The Standard Oil building at 702 Raccoon St. A proposed Market District master plan urges that the building be preserved. Photo by Kathy A. Bolten

A proposed Market District master plan released this week by the city of Des Moines urges the preservation of three properties in the century-old working industrial neighborhood:

   -  East Des Moines Union Depot, built in 1907 and located at 120 E. Fifth St.
   -  Standard Oil building and garage, built in 1932, and located at 702 Raccoon St.
    - A small Art Moderne building, built in the early 1900s and located at East Sixth and East Market streets.

The proposal, which offers a blueprint for redeveloping the 260-acre Market District, said the architecture of each building is unique and important to preserve.

Ryan Moffatt, Des Moines’ economic development coordinator, agrees.

"Architecturally, [the buildings] represent the industrial heritage of the area, and that’s a distinction we want to preserve," he said.

The master plan suggested that if the current owners of the Standard Oil building decide to leave the area, the building could be redeveloped into one or more destination restaurants. The garage located on the site could house pop-up retailers and vendor kiosks, the plan said.
The Art Moderne building, now an office for the city’s public works department, could be moved to the Standard Oil site and restored as a pavilion that could house a small restaurant or retail store, the plan suggested.
Multiple uses exist for the depot, which was bought by the Des Moines Heritage Trust, the plan said. An event center proposed to the west of the depot could be used for weddings, corporate meetings and other events. A plaza proposed for the south side of the depot could sport a historic streetcar "that would help enhance the ambiance of the depot and act as an additional draw for the district," the report said.

The Urban Design Review Board this week heard details of the Market District Master plan, which is expected to be approved by the City Council in November.

If redevelopment is completed as proposed, the Market District could include more than 3,400 new housing units, 210,000 square feet of office space and 135,000 square feet of new retail space, according to the master plan, developed by Omaha-based HDR Inc., which has offices in Des Moines.


Previous coverage:

Market District redevelopment proposal unveiled

Des Moines official: Proposed Market District parks could ‘bolster’ development in area