May 13, 2022 - News

Former Northwest Community Hospital in Des Moines to be demolished

Neighborhood Development Corporation plans to raze this former hospital and clinic at 1818 48th St. in Des Moines in coming months. Photo: Jason Clayworth/Axios

The vacant Northwest Community Hospital in Des Moines' Waveland Park neighborhood will be demolished this year, Abbey Gilroy, the director of the Neighborhood Development Corporation (NDC), tells Axios.

Why it matters: Leveling the hospital and former Mercy Franklin Clinic, at 1818 48th St., will make way for a new project that NDC hopes will transform the area into a residential and retail hub.

Catch up fast: Developer Jeff Young and his company We Can Build It purchased the property in 2019 with a plan to convert the existing structure into commercial and office space. Young also planned to build a second story for 30 condo units.

  • The following year, Des Moines determined the building was a public nuisance and ordered owners to demolish or address structural issues.

Driving the news: NDC — a redevelopment organization supported by the city and Polk County — will finalize the purchase of the property next month, Gilroy told the Des Moines City Council during a workshop presentation this week.

  • NDC will pay about $560,000 for the property and has plans to begin demolition in coming months, she told Axios.
  • Meetings with Waveland and surrounding neighborhoods this summer will help determine how the site will be redeveloped, she said.

Zoom out: NDC has a long running track record in Des Moines neighborhoods. It's responsible for:

A photo of a public nuisance notice.
Photo: Jason Clayworth/Axios

Of note: Young is also associated with a delayed $8 million plan to redevelop the vacant Franklin Junior High, located across the street from the hospital property.

  • A limited liability company Young helped organize in 2019 for the school site project dissolved a year ago but remains listed as the property's owner, according to state and county records.
  • Young did not respond to Axios' requests for comment this week.

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