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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
The Urban Land Institute (ULI) magazine is listing Des Moines among Ten Top Downtown Turnaround Cities in the April 2007 edition of the publication.

Here's the complete list:
1) Brooklyn, NY
2)Charlston, SC
3)Des Moines, IA
4)Fargo, ND
5)Kalamazzo, MI
6)Long Beach, CA
7)Memphis, TN
8)Pasadena, CA
9)Philadelphia, PA
10) Washington, DC



The following is an excerpt from the article in ULI on Des Moines:

“A vision plan developed during the early 1990’s established an initial blueprint for downtown Des Moines's revival, and in 1995 business leaders created the Downtown Partnership, now called the Downtown Community Alliance. The results include cultural, entertainment and sports attractions; the new central branch of the public library, the17,000 seat Iowa Events Center and the 110,000 square- foot (10,219-sq-rn) Science Center of Iowa museum all of which opened in the last two years.
The downtown continues to add hundreds of housing units each year, and the pedestrian-friendly East Village neighborhood hosts a thriving nightlife, with restored historic buildings and retail and restaurants pitched to a young, creative crowd. Currently underway is the Principal Riverwalk, a 1.2-rnile (2-km) series of landscaped walking paths and bridges linking downtown from east to west, designed to tie the new developments together.”
Here is the full article with all ten cities listed:
http://www.ci.long-beach.ca.us/civica/filebank/blobdload.asp?BlobID=14749
 

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Cory
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Obviously I am an Indy praiser, but what were the criteria for this list? What period of time did they consider? No list like this is complete without Indianapolis. Sorry.

Great news for Des Moines. I have never been to Iowa, but I have read good things about its Capital.
 

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Indy?

Yeah i too was wondering why Indy wasn't #1? Then it dawned on me, we hit our revival @least a decade & a half (i'm 18) before Des Moines did... So we are in fact head of the game! Anyway, nice job Des Moines but you still have A LOT of catching up to do. However, as the ole' sayin goes. "It's better late then never" Riiight?
 

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I.O.W.A. Idiots Out Wandering Around <<<< I am kidding. Des Moines Rocks. Stayed there a few times.
 

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Let me chime in my personal response according to this so-called magazine boosting cities according to a lack there-of analysis report:
1) Brooklyn--HUH? I thought there is one downtown which is in the lower Manhattan
2) Charleston, SC--tourism must be the thing that puts them in #2
3) Des Moines--say "capital"; most capital cities in this country are very robust and progressive
4) Fargo, ND--HUH?
5) Kalamazoo, MI--HUH?
6) Long Beach, CA--I'd believe it, their downtown has gone through a massive change for the better and much more viable than just being a sleepy military town
7) Memphis, TN--Is Elvis in the house?
8) Pasadena, CA--Must be the roses
9) Philly, PA--I'd believe it, a lot of new skyscrapers, new flush of financial jobs along with the new residential inflow which is supported by great existing infrastructure and very walkable from Delaware River to Schuykill River.
10) Washington DC--walkable and its the nation's capital, what do you expect

As for the ones who are asking about Indianapolis, come on it's only the top ten list. I'm surprised folks from Minneapolis and Kansas City haven't expressed their outrage that they are not in the top ten. It's only a friggin' magazine survey, if someone from the City of Indy Marketing Department didn't pay the publication of this magazine boosting money then they do not land in the top ten. Simple as that.
 

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IT'S NICE TO SEE...

Someone from Toledo of all places stand up for us. Besides, if that's Toledo that's off the Maumee River near Ft. Wayne you guyz have a nice downtown! Anywaaay, look @ Des Moines Development thread... It hasn't been updated for a MONTH & a HALF! How pathetic is that? Sorry, i just had to point that out...
 

