DES MOINES, Iowa – Fourteen floors of classic art deco with a name that’s always in the air.
“We all decided that if we were not the ones who owned the Des Moines Building in Des Moines, we would wish that we were,” laughed Shawn Foutch.
Foutch and his two brothers are the owners of the Des Moines Building. It was abandoned before they bought it for just $150,000, but after they get finished sinking some $28 million into it, it should be full.
“In the case of this building, the lobby is really well intact,” Foutch said, “almost everything that was there originally is still there with the exception of one chandelier.”
The Foutch brothers love this kind of thing–rehabbing classic buildings in good locations.
“They have really stable, well-built structures.”
They’ve just completed the Fleming building on 6th and Mulberry, and on the Des Moines, they’re teaming up with Nelson Construction (you know their work from E300 Grand and the Liberty Building).
Next, the Foutchs will move on to the Equitable Building across the street.
“Because they qualify as historic properties,” said Foutch, “it kicks loose a lot of funding at both the state and federal level that makes it possible to do what otherwise would probably be financially impossible.”
There was so much work that went into these buildings—etched stone from minute to massive—the kind of history than cannot be repeated by modern standards. And the Des Moines Building has one more bit of appeal.
“We’re the only project downtown that offers 80% income level,” said Joe Crimmings, the building’s leasing agent, “so our income rate is $41,950 or less, which opens the door for more people who want to live downtown.”
Only 50 percent of the apartments are income restricted. The rest (and those to come at the Equitable Building) will be open to all who wish for downtown convenience and uptown flair.