Friday, November 27, 2015

On the Move

Dos Rios to close Thanksgiving Day for renovations


Dos Rios Cantina and Tequila Lounge announced that it will close on Nov. 26 for renovations. The Latin-inspired restaurant, located at 316 Court Ave., opened in 2006 and has received numerous local awards, including Cityview’s Best of Des Moines awards for Best Margarita, Best Patio and Best Serving Staff. The Iowa Restaurant Association named Dos Rios’ Executive Chef Mike Holman the 2015 Chef of the Year. Dos Rios is a member of Two Rivers Hospitality Group and is expected to be open before the first round of the 2016 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, which will be held in Des Moines. “We look forward to continuing to share our passion for food and drink with a newly renovated space early this spring,” said Caely Roby, director of operations for Two Rivers.

Wells Fargo plans downtown museum
In an effort to drive more foot traffic and retailers to the Walnut Street area in downtown Des Moines, Wells Fargo announced earlier this month plans to open a company museum. The 5,500-square-foot museum will open in a bank branch at 666 Walnut St. and feature an 1864 stagecoach like the one in the company’s logo. Scheduled to open in fall 2016, the museum is one of the first investments prompted by the plan to renovate Walnut Street. The first phase has already been approved by the Des Moines City Council for a $4.5 million renovation between Fifth and Eighth Streets. Construction is expected to take about nine months and is scheduled to begin in the spring. Wells Fargo is the metro’s largest employer and operates 11 other company-themed museums throughout the country. Officials expect it to attract more than 25,000 visitors a year.

Hotel Fort Des Moines closes for renovation
Des Moines’ landmark hotel closed on Friday, Nov. 13 for renovations that are expected to take at least a year to complete. Burlington-based Hawkeye Hotels plans to start construction on the $40 million project next summer, but it shut down the 230-room Hotel Fort Des Moines early because deteriorating conditions were damaging the company’s and the hotel’s reputations, according Raj Patel, the chief development officer of Hawkeye Hotels. Hotel Fort Des Moines has hosted at least 13 presidents and many celebrities since its creation in 1919. Located at 1000 Walnut St., it has also become a mainstay for the Iowa caucuses. Django, which is located inside the hotel, will remain open during the renovation.

Mercy plans to demolish apartment complex
Mercy Medical Center announced plans to demolish a large apartment complex at its Des Moines hospital in order to make room for more inpatient facilities. The move will displace more than 200 residents of the Mercy Park apartments, and housing advocates called it a setback for the efforts to maintain affordable rental units in the metro. Mercy officials said they are giving residents more than 10 months to move and have hired a housing specialist to help them. The hospital is also offering up to $1,000 off rent to cover moving expenses. Mercy plans to close the complex in September, and the teardown will clear about 4.5 acres on the east side of the hospital for development. Plans for the new project have not been finalized yet, and a date has not been set for demolishing Mercy Park, which includes 202 rentals in four six-story buildings. The apartments were built in 1966 and purchased by Mercy in 1985.

DuPont Pioneer to expand Johnston campus
After receiving City Council approval for financial assistance, DuPont Pioneer will expand its Krug research complex. A 4,965-square-foot addition to the Johnston corporate campus will allow more room for growing insect colonies and conducting related research on insect resistance management. The $1.3 million Krug project will receive a $48,000 forgivable loan through Johnston’s tax increment financing program, and the project is part of a $28.1 million upgrade to the campus. Though there won’t be any new jobs added with the expansion, it is expected to produce $25,430 per year in property taxes. DuPont Pioneer’s Krug complex is located in Johnston’s N.W. 62nd Avenue renewal area. CV

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