The Wilkins Building

The Wilkins Building

Location: Des Moines
Size: 60 Residential Units, 20,000 Square Feet — Commercial
Status: Development (Residential Complete)


Initially constructed for the Wilkins’ Department store, this building was acquired by the Younkers Brothers and annexed into their newly constructed building. The east wall of the building was opened and the alley between the two buildings infilled with connecting structure. Significant for its association to the Younkers Department store, Wilkins is the only structural remains of the May 2014 Younkers fire. The Wilkins building was also the first reinforced concrete building in Des Moines. Of greatest importance is the fabled Younkers Tea Room which is housed on the sixth floor. The elaborate plaster detailing and decorative work, while heavily damaged, remain and are to be fully restored.


This mixed-use project includes ground floor retail and commercial space opening onto the newly renovated Walnut Street. Space is being considered for restaurants, large national retailers, and local boutique retailers.

The second through fifth floors consist of one and two bedroom apartments. Resident amenities are in-unit laundry facilities, complimentary YMCA memberships, and more.

The Tea Room is fully restored and available for private events.

The building exterior received appropriate historic treatments including the removal of the full-length canopies and proper window treatment.

Leasing Information

For information on leasing a Wilkins apartment, please visit

For information on leasing Wilkins commercial space, please email