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Cowles Commons Set to Open This Month

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- The plan for Cowles Commons, formally known as Nollen Plaza, has been in the works for seven years and will be completed this month.

The $11 million project was funded by both private and public donations including $400,000 from the City of Des Moines.

Mayor Frank Cownie says the space will only enhance the city's economic development.

"It's completion will further re-energize the already vibrant downtown and become the premier outdoor gathering space for Des Moines citizens, workers and our visitors," Cownie said.

The project, which has been under construction since June of 2013, still has a few elements to add including a 28-foot LED sculpture.

Des Moines Performing Arts President and CEO Jeff Chelesvig says one of the most unique design elements is a 'red carpet' made of red granite stone and brick that extends from Capital Square to the Civic Center.

"One of the earliest design concepts was to have this red carpet that leads to up to the Civic Center because this really is our front yard, so it`s a spectacular way to show the connection between the Civic Center and Cowles Commons," Chelesvig said.

The space will be owned and operated by the Des Moines Performing Arts Center who hopes to open it up to the public around June 18.

However, Winefest will take place at Cowles Commons on Friday June 5 and Saturday June 6. Events on both nights begin at 6 p.m.

Cowles Commons is located between Locust and Walnut at 3rd Street in downtown Des Moines.

Google Map for coordinates 41.587623 by -93.621280.

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