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Market District Update: MidAmerican Energy officials mum about redevelopment of 11-acre tract


Several times during an August public meeting about the proposed redevelopment of a portion of the Market District, presenters mentioned Two Rivers Park.

“We think that the pedestrian life and the vibrancy that retail can bring to the public realm is best suited for Market Street, which is obviously the main connector between what one day will be Two Rivers Park to the west and to the east … the storm water park,” Jim MacRae, principal of Denver-based Design Workshop, said in August during a meeting of Des Moines’ Urban Design Review Board.

Others talked about festivals that could be held in Two Rivers Park and development of scenic overlooks.

But what exactly is Two Rivers Park, which is proposed to anchor the western edge of the Market District? 

Right now, it’s 11 acres of vacant ground that MidAmerican Energy Co. owns at 200 S.E. Third St., east of the Des Moines River and north of Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway. Last summer, the utility razed all of the site’s buildings, known as “the Two Rivers facility.” A large portion of the site is contaminated, according to the area’s master plan. 

The area is described in the master plan as a destination park, about twice the size of the John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park on the west side of downtown Des Moines. The proposed Two Rivers Park could include features such as an area for outdoor concerts, a playground, food truck plazas and gardens, the master plan said.

To date, however, MidAmerican Energy officials have been close-lipped about their plans for the site.

Kathyrn Kunert, vice president of economic connections and integration for MidAmerican Energy, wrote in an email that plans for the site would be provided at a later date.



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