Des Moines approves $49M hotel-apartment project

The Des Moines City Council gave the greenlight Monday for a $49-million project that will replace an entire city block with a new hotel, apartments and a parking garage in the East Village section, reports The Des Moines Register. Hansen Real Estate Services is planning a 137-room hotel, along with 124 market-rate apartment units and a 317-stall parking garage at 201 East Locust Street.

The City Council unanimously approved the project, with $5 million of local incentive, after a split vote recommendation from the city's Urban Design Review Board last month.

The urban design board voted 3-3 for the plan last month after members of the Historic East Village Board withdrew their support of the project because the retail space was eliminated. The group said ground level retail space in the hotel would have been a golden opportunity to expand foot traffic west and connect the East Village core with the Principal Riverwalk.

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Officials with Hansen and the East Village board have since met together and reached a cooperative compromise on the project.

"The Hansens did agree to some alternative modifications," said Colleen MacRae, president of the Historic East Village Board.

Hansen said he expects construction to begin this year with completion in spring of 2016, nearly a decade after his company purchased the property.

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