Welcome to a new column on the development projects that are changing the landscape of central Iowa. As the Des Moines Registry Growth and Development Journalist, I hope to provide you with updates on some remarkable projects, but primarily I want this column to cover what you, our readers, want to know.
Are you curious about what is being built in your neighborhood? Do you want more information on a specific project or are you wondering how a development fits into our metro’s growth model?
Construction resumes on Spare Time in West Des Moines
Thanks to all the readers who asked questions! Let them come.
Several of you have wondered what is being built south of Slumberland on Jordan Creek Parkway in West Des Moines.
It’s the latest in Des Moines metro’s growing leisure options: Spare Time Entertainment. According to Spare Time’s Facebook page, it will be a “high-end entertainment hub” at 340 Jordan Creek Parkway with bowling alleys, an arcade, a laser tag, restaurants and bars.
Construction – interrupted earlier in the pandemic – has restarted. My calls to Spare Time’s headquarters in Colchester, Vermont went unanswered, but there are promising signs the new facility may open soon. Although construction has been underway for some time, the Facebook page, which launched on April 27, now has “Coming Soon!” plastered everywhere, and Spare Time is recruiting. He posted positions as sous chef, assistant general manager and restaurant manager last month, as well as others.
I’ll keep you posted as I learn more.
Smash Park innovates
Speaking of entertainment venues, the teams inaugurated Smash Park’s first franchise location in late July. The 23,345 square foot space will feature the brand’s iconic pickleball courts, food and drink, room for a variety of indoor and outdoor games, as well as party and event space.
The site, in Pella, is expected to open in spring 2022 and will employ around 85 people. It’s just south of Hwy 163, Exit 40, in the Prairie Ridge development.
The flagship location of Smash Park opened in West Des Moines in 2018 and has seen incredible success. (I recommend playing darts at the Paddle Club, an intimate space upstairs, and trying the ton of nacho leaves.) It’s a business to watch as its owners look to market the franchise to the nationwide.
Leaders want a new vision for downtown Des Moines
City leaders have hired consultants – all of whom know Des Moines intimately – to provide a new vision of the city center as it moves away from the coronavirus pandemic.
With workers set to return to downtown offices, the group seeks to position itself downtown for short-term recovery and “long-term economic vitality and dynamism,” according to a press release. of the Greater Des Moines Partnership.
The Des Moines Downtown Vision Plan and Downtown Action Plan Committee hired Bâton Global, RDG Planning & Design and Civitas Consultants to come up with ideas and plans to make them happen. The first two have offices in Des Moines, while Civitas Consultants is owned by David Feehan, who was the first president of the Downtown Community Alliance of Des Moines from 1996 to 2001.
“The growth of the downtown area has led to successful economic development and population growth throughout the DSM region,” said Kathryn Kunert, vice president of economic connections and integration at MidAmerican Energy and committee member. , in a press release. “As we look ahead, now is the time to determine, as a community, the next steps for Downtown DSM that will continue to elevate our community nationally and globally. “
►More:Why the population of downtown Des Moines has exploded in the past decade
I recently spoke to Feehan about how a plan he led in the 1990s helped transform downtown Des Moines and led to its recent population boom. Subscribers can read more about it here.
Residents will be invited to participate online at DSMpartnership.com. More information will be published there in September.