NEXT STEP: City Sets Hearing For Fire Station Sale

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To those who still can’t see a butterfly in this old caterpillar, they say “rest assured.”

“We’re in love with it," says Des Moines Social club executive director, Zachary Mannheimer, of the aging downtown fire station at 9th and Mulberry. "There’s so much history around that building, it fits what we’re trying to do—history’s a part of art as well.”

Art will be one of many things on display here, once the Des Moines Social Club takes over. But for now, there’s the business of the sale.

The hearing to discuss the contract of sale was set today, and the price has already been agreed upon: $600,000…renovations will cost twice that, but fundraising is also coming along.

“We just got a fantastic lead gift that we’re reporting on now from the Kruidenier Charitable Foundation of half a million dollars,” Mannheimer says.

The city is motivated by more than money…

“It’s a great location,” says councilwoman, Christine Hensley."

Surrounded on three sides by recent expensive redevelopment, the old station needed a new purpose and seems to have found it.

“I think it really adds to the vibrancy," Hensley says, "and kind of the ecclecticness of the downtown area and what young people are excited about and the programs that they bring and I think that’ll be a great venue for it.”

“We’re not gonna be able to get in there and fully operate anything until 2014," Mannheimer points out, "so we’ve got a lot of time to raise the money and build out on that.”

For the time being, the metamorphosis might still be hard to envision, but things are coming along, rest assured.