Former nuisance property has new life after $2.5M renovation
One of the property's tenants is Chain & Spoke, a bike and coffee shop
Kathy A. Bolten Mar 22, 2023 | 8:43 am
3 min read time721 wordsAll Latest News, Real Estate & Development
Renovation work is nearing completion on a building that once was deemed a nuisance by the city of Des Moines.
“A lot of work has gone into bringing back this property that once was considered a nuisance,” said Randy Reichardt, owner of RWR Development, who acquired the property at 515 28th St. in November 2020.
About six years ago, the building’s roof collapsed, prompting the city to put it on a list of properties that were public nuisances. While the property’s previous owner made some repairs to the roof, the building remained out of compliance with city codes.
Improvements made to the property “have given it new life,” Reichardt said. “It fits well into this area, especially with everything that is going on in the Avenues.”
The one-story, brick structure was built in 1925 on about 0.3 acres situated between Grand and Ingersoll avenues. The original tenant of the building was a lithograph printing business that needed a lot of natural light, Reichardt, who researched the building’s history, has said. The roof of the building includes a large skylight.
An estimated $2.5 million worth of improvements have been made to the property, Reichardt said.
During the demolition of interior space, more of the building’s unique features were uncovered, Reichardt wrote in an email.
“After sandblasting and opening the space up, the interior steel beams, wood ceiling, and brick started to come to life. I added a new mezzanine and brought back the original use to a 60-foot skylight that opens with a pulley system.
“It’s a unique feature that adds to the indoor/outdoor play of the event space.”
Solar panels cover about two-thirds of the roof, and a rooftop deck was added on the building’s north side. The deck connects with a patio and mezzanine-level event space. An elevator was added to make the deck and patio accessible to the building’s guests.
Henkel Construction Co. is the project’s contractor; Stephanie Poole of Simonson and Associates Architects did the project’s design work, Reichardt said.
One of the building’s new tenants will be Chain & Spoke, a combination coffee and bicycle shop. It will open in early April in about 2,000 square feet of the building.
Jeff Hoobin, 35, is the shop’s owner, who has been working to bring the concept to life for over a year.
The bike shop will include bicycles that are for sale as well as other items for cyclists. The shop will also include a mechanic, he said.
The coffee shop will include coffee that can be purchased to go or sipped on-site. The shop will also sell bags of Chain & Spoke coffee.
“The idea was always that these are two symbiotic businesses,” said Hoobin, whose background is in marketing and print and graphic design. “If you are into cycling, that’s awesome. We have something for you. We have really cool bikes you can look at and a mechanic that can talk to you about your bike.
“If you’re into coffee, we have you covered as well. … The hope is that we can get non-cyclists interacting with cyclists.”
The building’s open space and large windows attracted Hoobin to the property, he said. Seating can be arranged to accommodate workshops or clinics held at Chain & Spoke. Space is also available for other activities such as yoga, he said.
The completion of construction work at the property comes at a good time, Reichardt said. “The streetscape project [on Ingersoll Avenue] and the new businesses that are planned is making this a vibrant place to be.”
Work is moving forward on a $22 million project to return a former motor lodge into a boutique hotel. The project at 2525 Grand Ave. is expected to be completed by June 2025. In December, plans were announced about the development of a 98-seat fine dining restaurant called Oak Park. The restaurant, located in the 3900 block of Ingersoll Avenue, is expected to open in late 2023. In addition, Big Grove Brewery opened at 555 17th St. last July.
Reichardt has about 8,000 square feet left to lease. He said he is looking for one or two new tenants, possibly a restaurant.
“This area is popping now,” Reichardt said. “It’s great to be part of it.”
Kathy A. Bolten
Kathy A. Bolten is a senior staff writer at Business Record. She covers real estate & development, law & government and retail.