A proposed large-scale development could turn the southwest corner of West Des Moines into a destination unlike any other in Iowa.
Developers Wednesday announced the opening of Grand Experience, a proposed $600 million, 226-acre entertainment district that includes a 100,000-square-foot indoor water park, a 400-room hotel and business conference center, a family entertainment center, and a variety of restaurants. announced the plan. Options with a variety of themes and experiences, new retail and office space, and 1,200 housing units focused on affordable housing for workers.
The district is located between 60 Grand Avenue.th and 88th The future new campus of Des Moines University at 8025 Grand Avenue and the street adjacent to RecPlex at 6500 Grand Avenue. The Grand Experience offers visitors to the newly opened sports and recreation complex more options for nearby entertainment.
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Riley Hogan, senior vice president of real estate services firm CBRE, told the Des Moines Register: “This is getting bigger.”
The centerpiece of the proposed development, Hogan said, would be a water park two-and-a-half times the size of the Great Wolf Lodge water park in Kansas City, Kansas, and similar to the one in Wisconsin Dells. rice field. The 38,000-square-foot Great Wolf Lodge has a lazy river, several water slides, a water fort treehouse, and hot springs.
Hogan called West Des Moines’ version “The Great Wolf Lodge on steroids”.
Clyde Evans, director of community and economic development for West Des Moines, said the project could impact the area as much as the Jordan Creek Town Center, transforming vacant lots into Midwestern destinations. . He spent $200 million to develop the Jordan Creek Town Center, which opened in 2004, or about $314 million after adjusting for inflation.
This investment ranks it among the best in West Des Moines, surpassing Microsoft, which has invested billions in nearby data centers. It also ranks among the best in the subway.
In addition to the entertainment center, about half of the planned 1,200 residential units will be available for rent at affordable rates for Des Moines Subway employees. The development is expected to create 1,000 jobs in the service industry.
“One of the most important problems facing businesses today is their ability to attract employees, especially in service industries. It’s directly related to the limited supply of housing.West Des Moines, like many cities, is experiencing the same constraints,” West Des Moines Mayor Russ Trimble said in a statement. “We are very pleased to hear that this development may include some very high quality housing components.
“We are also extremely excited about this incredible development that will complement our existing investment in RecPlex and improve the quality of life for residents and families not only in West Des Moines, but throughout our region and state. I have.”
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The remaining development includes retail and office space. CBRE senior vice president and listings broker Riley Hogan said in his release that the company is already working with several companies interested in space. He said West Des Moines’ proximity to the Jordan Creek Town Center and other shopping, dining and entertainment attractions is attractive to potential tenants.
“We are targeting commercial users such as fitness facilities, restaurants, breweries and entertainment concepts that create synergies with the Grand Experience, RecPlex and the rest of the Grand Avenue corridor,” he said.
A feasibility study to see what the area can support is ready for West Des Moines to consider this month, after which the city council will be asked to vote on a development agreement. Financial incentives the city will consider offering developers will be determined, Evans said.
The developer plans to break ground in the fall of 2023.
The Grand Experience is being developed by WDM Entertainment, a group of developers, architects, consultants and investors led by West Des Moines resident Jim Bergman.
It also includes Architectural Design Consultants, Inc. of Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. The Goldstein family of Bettendorf has a long history in the entertainment industry. S&L Hospitality with experience in developing and managing water park resorts.
The concept of this project has been in progress since 2016. According to a news release, the developers initially considered building a smaller version in Quad Cities before setting their sights on West Des Moines.
Chris Higgins covers the eastern suburbs of the Register. Contact him at email@example.com or 515-423-5146 and follow him on Twitter @chris_higgins_.