Sep 8, 2023 - Development

Historic Iowa Capitol rowhouse may get a sibling

A photo of the Norden Hall building in Des Moines.

Coa Cantina, 425 E. Grand Ave. in DSM, was the answer to yesterday's "Where's Jason" contest. Rob Bingham of DSM won one of our shirts. Photo: Jason Clayworth/Axios

A rowhouse relocated a decade ago to make way for an Iowa Capitol grounds expansion will have a new sibling under a proposal approved this week by the Des Moines Landmark Review Board.

Catch up fast: The 143-year-old rowhouse was a private residence and later home to multiple Scandinavian community groups, including the Norden Singing Society.

  • Previously known as "Norden Hall," the building faced possible demolition but was renovated and relocated in 2013 to its current spot near East Fifth Street and East Grand Avenue.
  • Today it's home to tequila bar Coa Cantina.

Driving the news: Owner Ryan Wade is proposing to build a new rowhouse on the site's west side.

  • No changes would be made to Norden Hall but the two buildings would share the west edge of a patio that was constructed during the relocation.

Zoom in: A middle section of the rowhouse would have three stories with access to a second-story patio rooftop that fronts East Grand Avenue.

  • A commercial business will be located on the first floor while other areas will have residential spaces, Wade tells Axios.

What's next: The building's plans go before the city's urban design administrator for approval and the City Council in coming weeks.

  • Construction could begin within a month and will likely be completed sometime next year if approved, Wade says.
A drawing of a rowhouse.
An announcement of the business that will locate in the first floor of the proposed building (on the right) will be made in coming months. Drawing: Courtesy of Streamline Architects via the city of DSM

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