Thursday, September 16, 2021

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On the Move

A Dong restaurant to close for repairs


After a damaging fire, A Dong restaurant will be closed for two to three months while it is rebuilt. Neal Ngu and his wife Ailien Nguyen own the restaurant, which caught on fire on Aug. 16. A passing cyclist saw smoke coming from the building and reported it. Ngu said he thinks the fire started in the kitchen, and there was little inside the restaurant that could be saved. A Dong is located at 1511 High St.

Apartments will replace downtown artist studios
Art316 has been a creative hub in downtown Des Moines for more than two decades, but it will close soon to make way for more housing in the booming area. Davis Sanders, a principal and architect with RDG Planning & Design, converted an old furniture manufacturing plant into the artist studios located at 316 S.W. Fifth St., and he will also be taking on the new project. Sanders is teaming up with local developer Kent Mauck to convert the two buildings (the second is located at 300 S.W. Fifth St.) into 106 market-rate apartments. The $26 million project will be called Harbach Lofts — a nod to the original name of the furniture company, L. Harbach & Sons, which was constructed in 1906. The project also includes about 5,000 square feet of retail space, which the developers hope to lease to a café or bike shop. Mauck has owned the north building since last year, and it has served as a furniture warehouse since it was built.

Antique shop moves into former Dahl’s store
Owners Tobias Cross and Zach Brody have transformed the former Dahl’s grocer store at 1208 Prospect Ave. in West Des Moines into an antique and auction space. The Picker Knows has been in business for three years and moved from 221 S.W. 63rd St. in Des Moines to the 36,000-square-foot space. The shop has 300 vendors, but Cross said it can hold up to 400. They sell antique furniture, glassware, artwork and vintage signs and jewelry. A 6,000-square-foot auction and event space will house weekly auctions, and the shop also offers appraisal services. Employment has increased from five to 15 workers with the new, larger space. A grand opening will be held from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sept. 13, and it will feature a car show, food and family activities. The Picker Knows is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday; and noon to 7 p.m., Sunday. Call 255-3238, visit or find it on Facebook.

Online grocer to deliver in Des Moines
Door to Door Organics is a natural and organic online grocer that will soon deliver products in Des Moines. The subscription-based service will begin the week of Sept. 14, offering a selection of fruit, vegetables or mixed items in various sized boxes. Items can be changed for weekly or biweekly deliveries. Door to Door tries to use local producers and will offer Ebersole Cattle Co. and Des Moines Bacon Co. products.

Construction underway on Johnston apartments
Hubbell Realty Co. broke ground on a 195-unit apartment complex in Johnston last month. The $26.3 million project is located near N.W. 63rd Street and Merle Hay Road, and it will fill eight acres. Hubbell is a West Des Moines-based real estate and development firm. The project, called Cadence, is scheduled to open in late 2016.

Prep Iowa

Des Moines to save $4 million on ramp demolition
The Des Moines City Council accepted a bid to demolish a downtown parking garage for nearly $4 million less than the engineer’s $6.1 million estimate. The garage demolition at Grand Avenue and Seventh Street is expected to cost $2.25 million, a 63 percent reduction, due to the ability to recycle concrete and other materials in the current structure. Eight contractors bid on the work, and the City Council approved D.W. Zinser Co. Demolition is set to begin this fall, with construction of a new six-story ramp to begin in the spring and be ready about 18 months after that. Des Moines-based Nelson Construction & Development plans to build luxury apartments above the ramp, making the structure 17 stories tall and costing approximately $40 million. CV

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