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Grand View pays $3.1 million for former Eastgate property


Grand View University has purchased 17 acres of the former Eastgate Plaza site, paying $3.1 million for the northeast Des Moines property, Polk County real estate records show.

“We are excited to acquire the Eastgate property and to be part of the rebirth of the northeast side of Des Moines,” Kent Henning, Grand View president, said in a prepared statement.

Grand View University is located at 1200 Grandview Ave., less than a mile south of the former shopping center site. In 2014, the university purchased former bowling alley property at 3839 E. 14th St. that was adjacent to the shopping center. The bowling alley was upgraded and now houses the university’s wrestling program.

“We always had plans to upgrade and utilize the remaining space in and around the former bowling alley,” Henning said in the statement. “Having additional land [that is adjacent to the Viking Events Center] simply means we will be able to dream bigger.”

The purchase comes more than a month after the Des Moines Plan and Zoning Commission approved a request to change the zoning on a portion of the site to allow construction of a medical office building. In addition, city officials have said they are reviewing plans for a Burger King that would be located at 1500 E. Euclid Ave.

The property on the northeast corner of Northeast 14th Street and East Euclid Avenue was once home to Eastgate Plaza, an open-air center anchored by now defunct department stores including Younkers, Sears and Ardan’s.

Over the years, movie theaters, bowling lanes, a grocery store and night clubs were also located on what was originally a more than 40-acre site.

Florida developer Norman Weinstein, manager of Eastgate Plaza LLC, bought most of the Eastgate property in 1998 with hopes of reviving the dying retail center. Weinstein’s efforts to attract big-name retailers to the site were unsuccessful.  

Henning, who is retiring this summer, said in the prepared statement that Grand View does not yet have detailed plans for the property it acquired.

“Our main campus is landlocked,” he said. “With the continued growth of our athletic programs, we anticipate the need for future expansion of athletic facilities.”

Related article: Grand View University names Keck as 14th president

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