GROWTH PLANS: The City That Never Sleeps?

Des Moines city planners say they hope to add some life to downtown by adding a new hotel and another entertainment district that could liven things up.

Des Moines… the city that never sleeps? Some think it has a nice ring to it.

“It’s building and will continue to build hour-by-hour on that 24 hour city,” economic developer Tim Leach hopes for the near future.

A plan for a hotel that would be connected to the Iowa Events Center is only a piece of the downtown extension proposal.

City planners hope a hotel will draw in those looking to have a good time and stay out late, “I think that it will bring some things with it like entertainment, like sports entertainment type venues but were confident it will spur more development,” Leach says.

Blake Crabb is excited live in a city that caters to his late night life style, “That`s one thing I do miss about living in a big city, just the 24 hour aspect… if I’m hungry at 12 a.m. I  can get food.”

Crabb works in the East Village, a part of town thriving from dawn until dusk. He hopes that everyone will adjust to the new feel downtown.

“We’re not going at it too hard, were not pushing it to hard but I think it’s more of a natural development here in the East Village especially,” Crabb says.

But not everyone agrees with the proposed changes.

“We’re not really particularly interested in being in the middle of the entertainment district cause it wasn`t an entertainment district before.”

Bob Jester owns the building next door to where the hotel and bars could be built. He’s not thrilled about the noise so close to where he works.

“Think about trying to have an office building, trying to do insurance work and architecture work,” Jester asks.

Some just think the city of Des Moines should be left as it is.

Some possible entertainment venues that could go downtown include a movie theater and a bowling alley. But city planners are still piecing together a developer agreement before they could get started on a new hotel.



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