Apr 14, 2021 - News

Des Moines eyes a new $68 million DART campus

The proposed new DART operations and maintenance facility would be located at 2501 Maury St. Drawing courtesy of Substance Architecture

Construction of a relocated $68 million DART operations and maintenance facility could begin as early as next year.

Why it matters: It’s a major development that will change the face of multiple areas of DSM.

The old: The current 11-acre campus will be sold, making room to possibly expand the adjacent Gray’s Station, a fast-growing downtown neighborhood connected to Gray’s Lake.

  • The main facilities building at 1100 Dart Way was built in the 1970s and needs an estimated $35 million in updates.
  • Space restrictions limit the ability to add more electric buses because they don't fit in the main garage. Vehicles must sometimes be disassembled to service them because the facility is too tight.
  • It was damaged during floods in 1993 and 2008 — plus, it’s landlocked, making updates more challenging.
The former Chesterfield School building will be demolished as part of a plan to relocate and build a new DART operations and maintenance facility. Photo: Jason Clayworth/Axio

The new facility will be built at 2501 Maury St. and requires the demolition of the former Chesterfield School building, the site of the Southeast Community Center.

  • DSM plans to vacate the community center site and rebuild and relocate its adjacent greenhouse operation.
  • Construction will take about two years.

What happened: Federal Transit Administration officials encouraged DART’s commission to consider relocation due to the current facility limitations, DART CEO Elizabeth Presutti told Axios.

  • Federal grants will cover an estimated 60% of the new facility.
  • The local match for relocation is cheaper than updating the current facility. (Federal discretionary grants are not available if DART decided to retrofit the current facility.)

What’s next: DART will learn about the outcome of a federal grant application in coming months, though it has already been awarded more than $17 million.

  • Construction could start in early 2022.

This story first appeared in the Axios Des Moines newsletter, designed to help readers get smarter, faster on the most consequential news unfolding in their own backyard.


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