Redevelopment of Vacant Building by Drake Moves Forward - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

Redevelopment of Vacant Building by Drake Moves Forward

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Jessica Daley

jdaley@myabc5.com

@TheDaleyReport

There's an abandoned building near the Drake University campus in Des Moines. Neighbors recently learned about possible future plans for it, and they aren't exactly thrilled

On Monday, the Des Moines City Council approved a motion to re-zone the property to what's called limited "neighborhood pedestrian commercial," which allows a mixed-use of space similar to the designs of Ingersoll and East Village.

"The current condition of the property is not what we'd like it to be, and the current zoning allows uses we don't want to be there," said councilman Halley Griess.

Nelson Development needed the re-zoning in order to proceed with a design for the site. While a possible plan suggests 48 low-income units to be built, that's not set in stone. More planning, city review and oversight is needed before any project is final.
 
"It's very important to us to have a nice looking project that enhances the neighborhood, not something that's going to harm the neighborhood," Deric Gourd, Drake Neighborhood Association president said.

Neighbors came to the meeting to speak against the possible apartment building with concerns about parking, too many people, and having only low-income housing available.

They were also upset they weren't notified about such a big change and said the neighborhood association isn't representing them.
 
"It's way too big. It doesn't fit with the character of the neighborhood, and it's been a mismanaged deal," said Nancy Stillians, who lives in the neighborhood.
 
Even though the developer said they're not sure exactly what will go here, part of the measure voted on Monday night will allow them to apply for a low income housing tax credit.

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