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MidAmerican to buy Dotdash Meredith’s north building


Dotdash Meredith will sell its north building, pictured above, to MidAmerican Energy Co. under an agreement announced today. Photo by John Retzlaff

Dotdash Meredith will sell its north building at 1615 Locust St. in Des Moines to MidAmerican Energy Co., the companies announced to employees in an email this morning.

According to an email from Dotdash Meredith CEO Neil Vogel that was provided to the Business Record, the publishing company will retain its historic, brick south building with the tower. The building will undergo a multimillion-dollar renovation to “modernize the workplace and amenities to best support our current employees with room to accommodate more people as we grow.”

Employees in the more modern north building will move to the south building by April 1, 2023, when the sale of the building closes. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The Business Record will follow up at the time the sale closes.

According to the Polk County assessor’s website, the north building has an assessed value of $19.3 million.

In a statement, officials with MidAmerican said it will vacate space it has leased in the Ruan Center since 1975 when it moves to the former Dotdash building.

“Through this purchase, MidAmerican continues its longstanding commitment to a thriving downtown Des Moines,” officials said.

According to the MidAmerican statement, the move will be a more cost-effective way for the company to maintain its presence downtown. It will also allow the company to adapt the location to meet its needs, including pursuing LEED certification, which is a framework for environmental sustainability and carbon- and cost-saving green buildings.

Officials with MidAmerican did not disclose other information beyond the statement, such as how much space the company occupies in the Ruan Center, or how many employees will be affected by the move.

Dotdash Meredith has nearly 650 employees in Des Moines.

New York-based InterActiveCorp. Dotdash acquired Meredith for $2.7 billion in late 2021. Dotdash Meredith has nearly 3,900 employees nationally.

The south building has been home to Dotdash Meredith brands and has been iconic to Des Moines for more than 100 years. It has included a test kitchen, the Better Homes and Gardens test garden, photo and product testing studios, a cafeteria, a gym and a theater.

The 389,000-square-foot building has enough room to accommodate all Des Moines-based employees, the company said.

The north building is about 181,500 square feet.

Vogel said that consolidating the workforce in the south building will allow for better workplace collaboration within the company’s hybrid work environment.

“We remain committed as ever to Des Moines, and part of that commitment is a need to be flexible in our approach to our space in order to create a vibrant and energetic office that best suits the way we work today,” Vogel said in the email.

Photo: Dotdash Meredith will retain its historic south building, pictured above as part of its agreement to sell its north building to MidAmerican Energy Co. The building will undergo a multimillion-dollar renovation as part of the plan announced today. Photo by John Retzlaff

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