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Construction progresses on Des Moines University’s new campus


Building permits valued at over $111.6 million were issued by the city of West Des Moines for the construction of four buildings on Des Moines University’s new campus at 8025 Grand Ave. This drone photo was taken Sept. 9. Photo by Duane Tinkey

Commercial building permits valued at more than $111.6 million were issued by West Des Moines in August for Des Moines University’s new campus, a review of the city’s records shows.

The four permits were among 50 commercial building permits valued at over $170.2 million issued in August by 13 Des Moines-area communities and Polk County. In 2021’s first eight months, commercial permits valued at more than $1.6 billion have been issued by the communities and county.

In June 2019, Des Moines University announced plans to relocate its campus to 88 acres in West Des Moines from 3200 Grand Ave. in Des Moines. Site work, including grading, began last spring and foundations for buildings were installed during the summer.

Construction of the buildings’ core and shells began in August. The largest building, with 130,000 gross square feet, is located on the east side of the campus. The building, which will include classrooms and offices, will be stair-stepped in appearance with three building sections of two, five and six levels.

To the immediate west of the large building will be one with 128,000 gross square feet. The four-story building will include classrooms and a simulation laboratory. Two other structures, including a parking ramp, are also under construction.

The university will move from its Des Moines campus in the first part of 2023 and students will begin attending classes at the West Des Moines campus that fall, DMU officials have said.

Also included in August’s commercial building permit reports were:

• A $13.6 million permit for a 30,000-square-foot hangar and 6,000-square-foot terminal that will be used by Signature Flight Support DSM, a fixed-based operator at the Des Moines International Airport. Signature’s move to the south end of the terminal will allow improvements to 28th Street to be made. The improvements are part of a plan to build a new terminal.

• A nearly $3.2 million permit for a 78,415-square-foot greenhouse and warehouse for Canoyer Garden Center. Canoyer, with retail stores in Grimes and Ankeny, is expanding its Central Iowa operations. The facility at 4169 109th St. in Urbandale is for growing plants that will be sold at the company’s retail centers.

• A $1.8 million permit for a 13,615-square foot mixed-use building at 304 Fifth St. in West Des Moines. Developer Scott Cutler is constructing a three-story structure that will included 11 apartment units on the upper stories and a mix of retail and office on the street level.


MORE ONLINE: Click here to find out what commercial building permits were issued in the Des Moines area in January through August. View a spreadsheet that includes the commercial building permit information.

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