Architecture firm moves into old Lawson's space
by laurie mansfield
If you see work going on in the old Lawson's Books space in the East Village, it's the new tenants, sprucing up the old used bookstore.
Dunbar/Jones Landscape Architecture is moving in, hopefully by the first part of May, said Greg Jones, a partner in the firm.
Martin Oline closed his used bookstore Christmas Eve of 2004.
Jim Boyt, who owns the historic 1878 building on the corner of East Sixth and Grand Avenue, said he rented the building to the architecture firm because he thought the partners would take good care of his building. It's on the National Register of Historic Places.
"I wouldn't take them if they weren't," he said. "They really respect the character of the building."
Ironically, Dunbar/Jones is working on the other side of town ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Â they're working on the West Gateway Park project.
At least they've got both sides of town covered...
dogbo wrote:Driving down E Court Ave today noticed the old Celebration's bar building has a sign on it -- Office Space, Retail, Lofts.
If memory serves, the individuals who recently purchased the Capital Lofts also bought this building as well. It will be interesting to see what develops.
New cuisine hits East Village
Kevin DuBay wil open The Continental on Friday next door to ZZZ Records in the East Village.
by tim paluch
juice staff writer
The Continental restaurant, the East Village's newest neighbor, bills itself as "upscale, contemporary cuisine."
Friday, Kevin DuBay of West Des Moines and his brother plan to open The Continental at 428 E. Locust Ave., next door to Zzz Records.
DuBay, 32, a former art teacher at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, designed the interior and will run the restaurant. The space has high ceilings and exposed brick. He calls the decor "retro mixed with rustic."
DuBay's brother, Brian, 30, is the head chef. A friend built the bar.
The menu uses the tapas, or small-plate, approach to dining ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Â appetizer-size portions of food that allow customers to sample different items instead of having one larger meal.
Prices range from $6 for a salad or roasted asparagus to $14 for a few pieces of rack of lamb. DuBay said the restaurant will serve four different types of baked oysters.
Lunch and dinner will be served daily. On Fridays and Saturdays, food will be available until 1:30 a.m.
DuBay said the restaurant hopes to bring in "yuppies, young urban professionals, people in their early 20s to early 40s."
Expect an extensive wine and beer list ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Â about 40 of each. There's also a top-shelf liquor bar and diverse martini menu.
Take yourself down to a funkier town
East Village is growing along with its name
By DAVID ELBERT
REGISTER BUSINESS COLUMNIST
June 22, 2005
A colleague asks: When did Des Moines' east-side business district become the East Village?
When it became hip, I reply smugly.
You can't go to a party in my west-side neighborhood without somebody mentioning the East Village. It's become one of those overnight success stories that took years, even decades, to produce, but now it's on everyone's radar screen.
The timing is good because the Des Moines Arts Festival is this weekend. That means a lot of folks will be downtown and will have a chance to see the new East Village for the first time.
The once dowdy, but now funky, area between the Des Moines River and the Iowa Capitol has become even funkier in the past year with new construction, new stores in old buildings, and new street sculptures that double as bike racks.
The Arts Festival, which takes place on the downtown river bridges, has produced standing-room only business for bars and restaurants on the west side of the river along Court Avenue.
This year, they'll probably be standing in line at East Village businesses, too.
Which brings us back to my friend's question about the name and how it got here.
The Des Moines Register's electronic library shows that 2002 was the first time the name "East Village" showed up in more newspaper stories (47) than did the term "Gateway East" (21), the previous designation for the east-side business district.
The origin of the term goes back at least five years before that.
John Burgeson, CEO of Iowa State Bank, says the name evolved from efforts in the 1990s to set goals for redeveloping the area.
Burgeson was chairman of the Gateway East Committee that was asked in 1997 to come up with goals. It was one of two such groups appointed by then-Mayor Arthur Davis. The other was the Gateway West Committee, which focused on the area west of 10th Street where the new library, Pappajohn Higher Education Center, Centro and Allied Insurance are now located.
Burgeson's group came up with three goals for the east-side area: retain small business, attract retail and restaurants, and re-introduce housing. "All of those elements were present in the '50s and '60s, when I was growing up here," Burgeson said.
When the Gateway East Committee members stood back and looked at what they were proposing, he said, it hit them: They were creating a village.
"We adopted the name East Village, and it stuck," Burgeson said.
Well, not right away.
Newspaper stories continued to refer to the area as Gateway East, a name that had originated with the early 1990s Vision Plan for Des Moines.
Before 1998, the term "East Village," when it appeared in the Register, usually referred to New York's East Village.
The first references that related to Des Moines' east-side business district appeared in 1998, when businesswoman Christine Paskins established the East Village Neighborhood and Merchants Association.
The Register's library files show only two references to Des Moines' East Village in news stories in 1998, four in 1999, 14 in 2000, 20 in 2001, 47 in 2002, 120 in 2003, and 240 in 2004.
Three years ago, things really started happening in the area. The planning and lobbying efforts of the Gateway East Committee in 1997 and 1998, and the East Village Association in later years, started to pay off.
The city spent $2.4 million to create a new streetscape for the area. It included changing traffic patterns on Locust Street from one-way to two-way traffic and providing new lights, plantings, brick sidewalks and street furniture.
Burgeson's bank took a risk and built a new combination retail and commercial building at 601 E. Locust in 2002 and remodeled another building at 521 E. Locust, attracting tenants such as Sticks and the Noodle Zoo that complemented other stores and restaurants in the area.
The bank's success encouraged architect and developer Tony DeAngelo to build SoHo Lofts at Fourth and Locust streets. The SoHo project, which is nearing completion, brings Burgeson's village concept together in a single building.
If you attend the Arts Festival this weekend, take a few minutes to stroll up Locust Street toward the SoHo tower and Capitol.
You'll like what you see.
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