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Stanbrough purchases key downtown building


Fulfilling his desire to own a downtown location west of the Des Moines River, Dan Stanbrough has purchased the building at 500 Grand Ave. for $6.2 million.

The building, situated between Grand and Locust Street and known as the Keck City Center when it was constructed in 1987, includes a parking garage, a branch of the Des Moines Independent Community School District, retail outlets and a skywalk connection.

“We’re studying several options,” said Stanbrough, the owner of Stanbrough Cos. “We think it’s a great piece of real estate with a great location, and it’s an intricate part of what’s going on in downtown Des Moines.”

Stanbrough is also renovating the Saylorville Lake Marina after buying it with his wife, Tammy, in the spring of 2004.

Stanbrough, who has acquired several pieces of property in the East Village during the past few years, said his plans for 500 Grand Ave. are still up in the air. “I’ve had an interest in the property for some time,” he said. “When Principal Life Insurance decided to sell, I wanted to buy it.”

He said the idea of converting some of the building’s space into residential use has been “ruled out at this point.”

The developer said the building will be renamed as part of its remarketing. “Within the next 12 months, we will have a complete game plan,” Stanbrough said.

For several years, the building housed a multiscreen movie theater. The eight-story structure contains 246,000 square feet, most of that given over to parking. The finished area is 49,000 square feet.

Principal Life Insurance bought the reinforced concrete building from Keck City Center Parking Ltd. Partnership in 1992 for $6.8 million.

* In another recent Greater Des Moines real estate transaction, Woodside Business Park LLC purchased a 5-acre vacant lot at 795 S. 51st St. in West Des Moines from Peter Wirtz. The price was listed as $1 million.

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