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City Council approves DMSC purchase of firehouse

The Des Moines City Council voted unanimously to accept a bid from the Des Moines Social Club (DMSC) to purchase Fire Station No. 1 at Ninth and Mulberry streets downtown. 

Zachary Mannheimer, the club’s executive director, said in an email that council’s vote sends a “message to all of central Iowa that we want to keep our city cool and attracting world class talent!” Mannheimer launched the organization in 2007 and has looked for a permanent home ever since.

DMSC is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting local artists and theater and offering classes for all ages. 

DMSC and Don Short, the owner of West End Architectural Salvage, both submitted proposals to purchase the firehouse on June 14. 

The city asked $600,000 for the building, which is the price DMSC offered, and a say in any resale of the building for 10 years. 

At the new location, the club plans to put in a restaurant and retail stores on the first floor of the building. Nonprofit organizations and classrooms will be housed on the second floor of the building. 

In the firehouse garage, DMSC plans to put a “neighborhood” bar and a black-box theater, according to a press release. The organization will also work to retain the building’s historical character in the $2 million renovation.

To help with the expansion and new location of DMSC, the organization also announced today it will hire Carolyn Jenison as managing director. 

To read the organization’s full proposal for the site, click here.

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