A coalition that hopes to turn the Kaleidoscope at the Hub into a year-round public market and urban farm is seeking information from potential developers and managers.

A request for information was published Friday on the website of the Greater Des Moines Partnership and carries a submittal deadline of 5 p.m. March 1. 

Supporters envision a $13.5 million to $16 million redevelopment of the Kaleidoscope, which runs between Fifth and Sixth avenues on the north side of Walnut Street, into a "hub that provides culinary experiences, educational opportunities, entrepreneurial activities, and unique events," according to the request for information.

The Kaleidoscope was built as a centerpiece of downtown revitalization in the early 1980s. It is currently owned by Employers Mutual Insurance Cos.

These uses are outlined in the request:

  • Local restaurants, shops and vendors, including two anchor restaurant tenants, such as a farm-to-table restaurant and tap room; shops that could meet primary market needs such as a bakery, a cheese shop, local wine and beer shops, local artist galleries or retail, a cooperative grocery, a print shop, etc; and vendors such as satellite restaurants and food retail, pet supplies, local business retail and home goods.
  • A shared-use commercial kitchen and teaching area for use by food trucks, caterers, culinary businesses, market vendors and educational programs.
  • A 300-square-foot, three-story indoor vertical hydroponic farming operation for entrepreneurial training and beginning urban, indoor farmer courses, with opportunities to sell to restaurants and shops within the public market.
  • Educational programs that could include shared-work space, classrooms, student pop-up markets, workshops and short courses.
  • Indoor and outdoor event space.
The project is being led by the Partnership, the city of Des Moines Economic Development, Iowa State University and Brooks Borg Skiles Architecture Engineering.