The latest development project in downtown Des Moines has city leaders hopeful, but others say their fearful.
The city council is considering a plan to renovate the Randolph Hotel on Court Avenue. It would turn the 90 hotel rooms into 55 apartments. Right now the property serves as a hotel, but the majority of the guests pay month to month.
Current Resident John Rutkowski says, “It’s kind of terrifying. I’m used to having a roof over my head, used to knowing where I’m going to sleep…it’s a shock to us because none of us really knew this was coming.”
The project would force most of the people currently living there to relocate, but the city and the developer say they plan to help them find a place to live.
Assistant City Manager Matt Anderson says, “We`ll bring together our service providers, our housing department and other service providers in the area, to sit down with the people and council them, if they need the help and certainly give them plenty of notice moving forward to help them find new housing.“
The proposed project would cost $15 million. The city council is planning to vote on a preliminary agreement for the project at Monday’s meeting.