Market District Development Moves Forward


DES MOINES, IOWA — Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021 — The Market District, the next major development sector for the City of Des Moines, took another significant step toward reality this week when the Urban Design Review Board (UDRB) recommended approval of the conceptual development plan from District Developer, LLC, a consortium of JSC Properties and MidAmerican Energy.  

The proposal reviewed by the UDRB is for a 10 block, 39-acre industrial area located around East 4th and East Market Streets and includes six blocks of City-owned property currently housing the Des Moines Public Works Department. The project is anticipated to generate $50 million in new revenue to the City over 20 years while the projected taxable valuation upon full build-out is estimated to be in excess of $245 million. 

According to Erin Olson-Douglas, director of development services for the City of Des Moines, the redevelopment is proposed to be a high-quality, dense downtown urban neighborhood with a mix of uses that include housing, office, retail, hotel and entertainment.  

“The Market District is poised for exciting new development – a vision for sustainable investment has been embraced, thoughtful planning has been completed, an ambitious developer has emerged, and the site with river frontage, skyline views, East Village proximity, and MLK Jr Parkway connectivity is exceptional,” Olson-Douglas said. “We are enthusiastic about the contribution this area will make to our downtown for residents throughout the city and the Des Moines region.”

When fully developed, the Market District will transform an underutilized industrial portion of the City into a new urban neighborhood and regional destination, reconstruct streets, sewers and sidewalks, bring transit services to the area, better connect development with the remainder of the Historic East Village, add new residential offerings that will include affordable housing, increase employment offerings to foster growth in the regional economy and increase the City’s property tax base.

 The Market District proposal will be submitted to the City Council on Jan. 25 when members will consider finalizing the development agreement and hold a hearing for the land sale.

 The project is anticipated to begin with site preparation on properties already under control of District Developer and infrastructure work throughout the district later this spring.

 To learn more, review the Market District Staff Report and the Market District Development Presentation.

Al Setka
Chief Communications Officer, City Manager’s Office 
(515) 283-4057

About the City of Des Moines
The City of Des Moines: Iowa’s capital city and local government servicing more than 217,000 residents, 52 neighborhoods, over 4,000 acres of parkland and 81 miles of trails. The City of Des Moines stands to be a financially strong city with exceptional city services, fostering an involved community in a customer friendly atmosphere.

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