Consultant Maureen McAvey said Greater Des Moines had too much retail even before the Altoona outlet mall was developed, and downtown Des Moines should pick its retail shots during a likely storefront shakeup in the metro.

McAvey, a Minneapolis-based retail authority who once worked for the Urban Land Institute, discussed an update of Greater Des Moines’ 5-year-old retail study with area leaders this week in the East Village. 

She spoke of the differing strengths of different parts of downtown before noting an interesting phenomenon in the metro: a glut of retail. 

“You have retail coming out of your ears in the suburbs,” McAvey said. 

“We are not overbuilt, we are under-demolished,” McAvey said. “We will lose 20 to 30 percent of our retail” in coming years. 

The national average is 23.6 square feet of retail per person. Greater Des Moines has 34 square feet, McAvey said, and that doesn’t count the 300,000 square feet at the Outlets of Des Moines, in Altoona. 

Continue reading to see McAvey’s advice on future downtown retail. Full Insider story