Des Moines Neighborhood Revitalization Organization Now Up and Running

DES MOINES, Iowa — A new neighborhood revitalization organization made up of Des Moines and Polk County leaders met for the first time Thursday.

Invest DSM is now up and running with the goal of revitalizing several Des Moines neighborhoods including Franklin, Drake, Columbus Park, Oak Park and Highland Park.

“We want to be really careful about making sure that we are not just impacting one house on a block but that whole block is strong when we are done with it. So in the case like this it might mean taking care of the three or four houses on the block that are not in great shape and on a different block there might only be one house that needs some help,” Invest DSM Executive Director Amber Lynch said.

The projects they’ll be tackling are both interior and exterior in each neighborhood.

“In some cases it will be major maintenance items. So it might be putting on a new roof or new windows. It could be putting an addition on the home to add another bedroom and bathroom. In some cases it might be exterior improvements: new coat of paint on the siding, new landscaping, some of those small-scale improvements that can really improve the look and feel of a neighborhood,” Lynch said.

City Manager Scott Sanders said residents will start to notice some of the immediate effects, but overall it will take some time to implement.

“So this is a long-term plan and it will take several years to fully implement, but we expect that there will be an immediate impact as we some of the blighted properties taken down and rehab of existing homes will be a big focus of this initiative as well,” Naber said.

Both the City of Des Moines and Polk County each put $2.5 million into the program.

For questions about the program you can call the City of Des Moines Community Development Department at 515-283-4182.

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