Rooftop green space gets first step in approval6/17/2015
Nelson Construction & Development’s proposal to build luxury apartments on top of a new downtown parking garage gained a head start in the race to fill the space at Seventh Street and Grand Avenue in Des Moines. The City Council called for proposals last month and received three, but the city’s economic development staff plans to recommend Des Moines-based Nelson for the project, according to a recent City Council meeting agenda. The project would cost $35 million and include a park-like space on the roof and adjacent skywalks. The city plans to construct a new parking garage in place of the 40-year-old parking ramp that is currently located on the site, and Nelson’s proposal would include 10 stories and 150 high-end apartments, with a potential second phase of 112 more units.
Hubbell to expand office in West Des Moines
Hubbell Realty Co. is set to begin construction on a 6,400-square-foot addition to its 26,000-square-foot office in West Des Moines. The real estate and development firm is headquartered at 6900 Westown Parkway, and the building was constructed 13 years ago with room to grow. At the time, the company had about 50 employees, compared to about 120 now. Construction will begin this summer with expected completion in spring 2016.
New Oriental Food Store plans renovations
The New Oriental Food Store, located at 515 E. Grand Ave. in Des Moines’ East Village, will receive a renovation this month. The project is expected to take several months and will include renovating the second floor into two 2,500-square-foot offices or work studios. The 1950s-era aluminum screening will also be removed from the building’s exterior to reveal its original 1927 veneer. New Oriental Food Store is owned by Sunny Philavahn, and the work is being done by Knowles Blunck Architecture.
Jethro’s Bacon Bacon to add space
Owner Bruce Gerleman is preparing to serve even more hungry customers at Jethro’s BBQ n’ Bacon Bacon. A 1,200-square-foot addition will increase the seating by 76 spots at the West Des Moines restaurant, located at 1480 22nd St. The expansion will sit where the patio is located and allow for private parties to be held. Gerleman said the patio was in direct sunlight and either too hot or too cold, making it an easy choice to expand the dining area there. The addition is expected to open July 4. Gerleman operates the six other Jethro’s restaurants in the metro, as well as Splash restaurant downtown. The Bacon Bacon restaurant serves about one ton of bacon each month.
New hotel breaks ground
A groundbreaking for a new hotel was held recently in the East Village for a 100-room boutique hotel. Heart of America Group, based in the Quad Cities, will build Marriott’s AC Hotel on the southeast corner of East Grand Avenue and East Fourth Street in Des Moines. The line of European-inspired hotels launched recently in the U.S., and the project should be finished in about a year.
East Village tower apartments to open soon
A project that began almost two years ago is close to opening its doors to the public. An 11-story building once known as Heather Manor, a senior housing complex, is being turned into market-rate apartments on the corner of East Fifth and Lyon Streets in the East Village. Construction workers have been putting the final touches on the apartments, which should be ready for pre-leasing this month and opening the first apartments in August. East Village Tower Partners bought the building for $1.3 million in 2013, and the project, which has been through several hurdles along the way, cost about $10 million. The building was renamed The Lyon, and it is the second-tallest building in the East Village, second only to the State Capitol.
Gino’s to close, J.G. Foods expands
Gino’s, a longtime Italian restaurant at 2809 Sixth Ave. in Des Moines, will close on June 27 as owner James Grove expands the headquarters and production plant of J.G. Foods, which neighbors Gino’s. Grove bought Gino’s from its original owner two years ago. He has decided to take on four partners and move his food production company to a larger space in the former Ankeny Dahl’s store on Aug. 1. CV