Vacant downtown Des Moines lot to be site of five-story, mixed-use building

·2 min read
Green Acre Development Co. will construct a five-story mixed-use building on a long vacant lot at 13th and Mulberry streets in downtown Des Moines.
Green Acre Development Co. will construct a five-story mixed-use building on a long vacant lot at 13th and Mulberry streets in downtown Des Moines.

A downtown Des Moines lot that developers say has been used for parking and a loading dock for at least 100 years will soon be the site of a five-story, mixed-use apartment building.

Green Acre Development Co.'s plan for the new building on the northwest corner of 13th and Mulberry streets calls for 10,000 square feet of commercial space on the first floor and 78 housing units on floors two through five, John Bloom, project architect with Schemmer, told the city's Urban Design Review Board. It also will have underground parking.

It's the sister project to Green Acre Development Co.'s office conversion of the one-story, 15,000-square foot building across the street at 213 13th St. The warehouse-style building was constructed in 1949 as the Iowa Ford Tractor Co.'s tractor repair and storage facility.

More: Buyer backs out of $3.1 million Des Moines Social Club sale; building back on the market

It was most recently home to H.B. Leiserowitz Co., a photography equipment store that operated there from 1977 to 2017, closing after the death of its owner.

Green Acre Development Co., based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, bought the building and the lot across the street for $1.6 million three months after the store closed. The renovation is expected to be complete this winter, according to city documents.

The apartment building will be U-shaped, with a second-floor courtyard providing residents shared patio space. The commercial space and courtyard will face 13th Street "because we think it's more of a pedestrian-friendly and visible street with the Sculpture Park to the north," Bloom said.

More: Downtown Des Moines homeless shelter opens addition, plans expansion with 'agrihood,' affordable housing

Apartment units will range from studios to four bedrooms. Green Acre Development Co. has agreed to set aside 10% of the units for renters earning no more than 80% of the area median income.

The Des Moines City Council last year approved providing 15 years of tax increment financing for both projects, totaling about $5.2 million.

Construction of the apartment building must start by Dec. 1, 2023, in accordance with the terms of the development agreement.

Kim Norvell covers growth and development for the Register. Reach her at knorvell@dmreg.com or 515-284-8259. Follow her on Twitter @KimNorvellDMR.

This article originally appeared on Des Moines Register: Vacant downtown Des Moines lot to be five-story apartment building

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting