Downtown Land Swap - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

Downtown Land Swap

Posted: Updated:

by Phil Prazan

pprazan@myabc5.com

@PhilPrazan

There's a land swap in the works between Polk County, Wellmark and the YMCA in Des Moines.

Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield owns the old JC Penney building in downtown Des Moines. And Polk County wants that building for additional court space.

So they've worked out a trade. The County gets the Penney's building, and Wellmark gets the old Polk County Convention Complex, known as "the Plex."

Wellmark would sell the Convention Complex to the YMCA, for their new downtown location.

That would open up the current downtown YMCA for another project, possibly part of the Riverwalk renovation project.
 
"What we're really doing is trading an existing space that we own for another existing space.  So we're killing a couple birds with one stone. Still getting what we think is a big bang for our buck," says Polk County Supervisor Angela Connolly.
 
Next Tuesday, the Polk County Supervisors will have a meeting to decide on the project and sign a letter of intent. It also has to be approved by the YMCA. 

If all that happens, the project will then come together in the next ninety days.

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