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More details released on sale of former Social Club facility


An out-of-town developer will pay $3.1 million for the former Des Moines Social Club building at Ninth and Mulberry streets, information provided to the Des Moines City Council shows.

The pending sale of the former Des Moines Social Club building at Ninth and Mulberry streets was announced Thursday.

Matt Abbott, owner of Abbott Properties, located in Kansas City, is buying the historic Firehouse No. 1 campus.

According to documents prepared for Monday’s City Council meeting, Abbott submitted the highest of three offers that were made on the property.

The developer plans to invest $3.5 million in renovations, according to the documents.

In Thursday’s release, Abbott said the initial plan is to revive the Viaduct Art Gallery, using the first floor for commercial and retail space, and the second floor as upscale event space. The courtyard will be used for outdoor music events and the Kum & Go Theater Building will be transformed into a boutique speakeasy concept.

The restaurant Malo will remain in place, and a coffee shop will be added to the campus.

The Des Moines Social Club Transition Board of Directors announced in April that the property would be sold with proceeds being used to retire outstanding debt obligations and re-invested to support arts and culture in the community.

The historic building was turned into an arts and cultural center after the city handed it over to the club in 2012. As part of that agreement, any future sale of the property is contingent on approval by the Des Moines City Council.

The council will consider the sale of the property at its meeting on Monday. If approved, the sale could close in the next 60 days.

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