Pedestrian Bridges

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New Central Library for Spring 2006!!

The digging has begun, a fence surrounds the lot, and literally tons of dirt have been removed in preparation for the construction of the new Central Library, designed to become the centerpiece of the five-block Gateway West entrance into downtown. Visitors to the site can see the outline of a facility three times the size of the current Central Library.

Chipperfield's twenty-first century design for the two-story library consists of three wings, each offering different elements to the public. Library customers will be able to walk outside and enjoy the Gateway Park, or stay inside and browse through a part of the library that will resemble a bookstore. It will include additional room for materials, a teen center and study rooms. There will be a wonderful children's department, filled with children's books and videos, with a separate story and craft room. Customers will enjoy the many reading nooks and the 250-capacity meeting room. A cafe and bookshop will create additional srevices. Work space with Internet access will be available for people wishing to use the library's computers and a wireless network for those using their own laptop computers.

The building's glass exterior will be two pieces of glass with a thin layer of copper mesh, in the middle, to block the hot summer sun. The mesh will also protect the library's books and materials from ultraviolet rays, while still allowing customers a clear view of the park outside. This mesh will also allow the building to shine at night. The building will have a 'clean' roof free of mechanical equipment, allowing for a green roof sometime in the future.

A render

Some pictures of construction

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Wow awesome thread, that must have taken alot of work. Des Moines has so much work going on it deserves a sticky with all the rest (its alot better than seeing petty threads about singing songs or some mens health city ratings).
Here's a few more projects.

Wells Fargo Financial Headquarters-North Addition
Construction of a 9 story, $90 million dollar headquarters for this division of Wells Fargo. This is in addition to a new building of similar size that was completed in 2003.

Construction Photo
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Mercy Medical Center Expansion
New 6-story, $67 million dollar addition to the downtown hospital. Renovation of the tan colored wing behind this project will start soon.

Martin Luther King Downtown Bypass
Construction of a 6-lane parkway to alleviate traffic and connect downtown and the airport with the main freeway. A $130 million project, with phase II coming soon.

Construction Photos

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Wow, I had no clue Des Moines had so much going on. I like the arena.
The Wells Fargo building will be gorgeous when completed. I cant wait to go down there to Iowa to see my old capital city to see how she's changed. has a very comprehensive list (with photos, renderings, and other info of each project) of what's happening in Downtown Des Moines. Projects pages in the Des Moines Metro suburban areas is what is being worked on now (gotta get downtown done first!).

Gronier-If you not a member yet, I'd encourage you to sign up on the forums there.
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I love that new MLK downtown bypass. It makes flying down Fleur to the airport a breeze instead of corkscrewing through that rediculous intersection downtown.
A few new photos of the tower cranes on the skyline.

Easter Morning 2005

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Not to bash, but I've been to Des Moines, and it's a pretty uninteresting, boring place.
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