By Alex Schuman
Des Moines will soon be getting a new hotel, which city leaders say they believe is the key to hosting bigger conferences and conventions downtown.
The Des Moines Redevelopment Company bought the old Aviva buildings near 4th Street next to Hy-Vee Hall last fall.
On Monday, they announced the group is looking for a company to develop those lots into a 450 room four star hotel that would be attached to the Iowa Events Center.
The announcement is called a Request for Qualifications, or RFQ, which lays out parameters for hotel developers who want to submit their ideas.
"I think it's fantastic," said Chris Connolly, Iowa Events Center.
Connolly says not having a hotel has cost the events center several conferences and conventions.
"They've liked Des Moines, they've liked the Iowa Events Center, but the fact that we don't have that attached hotel..," he said. "We have definitely lost business because we don't have one."
For a company to win the bid they must have successfully built five other properties, and also give city leaders some influence over what will go on this site.
"That's the next piece in the already great development we have with the Well and the Community Choice and the Hy-Vee Hall," said Tim Leach, Downtown Community Alliance.
Developers must submit their plans by May 15th in order to be considered.