Wilkins

Location

713 Walnut Street, Des Moines, Iowa

Uses

Mixed-use, 60 market-rate and income-restricted residential units, Commercial first and sixth floors, Premier event venue: The Tea Room

Status

Completed 2017

Project Size

$26 acquisition and construction; Appraised at $9M

About This Project

BACKSTORY
Initially constructed as the Wilkins department store, this building was acquired by the Younkers Brothers and annexed into their newly constructed building. 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 the first reinforced concrete building in Des Moines, IA. The greatest importance is the historic Tea Room which is housed on the sixth floor. The elaborate plaster detailing and decorative work, while heavily damaged, remain and are fully restored.

DESCRIPTION
This mixed-use project includes ground floor retail and commercial space opening onto the newly renovated Walnut Street. The second, third, fourth, and fifth floors consist of one- and two-bedroom apartments with large unit footprints. The urban loft aesthetic including sealed concrete flooring, contemporary lighting design, and historic plaster ceilings also offers a unique living experience. The Tea Room is fully restored and available as an event venue.