Sep 13, 2022 - News

Des Moines' city office merger could launch other development

A photo of City Hall.
This lot east of City Hall was planned to be the spot for a new city office building. It might now be sold and redeveloped by private owners. Photo: Jason Clayworth/Axios

Des Moines' City Council approved Monday a non-binding $40.6 million purchase agreement of Nationwide's vacant downtown building at 1200 Locust St. and an adjacent parking garage.

Why it matters: It launches a nine-month "due diligence" period to determine if the plan to consolidate most municipal offices at that site is the right fit for DSM.

  • It also starts the possibility for private ownership and redevelopment of multiple city buildings and properties that would no longer be needed.

Catch up fast: The city and Nationwide announced the sale Friday.

  • Several proposed new city office projects would be abandoned, saving taxpayers tens of millions of dollars.
  • Police headquarters and the Argonne Armory buildings would likely be vacated and sold for redevelopment.
  • City Hall's uses would be reconfigured but likely retain some municipal operations.

Driving the news: Other adjacent or non-riverfront properties, like the Des Moines Police Academy, could also open for new development, deputy city manager Matthew Anderson told the council Monday.

  • Undeveloped land across from City Hall that was previously slated for a new city office project could also become available.

Of note: Redevelopments will likely be a few years out.

  • The Armory would be the first city office space to vacate and that wouldn't be until sometime in 2024, Anderson told Axios Monday.
A photo of the Des Moines Police Academy.
The Des Moines Regional Police Academy building, 433 E. Army Post Rd., would become vacant under the city's relocation plan. Photo: Jason Clayworth/Axios
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