LAND TRADE: County Supervisors Approve Deal

Three high-profile properties in downtown Des Moines are one step closer to exchanging hands after a meeting by the Polk County board of supervisors.

Supervisors agreed Tuesday to the terms of the proposed transaction.

It will allow Polk County to trade the Convention Complex to Wellmark in exchange for the old JC Penney building on Fifth Avenue.

Wellmark then hopes to sell the complex to the YMCA, which would move from their riverfront location.

That aspect of the plan is yet to be approved by YMCA board members.

Supervisors say it could take at least four months to complete the sale but agree that it’s worth the wait.

The county plans to convert the old JC Penney building into courtroom space. They say it’s a cheaper alternative to building a new courthouse

“This aspect is a win-win for the tax payers. It’s not a cheap, but an effective use of money because we get a building that we would own and can renovate at very little cost and put it into play for the courthouse,” says supervisor Robert Brownell.

YMCA board members will meet in the next few weeks to discuss the proposal.

The county would still have to renovate the JC Penney building before moving in court rooms.



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