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Anywaaay, look @ Des Moines Development thread... It hasn't been updated for a MONTH & a HALF! How pathetic is that? Sorry, i just had to point that out...
Do they have their own forum outside of SSC? I know the KC thread never gets updated unless it's me or a couple other people because we have our own forum - kcrag.com.
 

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Do they have their own forum outside of SSC? I know the KC thread never gets updated unless it's me or a couple other people because we have our own forum - kcrag.com.
True dat. The Indy developement threat over at SSP hasn't been updated in weeks.
 

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1981 Civic
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Great news for DSM. Midwest stand up!

Edit: It isn't ridiculous to question Indy's absence from the list given its state 30 years ago. Come to think of it, I don't see Chicago either.
 

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Someone from Toledo of all places stand up for us. Besides, if that's Toledo that's off the Maumee River near Ft. Wayne you guyz have a nice downtown! Anywaaay, look @ Des Moines Development thread... It hasn't been updated for a MONTH & a HALF! How pathetic is that? Sorry, i just had to point that out...
The Des Moines people don't post every bit of news from a newspaper, or every small office development in the suburbs on this website when we have our own forum to discuss these kinds of things. I don't even bother posting on that thread unless it's a major downtown development anyway. You could point out a ton of cities that have revitalized downtowns and aren't on this list. It's just another list, somebody has to be included and somebody has to be left off. What counts is that Des Moines is consistently becoming ranked near the top of most of these types of quality of life/business cities rankings. If a city is consistently making these types of lists, they must be doing something right.

For a city of 500,000, we're smelling like roses when it comes to development. Besides Madison, there aren't many midwest cities in the 300,000-700,000 range that can top the amount of development and growth going on in Des Moines, particularly when it comes to downtown growth. Take a visit to the Des Moines website if you need further proof of what's going on here.
 

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Kind of an interesting list.

Very interesting.....

“A vision plan developed during the early 1990’s established an initial blueprint for downtown Des Moines's revival, and in 1995 business leaders created the Downtown Partnership, now called the Downtown Community Alliance. The results include cultural, entertainment and sports attractions; the new central branch of the public library, the17,000 seat Iowa Events Center and the 110,000 square- foot (10,219-sq-rn) Science Center of Iowa museum all of which opened in the last two years.
Mmmm...a lot of cities have new libraries, arenas, and museums downtown. And it's nice that they have news sports and entertainment attractions.

Let's do a little comparison of OKC and Des Moines in this vein.

Des Moines' new downtown library:



OKC's new downtown library:



Des Moines' new events center:



OKC's new Ford Center (which is getting an NBA team):



Science Center of Iowa:



OKC's new Museum of Art:



Oh and let's not forget OKC's new Bricktown Ballpark (which the city wants to expand, add a few more thousand seats, to make room for an MLS team), the Bricktown Canal, the Spirit Trolleys, the Convention Center, the Civic Center Music Hall renovations, and the creation of a new downtown river.... that was the first MAPS, which almost 80 cities have copied since OKC's was a monumental success. Then there was the second MAPS, which rebuilt almost every inner city school, and is still underway. And then is the third MAPS, which will be on the ballot next year, and will include a new convention center and light rail, a new central park, and likely the Bricktown Ballpark expansion, and beyond that, will include some other pleasant surprises once the mayor's office releases what he wants to do.

The downtown continues to add hundreds of housing units each year, and the pedestrian-friendly East Village neighborhood hosts a thriving nightlife, with restored historic buildings and retail and restaurants pitched to a young, creative crowd. Currently underway is the Principal Riverwalk, a 1.2-mile (2-km) series of landscaped walking paths and bridges linking downtown from east to west, designed to tie the new developments together.”
That's great for Des Moines, I am happy to see any city add "hundreds of housing units each year." But I am upset when people still have no clue about what is going on in OKC right now. Right NOW, there are 2,500 downtown units proposed or u/c in Downtown OKC, and we've already opened nearly 500 since this year alone began. I think the East Village is nice. It compares well to a tertiary neighborhood of Downtown OKC.

