The idea of a new "headquarters hotel" adjacent to the Iowa Events Center would get a big boost if this comes true.
The City of Des Moines will be applying for $150 million in New Market Tax Credits that if awarded, would make several marquee projects come to fruition, one of which being a new convention hotel. I don't know the finer points of the tax credits, but bascially it's a system that eliminates (for a period of time) Federal Income Taxes for businesses and developers that substiantially invest in projects.
Here's what Des Moines and Polk County are shooting for:
Iowa Events Center Headquarters Hotel
Polk County has recently completed the construction of the Iowa Events Center (IEC), HyVee Hall (exhibition hall), Vets Auditorium (arena and meeting room space), The Plex (convention space), and Wells Fargo Arena. A Headquarters Hotel (Ã¢â‚¬Å“HotelÃ¢â‚¬Â) located adjacent to the IEC would be an ideal enhancement to the project. A new hotel will include a minimum of 350 to 400 keyed rooms, 20,000 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ 25,000 square feet of meeting rooms, 30,000 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ 36,000 square foot ballroom, and be a full services professionally managed lodging property. The hotel project has been identified because it will be located in a LIC, is expected to generate a number of new jobs and have a positive economic impact.
The redevelopment of Riverpoint West and the redevelopment of the Younker's Building are two other marquee projects that could utilize the tax credits.
The Riverpoint West areas is located directly south of the Central business District and is bound by Martin Luther King, Jr. Parkway to the north, SW 9th Street to the east, and the Raccoon River to the south and west. The City has been working with developers to transform this area into an urban village with supporting commercial uses including office and retail space. This project will create 400,000 square feet for commercial use. The Riverpoint West project meets CDFI FundÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Low-income Community (LIC) requirement. Additionally, this project will redevelop a federally designated Brownfield area, which has been identified in the NMTC application as a special geographic area. Riverpoint west was identified because it is in a LIC, redevelops a Brownfield area, will provide services to Low-income people, and will have a major impact on the community as a whole.
The Younkers Building
The Younkers building is located at 7th and Walnut Streets in downtown Des Moines. Younkers had been in the downtown area for over 100 years prior to closing its doors in August 2005. More than the sentimental lost of history and memories there is the real loss of jobs and retail business. This building is suited for mixed use with specialized retail and new housing units. Staff is optimistic that the building can be transformed to include; (1) retail on the second floor that connects to the skywalk system and (2) housing units on the remaining floors. New units can be leased or owned and will include affordable housing. Project costs have been projected at $40 million. This project has been designated, as one of the major pipeline activities because it is in a LIC, will create additional retail, and increase the affordable housing stock downtown. NMTCs can provide valuable incentives to possible developers. More importantly, this project will fill a void created by the lost of Younkers.