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A Master Plan for the East Side of Downtown Des Moines

City of Des Moines

City leaders in Des Moines have been contemplating what to do with an industrial area near the east side of downtown for about ten years.

Developers have now introduced a master plan for the area.

The 260-acre spot south of Des Moines’ East Village is known as the Market District.

It was the city’s preferred spot for a new federal courthouse, but government officials chose the former YMCA location on the west bank of the Des Moines River for the building.

Now, the master plan sees apartments, condominiums, town homes, shops and restaurants in the district.

Economic development coordinator Ryan Moffat says the recreational aspects of the plan stand out.

“There’s a destination riverfront park that is kind of the signature element of all this," he says. "A highly programmed, very active park space is what we envision there. It’s right on the riverfront and it’s got great views of the downtown skyline.”

Moffat says the city already owns much of the land.

Credit City of Des Moines
A public square is at the center of the Market District master plan.

“The city actually control quite a bit of property," he says. "We have about six blocks of property here and so that’s the unique advantage we’re going to have going forward when it comes time to get off the site for city purposes and redevelop it.”

Des Moines’ Plan and Zoning Commission will receive the master plan October 3.

The City Council may decide on it at its November 4 meeting.