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Nelson plans $36M development, latest project in East Village


Nelson Construction & Development is proposing a three-level, 399-stall parking garage with no internal ramps as part of a $35.8 million mixed-use development along East Grand Avenue in the East Village of Des Moines.

Nelson, also spearheading development projects in the Market District of the East Village and at Seventh Street and Grand Avenue, plans to pull off the ramp with no ramps fete by providing access at three points along the steep grades of East Fourth and East Fifth Streets, as well as along Des Moines Street on the north side of the project, according to a report from city staff to the city’s Urban Design Review Board.

A little more than 1 acre of the development site is on what is now city-owned surface parking lots. Nelson also has an agreement in place to buy another parking lot that is slightly larger than one-half acre from Capitol Hill Lutheran Church.

According to a report from Carrie Kruse, an economic development coordinator for the city, Nelson will own and operate the parking garage, which is scheduled to begin construction in June and could be completed by early 2019, when round two of the project is scheduled to begin.

The second phase consists of a five-story mixed-use building at East Fourth and Grand with about 36,000 square feet of commercial, retail and office space on the ground floor and second story, and 105 market-rate residential apartment units on the upper three floors. Nelson owns a historic office building directly east of that construction site.

A development agreement for the project is being negotiated with the city. Financing of the mixed-use building could be assisted with tax increment financing and state workforce housing tax credits, according to Kruse’s report to the Urban Design Review Board, which got a first look at the project during its meeting Tuesday.

The project would fill out development of the north side of East Grand between East Fourth and East Fifth streets. Developer Tim Rypma has proposed a historic rehabilitation of the former American Marking building at 440 E. Grand that includes one apartment, with retail uses, including a restaurant, on the first floor.

Other rehab

A development team led by developer Tim Rypma plans a $2.2 million historic renovation of the American Marking Inc. building at 440 E. Grand Ave. in the East Village area of Des Moines. Rypma’s RE3 LLC plans to convert the 7,658-square-foot building for commercial and residential use. He proposes one apartment unit on the upper floor and about 6,200 square feet of commercial space on the ground floor. The building is located on a block where a parking ramp and mixed-use development is being considered for a city-owned surface parking lot that is on the west side of a 118-year-old building that underwent a historic rehab and office conversion in 2003 by Nelson Construction & Development.

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