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Multifamily project proposed along Indianola Avenue


A multifamily project would be built on the site of a former mobile home park on Des Moines’ south side under a proposal that will be considered this week by the Plan and Zoning Commission.

Park Indy LLC, managed by Neighborhood Development Corp., is requesting that a nearly 2-acre parcel at 3140 Indianola Ave. be rezoned to allow the construction of five two-story buildings with a total of 40 units, according to information provided to the commission. Three buildings would include six two-bedroom row homes. In addition, one building would include 12 one- and two-bedroom units; the other would include 10 units.

City staff, in the commission’s packet information, supports the site’s proposed redevelopment. The site is “an appropriate location for such a development given its location along Indianola Avenue corridor and … proximity to amenities.” A bus route also runs along Indianola Avenue.

The property, which is vacant, was acquired by Neighborhood Development last July. The group paid $830,000 for the property, which in 2022 was valued at $459,000, according to the Polk County assessor.

Neighborhood Development Corp., a nonprofit group formed in 1999 and supported by the city of Des Moines and Polk County, has a history of helping spark redevelopment in neighborhoods. In 2017, for example, the group acquired three abandoned properties at 2225 University Ave., razed the rundown structures and built a 20-unit studio apartment project on the site.

Currently Neighborhood Development is redeveloping 2211 University Ave., the site of a former convenience store. A grocery store and workforce housing are planned on the property.

The Indianola Avenue property has been cleared of run-down mobile homes. It’s not known when redevelopment of the site would begin if the commission approves the rezoning request.

Also this week, the commission will review proposed changes to a site plan for a five-story, 169-unit apartment project planned by Sherman Associates at 425 S.W. 11th St. The commission approved the original site plan in May 2022 and a building permit was issued in June. Changes have occurred at the site since then, prompting another review of the plan, according to information provided to the commission.

The apartment project site previously was home to one of Pittsburgh-Des Moines Steel’s fabrication facilities. The site was flooded in 1993; all of the buildings were removed in 2002. After the demolition, the site became a dumping ground for soil excavated from other nearby developments, according to city information. “After removing the overburden, the development team determined that soil conditions warrant the addition of two feet of soils across the entire site.”

The addition of the soil will raise the building at least 2 feet, causing the building to sit higher than an adjacent sidewalk, according to information provided to the commission. The developer has proposed revisions to the site plan to address the building’s higher elevation. The staff is recommending the proposed changes be approved.

The commission meets at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Richard Clark Municipal Service Center, 1551 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway.


Kathy A. Bolten

Kathy A. Bolten is a senior staff writer at Business Record. She covers real estate & development, law & government and retail.

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