CONTINUING COVERAGE: FLOODS OF 2016

Valley Junction Master Plan Seeks to Rejuvenate Historic West Des Moines

DES MOINES, Iowa - West Des Moines has developed a plan to breathe new life into the Historic Valley Junction area of town.

It all started last year when the city sought input from community members on what they wanted from the Valley Junction district. Now, a Master Plan has been created, and the West Des Moines City Council will vote on it next month.

If approved, the city will begin developing an incentive program to draw in more restaurants to the area. That's just the first step of more than a decade-long effort to better utilize the space, including taking advantage of upper-story space in the district for condos and apartments. The projects would be funded through a variety of public and private sources, but the ultimate goal is to liven up the area. The master plan refers to the Valley Junction district as Historic West Des Moines, or "HWDM," for short.

"Numerous myths exist about HWDM. Examples are: Valley Junction only has antique stores; neither HWDM residents nor residents in the City’s more distant neighborhoods patronize downtown businesses; and the residential area is less desirable than other parts of the City. Frankly, all of these are ‘urban legend,'" an excerpt from the online plan reads.

The city will accept public comment before voting on the master plan at its meeting on September 19, at 5:30 p.m. at West Des Moines City Hall.