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Buyers showing interest in million-dollar penthouses


The remodeling won’t begin until August and the first residents aren’t expected to move in until a year later, but about 20 would-be buyers have reserved spots in the White Lines Lofts condominium project at 120 S.W. Fifth St. Two of those commitments are for penthouse units that will be priced at more than $1 million.

To create a dramatic space for those penthouses, the developers now plan to add the equivalent of two stories to the seven-story brick building, according to Tanner Kinzler, one of four partners in WKKS LLC, the development company.

“Each penthouse will feature 24-foot-tall windows, a mezzanine level and a spiral staircase up to a private roof terrace,” Kinzler said. “I imagine some of the downtown building renovations that are being planned will have a lot of flair, but this is over the top.”

Jim Hubbell, who is working to create housing projects nearby on Court Avenue, said the development and sale of such luxurious condominium units would give a boost to all downtown residential efforts.

The other partners in the White Line Lofts project are Jeff Schachtner, a pilot for United Airlines; David Walters, president of Walters Construction; and Tanner Kinzler’s father, Kevin Kinzler, founder of Kinzler Cos.

Construction was originally slated to begin in this spring, but Kinzler said the plan now calls for work to start in August with removal of bricks for windows and the elimination of loading docks. The penthouse addition is expected to get under way in October or later.

The bottom three floors of the building have been occupied by Des Moines Tire Co. for several years, and other areas were rented out for various types of storage.

“The building was designed for heavy warehouse use, so it’s built like a fortress,” Kinzler said. “That provides the stability that allows us to build up.” The building was constructed in 1912, and is being renamed in honor of former tenant White Line Transfer and Storage.

A total of 63 housing units are planned, ranging in size from 700-square-foot studio residences up to the six 8,000-square-foot penthouses and in price from “the low 100s to over a million” according to Kinzler. He said would-be buyers have spoken for units of various sizes and prices.

“We haven’t finalized the construction documents, so we’re not finalizing sales yet. But we are taking escrow deposits,” he said.

Surface parking is planned for the open area south of the building and adjacent to the Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway bypass, and the building also will have underground parking. The project sits west across Southwest Fifth Street from the new Science Center of Iowa, which is scheduled to open next spring.

For more information about the project, visit www.whitelinelofts.com.

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