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SingleSpeed Brewery plans to open new location near Des Moines River


SingleSpeed Brewing Co., based in Waterloo, plans to redevelop property at 303 Scott Ave. in Des Moines into a restaurant and brewery. An auto repair shop (photo below) previously was located at the site. Rendering by Invision Architecture

Nearly eight years ago, Madhouse Brewery opened a tasting room and brewery at 501 Scott Ave., just south of Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway and what’s now known as the Market District.

The brewery closed in 2019.

Another brewery now plans to open along Scott Avenue, just two blocks west from where Madhouse Brewery had been located.

“They say real estate is ‘location, location,’ but it’s also equal parts timing,” said Jake Christensen, who is developing the property at 303 Scott Ave. for Dave Morgan, owner of SingleSpeed Brewing Co., based in Waterloo.

“Madhouse Brewery had a great product and had they opened now, things would be very different.”

The property that SingleSpeed Brewing plans to redevelop is located east and slightly south of the confluence of the Des Moines and Raccoon rivers. The first phase of the ICON Water Trails project includes creating safer and a more user-friendly area for activities such as kayaking and fishing near the confluence and where the Scott Avenue Dam is located. A contract for the project is expected to be awarded later this year.

The John Pat Dorrian Trail, popular with bicyclists and pedestrians, and Principal Park are also near the proposed brewery site.

“This area is going to be completely different than it was just a few years ago,” Christensen said.

SingleSpeed will join other breweries or tap rooms located on downtown Des Moines’ the east side. Twisted Vine Brewery, which opened this summer, is at 112 S.E. Fourth St. Peace Tree Brewing Co. is at 317 E. Court Ave., and 1717 Brewing Co. is at 322 E. Court Ave. The Iowa Taproom is at 215 E. Third St., and the recently opened Barrel House is at 401 E. Court Ave.

“There’s going to be a nice triangle of options there for people,” said Ryan Moffatt, economic development coordinator for Des Moines.

On Tuesday, the Urban Design Review Board gave final approval to designs for the SingleSpeed project as well as the financial aid package.

Plans call for the 9,555-square-foot building to be converted into space for a beer hall, dining room, kitchen, brewhouse and outdoor patios.

The building, most recently home to an auto repair shop, was originally constructed more than 100 years ago, according to city documents. Over the years, three additions were added to the structure.

Redevelopment costs are estimated at $4 million.

The board approved a financial assistance package of up to $949,490. The assistance will be made in the form of tax increment financing.

The property is in a 500-year flood plain, Moffatt said.

“It is protected by levees, and over the next couple years we will be elevating [the levees] a bit,” he said. “Any of the flooding that’s been hyper-localized in this area has been a result of the storm sewers backing up. That’s been resolved with the pump stations that have been put in.”

Onespeed DSM LLC, managed by Morgan, purchased the property at 303 Scott Ave. in mid-August, paying $1.7 million for the parcel.

Invision Architect is the project’s architect; the general contractor is Peters Construction.

Construction is expected to begin yet this year and be completed by summer 2023.


An outdoor patio on the west side of the property will be adjacent to an abundance of green space and include views of Principal Park. Shade screens will protect visitors from the afternoon sun. Rendering by Invision Architecture

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