Development news, discussion and photographs in Downtown Des Moines.
#47925 by DMRyan
Sat Oct 20, 2007 4:41 pm
The Housing Tax Credit program has been a well-used tool in bringing some of downtown's most successful apartment projects to fruition. It's a way for developers to subsidize the development costs to provide affordable housing.

Last year only resulted in one downtown project (Stockbridge Apartments) being funded, but there are many applicants on the list this year that feature downtown projects. Couple this with the Historic Preservation Tax Credits, and this kind of work could be in full swing for a while if the apartment market is able to remain strong.

The credit awards will be announced in March 2008, and only a few projects will be awarded. How nice would it be to have the transformation of Court Avenue 90% completed if the Metro Lofts and Randolph Hotel were a go?

Here are this year's dowtown applicants:

Randolph Hotel:
Conversion of transient hotel and former annex to 48 apartments with street level retail.


Hawthorn Hill II:
New construction of a 4-5 story building featuring 44 apartments. Located immediately north of Hawthorn Hill, currently under renovation.


Metro Lofts:
New construction of 111 apartment units on a vacant construction site south of Court Avenue.


Crane Building Renovation
Renovation of vacant building into 30 artists space loft apartments.


Below is a link to the listing of other projects seeking tax credits within the City of Des Moines. Of particular importance to downtown are the YMCA transitional housing facility and a renovation of 300 units at the Homes of Oakridge. ... 07-642.htm
#47926 by 4th&Court
Sat Oct 20, 2007 4:45 pm
I was commenting last night as we sat in Dos Rios, if the Randolph was renovated there'd be nothing left of the old, run-down Court Ave anymore. It'd all be renewed and refreshed. In fact, due to it's location right on Court Ave, it'd probably turn out to be more of an attraction than the Kirkwood has already been.
#47927 by Better Life dude
Sat Oct 20, 2007 5:07 pm
Its too bad that ALL of these projects couldn't recieve tax credits this coming year. If they could all get thier credits, how cool would that be?
#47928 by 4th&Court
Sat Oct 20, 2007 5:11 pm
I don't really have a full grasp of why they can't.
#47931 by DMRyan
Sat Oct 20, 2007 6:08 pm
Only around 144 tax credits (dwelling units) are doled out to Polk County every year. Since Des Moines shoulders the low income burden for Polk County, it's only right to assume that all 144 credits will be in Des Moines. Two large projects could easily eat up the entire total (only lower income units count towards the credits, and not all total unit numbers shown above are low income). The goal is to subsidize projects that have a mix of income ranges, if possible.
#51975 by ps4610
Fri Feb 15, 2008 9:13 am
Randolph Hotel:
Conversion of transient hotel and former annex to 48 apartments with street level retail.

I always like to see hotels converted to apartments; as long as they keep the 'look' of the hotel.

Has anyone heard more about this?
#52887 by Ingersoll1978
Thu Mar 06, 2008 2:56 am
Written by DMRyan:

Only one of the four downtown projects received tax credits for this year. Another year of looking at the hole in the ground for the Metro Lofts project south of Court Avenue. It's looking more like a wetland than a development site these days, with cattails growing out of the lowest point on the site.

Below is the list and article from the DSM Business Record.

Breaking News

Randolph project gets $3.6 million in tax credits

A proposal to rehabilitate the Randolph Hotel at Fourth Street and Court Avenue received tax credits valued at $3.6 million today from the Iowa Finance Authority (IFA).

Harry Bookey's BHE Acquisitions LLC plans to convert the eight-story hotel into a 36-unit apartment building. He outlined the idea last fall as a $13 million project.

The IFA today disbursed more than $60 million in funds from the federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program. The money will go toward projects creating 768 housing units in 15 Iowa communities.

Three other Central Iowa projects received tax credits:

-Conlin Development Group's rehabilitation of 24 units at Willow Bend II Apartments at 6500 S.W. Ninth St. received a $1.2 million award.

-Conlin Development Group's construction of 41 units at Deer Ridge VI Apartments at 6000 Creston Ave. received $3.3 million.

-The rehabilitation of 150 units at the Homes of Oakridge at 926-1236 Oakridge

***ADMIN NOTE: Topic was split to start a new thread specifically about the Randolph Rehab

Randolph Hotel Renovation thread:
#73039 by hawk61401
Tue May 18, 2010 7:14 am
What has happened to the Crane Building? This building would be a beautiful asset for downtown. It's about the last one of it's kind. It looks like in the photo taken less than a month ago that there are more broken windows. I hate to see this building deteriorate. They had such big plans for it ..

The developer has been in discussions with the artist galleries and community immediately surrounding the building to provide needed services. The entire first floor of common space will be available for building residents and outside arts groups, there will also be space available for lease to artists groups. The first floor will include art production spaces for visual arts and pottery, performance space, gallery space, building office and a fitness center. The outdoor plaza area will include a large landscaped sculpture garden and performance area.


photo attributed to: ... 299448262/
#73049 by DMRyan
Tue May 18, 2010 9:50 pm
Barring something tragic like a fire, this building isn't going anywhere with as sturdy as it is. It's one of the last large historic building that is very visible and not rehabbed and is sitting vacant in all of downtown. I'm pretty confident its time will come over the coming years. It's stock really rises as a future residential conversion once the homeless shelter next door to it is relocated.

The first floor may be put to use very soon if plans pan out, but it sounds like rest of the renovation of the building will be waiting however.
#73075 by DMRyan
Wed May 19, 2010 8:17 pm
Yeah, that was made yesterday before the big news. Everything about that statement is wrong now. The original purpose for moving the shelter out of this part of downtown was to aid development of the Riverpoint West area, according to previous quotes by city leaders. Now they've come full circle.

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