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On the Move

Moving on up

3/9/2016

Rents for one-bedroom apartments increased 7.7 percent in Des Moines proper in 2015. Efficiencies and studios went up even faster at a clip of 10.3 percent. Larger units saw a more modest increase of 5 to 7 percent, this according to CBRE/Hubbell Commercial’s annual rent survey. Double-digit increases are rare, so experts are saying the growth should slow as more than 3,000 new units are expected to be made available in 2016. The metro’s rental rates are still more affordable than other cities nearby such as Kansas City, Minneapolis or Chicago.

YMCA will close
The YMCA will close its Grimes location on April 30 and is also nixing plans to build a new branch there. Land that had been donated by Knapp Properties for the new building will now be put up for sale.

Donuts update
Lou King has worked hard making donuts almost his entire life, working his way to owning the Donut King in West Des Moines. The developer who owns Donut King’s parcel is demolishing the building to make way for new businesses, and King is raising money to start anew somewhere else. To contribute to the cause, visit his Go Fund Me page at: https://www.gofundme.com/uvpsmfec.

More long necking at the zoo
Blank Park Zoo announced a new giraffe facility that will allow visitors to view giraffes 12 months a year. The new $1.8 million, 8,300-square-foot giraffe headquarters could house up to 10 giraffes and will sit next to the existing structure that only allows visibility of giraffes during certain temperatures. Workers will start in April. The project should take seven months to finish.

Government saving money?
Des Moines has seen approximately 30 inches of snow so far this winter. That’s slightly less than the 33 inches that is usually produced. Generally, snowfall costs the city around $3.2 million to plow. The Public Works Department has plowed 30 inches of snow this season and restored traffic ability in record time, spending less than $1.8 million. The new snow plan, a guide to plowing and operations and restoring traffic ability, was updated last year and brought new techniques to plowing operations. The two key components of the new plan include more plows working simultaneously to clear larger streets quicker and improved alignment of snow routes and residential streets.

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Demolition of history
The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs supports a plan to reduce the size of the State Historical Building from 234,000 square feet to 155,000 square feet. The building’s east side would be torn down and replaced with green space. The west side of the structure would be remodeled and back in operation by 2020. Proponents say the $80 million plan gives taxpayers the most bang for their buck.

Phone scammers
The Polk County Sheriff is reporting a significant increase in the number of fraudulent phone scams being reported across Polk County. Multiple people have fallen victim to various tall tales threatening immediate action or arrest unless immediate payment is made over the phone. Be on the alert and call law enforcement immediately if you receive any calls that are suspicious in nature.

Bid riggers
State attorneys general from nearly two dozen states — including Iowa — announced multi-million dollar settlements with two investment firms. The states allege rigged bids in connection with certain financial products sold to government and non-profit entities across the country. New York-based Natixis Funding Corporation will pay nearly $30 million, and Paris, France-based Societe Generale will pay more than $26 million to resolve allegations. The firms deny wrongdoing. CV

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