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West Des Moines experiencing second best year in construction valuation thanks to Microsoft


The city of West Des Moines has recorded more than $670 million in construction valuation in 2020, its second-best year on record, the city’s data shows.

The high construction values are due to work at Microsoft Corp.’s Project Osmium data center at 5855 S.W. Kerry St. and Project Azure data center at 8855 Grand Ave. In November, the company took out a building permit valued at $99.2 million for interior work at a new building at Project Osmium, records show.

“I told the council a couple months ago that it looked like we would have a fairly decent year, maybe our third or fourth best,” said Rod Van Genderen, West Des Moines’ chief building official. “But then Microsoft came in with interior work on [data center] DSM Nine.”

Through November, more than 60% of West Des Moines’s construction valuation has been generated from Microsoft’s data center construction, records show.

In 2016, the city recorded over $1 billion in construction value, the highest ever in West Des Moines. In 2019, construction valuation tallied $561.9 million, now the third-highest year on record.

Microsoft plans on constructing two more data centers in West Des Moines – Project Ginger East and Project Ginger West. Both will be about 1.8 million square feet and cost about $1 billion to development, city officials have said. Construction is expected to begin in September 2021.

Construction of the data centers is welcome become of the slow down office and retail construction, Van Genderen said.

“When things slowed down, like they are now because of the pandemic, I would tell the council that we could count on a lot of retail remodels at the malls and strip centers,” he said. “But that’s not happening right now.”

November commercial building permits

Commercial building permits valued at more than $188.4 million were issued for projects in 13 Des Moines-area communities and Polk County in November, data from the permits shows.


Among the permits issued was one for $5.8 million for the new Hy-Vee that is expected to open late next year at 351 N.E. Gateway Drive in Grimes. Also, a permit valued at $2.5 million was issued in Des Moines for a new apartment building at 851 19th St. in the Sherman Hill neighborhood.


Click here to view a map to find out what commercial building permits were issued in the Des Moines area between Jan. 1 and Nov. 30. To view a spreadsheet that includes the commercial building permit information, click here.

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