New office proposed in Des Moines’ Market District


Three Des Moines companies are joining forces to construct an $11 million office building in the Market District, bolstering the notion that the scrappy, industrial district is one of the city’s up-and-coming areas.

“I think this is the next place where you’re going to see quite a bit of redevelopment going on and we’re excited to be at the front end of that,” said Jim Kottmeyer, a partner with GPS Impact, a political and public affairs consulting firm.

GPS Impact will be an owner of the building along with PDM Precast, a concrete and metal working firm, and DCI Group, a construction management company. The 47,000-square-foot office at the corner of Southeast Sixth and Elm streets will stand three-stories-tall and include a three-level parking garage. Roughly 1/3 of the office space will be available for lease.

The Market District is the industrial southern end of the East Village. It is generally defined as the area between the Des Moines River and East Seventh Street and between East Court Avenue and East Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway.

City leaders and real estate developers say the Market District is primed for redevelopment thanks to the hordes of residents and employers who want to be near the trendy core of the East Village.

The new office would be among the first major developments in the Market District. A historic steam tractor manufacturing plant was recently renovated into a high-tech, solar-powered office. Peace Tree Brewing plans to open a brewery on the north end of the district and an apartment complex is in the works on the south end, along East MLK Parkway.

The big question mark for the Market District is a federal courthouse. The Southern District of Iowa was recently earmarked $187 million to build a new courthouse in Des Moines. The southern end of the East Village has long been considered an option for such a facility.

Kottmeyer said the group chose the Market District location because of the proximity to the East Village and downtown as well as the easy access to East MLK Parkway.

Also known as the Southeast Connector, the parkway was recently extended to Southeast 30th Street. It will eventually reach Highway 5, creating a direct route from the east side of the metro to downtown.

The new office is a family affair. Kottmeyer and Adam Petersen, president of PDM Precast and PDM Metals, are brothers-in-law (their wives are sisters). Petersen is also childhood friends with Kevin Kain, president of DCI Group.

“This is a friends and family project,” Petersen said.

The group aims to break ground in August and finish the project by next summer.

The project is slated to go before the city’s Urban Design Review Board Tuesday morning. The developers are seeking property tax breaks on declining scale over 20 years.