The Hunt for a Site for a Federal Courthouse in Des Moines Starts Over

Sep 27, 2017

The federal government is starting over in its search for a site to build a federal courthouse in Des Moines. 

The old federal courthouse in Des Moines is scheduled to be replaced, but a site is still undetermined.
Credit U.S. Court for the Southern District of Iowa

The U.S. General Services Administration had selected a vacant lot on the west bank of the Des Moines River downtown for the $137 million project. It’s where the old YMCA once sat.

City leaders opposed the decision, saying they preferred a commercial development for the spot, one that would generate tax revenue.

In a press release, the GSA says it will conduct renewed market research in Des Moines to find a location for the courthouse outside the flood plain. It says it will also study further two places on the east side of the river, which Des Moines city planners had recommended. These studies are expected to be completed in December.