Backers’ goal for proposed $7.2M mixed-use development on Ingersoll Avenue is meeting zero carbon certification standards
KATHY A. BOLTEN Dec 14, 2022 | 6:46 pm
3 min read time652 wordsAll Latest News, Iowa News, Real Estate & Development
The Des Moines area’s third mass timber project is planned at 2701 Ingersoll Ave. The three-story building will include 20 apartment units and street-level commercial space. Architectual rendering by ID8 Architects
Construction is expected to begin early next year on a $7.2 million mixed-use project in Des Moines that backers believe will be the first in Iowa to receive an ILFI Zero Carbon Certification.
The certification from the International Living Future Institute, headquartered in Seattle, Wash., is a third-party certification standard that requires 100% of the operational energy used by a project to be offset by new on- or off-site renewable energy.
In addition, Cutler Development, which is developing the Star Apartment project, will invest in projects in Iowa that are expanding solar arrays, Molly Cutler said.
“One of the goals of the certification is to create new sources [of energy] for people to use as a result of the project,” Cutler said. “We’ll be helping groups purchase their next sets of solar panels, and in exchange they’ll retire our” renewable energy credits.
Constructing the building with materials that have low carbon footprints is more expensive than traditionally built structures, Scott Cutler said. “But we think it’s worth it. We want to contribute to helping reverse or slow the effects of climate change, which we believe is important.”
However, there are cost savings associated with using mass timber in a project, Molly Cutler said. Much of the lumber used in a project is prefabricated off-site, reducing the amount of labor needed to build the structure, she said.
Cutler Development is in the process of acquiring the property at 2701 Ingersoll Ave. on which Star convenience store and fuel pumps had been located. The convenience store will be razed and underground fuel tanks removed from the site before construction begins on the building, which will include 20 apartment units spread over the second and third floors. The building’s first floor will include 6,500 square feet of commercial space.
“The overall concept is to take an environmentally contaminated and blighted property and redevelop it into something that we’re really excited about,” said Scott Cutler, who founded Cutler Development in 2017.
The Ingersoll project is Cutler Development’s first project in Des Moines and its second using mass timber. The company is completing development of a three-story, 13,617-square-foot building at 304 Fifth St. in West Des Moines that was constructed with mass timber. That building includes commercial, office and residential spaces.
The West Des Moines project is Iowa’s second mass timber development and the first one to include a residential component, Scott Cutler has said. The state’s first mass timber project is located at 111 E. Grand Ave. in Des Moines’ East Village neighborhood.
The Valley Junction development was also the first Iowa project to be awarded a U.S. Forest Service Wood Innovations Grant, receiving $243,035 in 2021.
The Ingersoll Avenue project, which Cutler Development has partnered on with the nonprofit Anawin Housing, also received a $250,000 grant from the U.S. Forest Service.
The project will also receive $370,000 from American Rescue Plan Act money that the city of Des Moines received. The project also was awarded $350,000 from the HOME Investment Partnership Program in form of forgivable loan.
All of the building’s apartments – three studio units, three two-bedroom units and 14 one- bedroom units – will have monthly rents that are affordably priced.
Construction of the building likely won’t begin until early 2023. Construction is expected to be completed within a year.
The building was designed by ID8 Architects. The general contractor is Cutler Construction LLC.