News

Incentives approved for redevelopment of Historic Fort Des Moines buildings

By:  Kent Darr, Senior Staff Writer

A major historic redevelopment of the Fort Des Moines properties will receive 15 years of tax increment finance and forgo any available tax abatements on residential units that are part of the project.

The Des Moines City Council approved the financial package Monday. Engineer and developer Justin Doyle is spearheading the project through his Blackbird Investments LLC, the same group that has a contract pending on the Clemens Building in downtown Des Moines.

The project will receive tax increment payments on 100 percent of the value of the improvements for 10 years and 75 percent for five years.

Doyle has gained prominence as an advocate and practitioner of sustainable redevelopment projects, starting with his Market One project in the city’s Market District.

The $37 million Fort Des Moines project involves the renovation of six buildings into 142 residential units. Plans call for geothermal heating, ventilation and air conditioning, several small photovoltaic shade structures, light-emitting diode lighting and low-impact storm water management practices.

The project, located south of Army Post Road and east of Southwest Ninth Street in the Southside Economic Development District Urban Renewal Area, could include additional residential units as well as neighborhood commercial and recreational uses following additional land and building acquisition from various entities in the Fort boundary, including the city of Des Moines, the state of Iowa and the Blank Park Zoo Foundation.

The Fort Des Moines properties are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Work is scheduled to begin on the Fort Des Moines restoration project this summer, and could be completed by December 2016.

Doyle said he is in the due diligence phase of the Clemens Building acquisition and that it is too soon to talk about plans or concepts for the property. Raccoon River Brewing Co., which is located in the building, is scheduled to close March 7. The building at 200 10th St. currently is owned by Jeff Hunter’s Principiant Hotel Co. LC. and is attached to the Hotel Fort Des Moines. Hunter recently sold the hotel.

Original from Business Record.