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$4.5 million in incentives proposed for East Village apartment project


An apartment project proposed in Des Moines’ East Village Neighborhood would receive up to $4.5 million in financial incentives under a preliminary development agreement the City Council will review at its meeting today.

Heart of America Group is proposing the construction of a 186-unit multifamily and commercial development at 603 E. Sixth St. on the site once occupied by American College of Hairstyling. The building on the site would be demolished.

The proposed $44 million project would include a minimum of 4,000-square feet of street-level commercial space.

Preliminary terms of the development agreement include providing up to $4.5 million in tax increment financing over a 20-year period, according to information provided to the council. Heart of America also plans on requesting 10-year declining residential tax abatement, an incentive offered by the city.

The proposed incentives total 10% of the project’s financing.

The incentives are needed to fill a financial gap created by the continued increase in construction costs, according to information provided to the council.

During the 20 years the development agreement is in place, 10%, or 19 apartment units would be rented to households earning 80% or less of the area median income. In 2022, a one-person household earning $55,200 annually or less would qualify to rent one of the 19 units.

Other details about the proposed project include:

  • Durable steel and concrete construction materials would be used instead of wood framing. Exterior materials would include a mix of brick, architectural metal panel, simulated wood siding panel and large windows.
  • Resident amenities would include a fitness center, dog park, covered indoor parking and outdoor kitchen area.
  • Much of the building would be seven stories. Two sections in the U-shaped structure would be eight stories, exceeding the maximum height allowed in the area by the city. Heart of America would seek a waiver to allow the higher building sections.
  • Two electric vehicle charging stations would be provided.

Construction is expected to begin in the second half of 2023 with completion anticipated in 2025.

The council will vote on whether to approve the preliminary development agreement. The meeting is at 5 p.m. today in the council chambers at City Hall, 400 Robert D. Ray Drive.


Kathy A. Bolten

Kathy A. Bolten is a senior staff writer at Business Record. She covers real estate & development, law & government and retail.

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