Men’s Style Lab moves to East Village6/1/2016
Des Moines online fashion startup Men’s Style Lab has moved to the East Village. The company will soon sell clothing not just online, but also by way of an 8,000-square-foot brick and mortar building at the 500 block of East Locust Street. Much of the space is for its online operation, shipping, housing inventory and office needs, but the rest will soon function to allow for a guided shopping experience for select shoppers. Initially, customers will be accepted by appointment only, meeting with a stylist and working together to find apparel for wear. The experience will come with more than just a guide. An on-site bar will be stocked to go with a TV, leather furniture and fitting areas. Having a physical location will be a new idea for the company, but other online-only businesses have successfully transitioned before them. Men’s Style Lab first opened in 2014. It’s a men’s concierge service for fashion, delivering clothes to its customers by mail after online orders. Customers start online by filling out a profiles and picking deliveries.
If you build it
The development group Blackbird Investments is floating a $60 million plan for a 29-story high-rise with 220 residences, 150 hotel rooms and a handful of storefronts on the ground floor. The proposed tower would be placed on the vacant portion of the former Younkers building site. This plan is still in the preliminary stages and hasn’t been submitted for city approval. Blackbird owns the land and is currently renovating the surviving part of the Younkers structure. If the plans become reality, it would be among the tallest buildings in the state.
Bridge to somewhere
Homemakers Furniture in Urbandale has plans to build a $15 million, five-acre warehouse near its current facility. In order to bridge the gap between the new storage space and its current one — they are separated by active railroad tracks — the long-time Iowa-based business installed a 70,000-pound skywalk furniture-conveyor system. The project is nearly finished after four years, and the 110,000 square feet of fresh warehouse will be online this summer.
Fareway to Fleur
Fareway Stores is planning construction of a grocery store on Fleur Drive at the Wakonda Shopping Center. The new store will be located between the Cash Saver and the Firestone Complete Auto Care. Part of the southside strip mall will be demolished to make room for the grocer. The southside store aims to open its doors by the fall of 2017.
Grimes YMCA land sold
The nine acres of Grimes real estate that was previously tabbed for a new YMCA recently sold for $725,367 to an entity run by Knapp Properties. Knapp originally donated the land for use by the YMCA, but the re-purchase essentially makes the gift a monetary one instead of in the form of real estate. The Y announced earlier this year it would not build the new branch in Grimes, opting instead to use the money for a pool at the downtown Wellmark YMCA, which doesn’t yet have a pool. The Wellmark YMCA opened Jan. 1, 2015. The land in Grimes will be used for commercial development.
Ribbon cutting for S.E. connector
The city of Des Moines recently hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of a new portion of the southeast connector that runs from East Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway between Southeast 15th and Southeast 30th streets. The project was a joint effort between the United States Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration, the Iowa Department of Transportation and the City of Des Moines. Eventually the route will allow traffic through to Highway 65 and Pleasant Hill. Design plans for the final phase of the project are scheduled to be finished later this summer. The estimated cost of the expansion is $40 million.
Last AIB graduation
AIB recently held its final graduation ceremony as hundreds of graduates collected diplomas from the long-time business college. The school, along with its 20 acres of land and 16 buildings, will now be integrated into the University of Iowa after 95 years of serving Des Moines. CV