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Des Moines’ Revitalization Project to Impact Four Neighborhoods

DES MOINES, Iowa--  Des Moines city leaders have approved a more than $4 million pilot program.

The program is based off a revitalization study conducted by CZB LLC, paid for by tax payers.

“The funds for the study and the four projects will be paid for in the next budget cycle," Des Moines City Manager Scott Sanders said.

The program focuses on four Des Moines neighborhoods.

“We chose areas that have existing momentum," Des Moines City Planner Amber Lynch said.

On the list: The Oak/ Highland Park neighborhood, Drake area, 48th and Franklin area, and Two
Rivers area.

“One of the things that we will be doing over the next year is more specific plans," Lynch said. The city says those plans could include demolishing dilapidated, and vacant buildings.

Overall, the goal is to increase property values.

“Values in Des Moines have not been increasing as they should relative to other parts of our Metro, and other parts of the county. That’s an issue for our property owners because they are not building equity," Lynch said.

Chelsea Lepley is a Des Moines community activist who says there's more to investments.

“When you’re asked about what you love about your neighborhood you don’t say my property value increased 15 percent, you say I am close to a bike trail, or I am close to downtown," resident Chelsea Lepley said.

Lepley lives in Capital Hill, her neighborhood is not in the program.

“We have gotten a lot of attention to help kick-start some of that redevelopment and it makes sense to me that some other neighborhoods get the spotlight," Lepley said.