The Principal Riverwalk sounds nice. If it's 1.2 miles long then it's a fraction of the length of the new Oklahoma River trails in downtown.

Once I-40 is moved further southward, which is a $400 million project last I heard, then downtown will open up toward the south and construction will be able to push towards the river and not be confined north of the I-40 land bridge. For people wanting to learn more about that.......

http://okc.gov/planning/coretoshore/visuals_data.html

So in summary it is nice that Des Moines is getting some recognition for what they're doing. But I just get pissy everytime OKC fails to get this sort of recognition. Few people realize OKC has 1.3 million people, 2,500 downtown units in the pipeline, and that the original catalyst for all of these downtown capital projects popping up around the country...was OKC. Well I take that back, because every visitor who has seen the transformation of a sleepy, dead downtown district into one of the nation's most bustling entertainment and urban living environments, comes away from OKC very surprised.

It is for these reasons that I don't believe OKC could have possibly been considered with due diligence. I would also like to see Little Rock added to this list.

The reasons I would not add Omaha or Kansas City are because this is about TURNAROUND, not downtowns that are booming. DT Omaha and KC never got to the point of being truly dead, even though KC did go through some scary times, and of course, KC is the creme of the crop of the recent urban migration trends in my opinion.
 

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why are people freaking out about Indianapolis not being on it?
Indianapolis is on the higher section for turned around downtowns, but this is for cities that have just recently turned around.
SRG.. egh nvm.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
SRG, I definately need to plan a trip to OKC to check out all the great things that are going on there. Thanks for the comparison pics & commentary between DSM and OKC. I find it very interesting.
 

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Well look I don't mean to belittle what Des Moines is doing or anything, just like I don't mean to belittle what Omaha or any other city has been up to.

When my city gets its due exposure I'll let it go. I think a good indicator will be when people stop asking me if I ride my cow into work. (First of all you ride horses, not cows.)
 

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Well look I don't mean to belittle what Des Moines is doing or anything, just like I don't mean to belittle what Omaha or any other city has been up to.

When my city gets its due exposure I'll let it go. I think a good indicator will be when people stop asking me if I ride my cow into work. (First of all you ride horses, not cows.)
So you ruin every other city's exposure? Your methods of displaying OKC is a disgrace to your city and won't encourage me to visit (before you started this tirade here and on other forums, I had no image of OKC. Now it is a negative image.).
 

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Well look I don't mean to belittle what Des Moines is doing or anything, just like I don't mean to belittle what Omaha or any other city has been up to.

When my city gets its due exposure I'll let it go. I think a good indicator will be when people stop asking me if I ride my cow into work. (First of all you ride horses, not cows.)
I sure thought you were gonna get booted from kcrag this week after the mess that happened over there. :lol: I guess the mods felt it was nice to have an outsider though giving input, which I don't mind either. But I'd sure like to see that Joemoney prick get banned. He's worthless.
 

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@ Metro: After what? After Matre D' got his stupid quote removed from my sig? I don't get it.

@ Ingersoll: Yeah bullshit Ingersoll. How have I ruined Des Moines? If I've ruined Des Moines for you then move somewhere else like KC or Omaha.

You should expect people who feel like their city should be in the Top Ten to single out Des Moines and Fargo to make their case. Surely you wouldn't expect this thread to be nothing but, "Oh, congrats to Des Moines" 15-30 times over. This is a forum where ideas get exchanged.

Step right up, Omaha, Indy, anyone else who feels Top Ten-caliber.

Although I really wouldn't put Omaha or Indy on THIS list. The main Midwestern burg I would consider for this list aside from my own hometown boosting might be more like Columbus, a city that is undergoing a huge downtown real estate boom, whereas in the 90s Columbus had a very shady and high-crime perception that it was busy fixing.

Detroit is also starting to come alive with gentrification, and we all know what a positive change that is.
 
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