West Des Moines Looks to Ramp Up Valley Junction District

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WEST DES MOINES, Iowa - The City of West Des Moines is searching for a consultant to help it develop a master plan for Valley Junction.

"We're really looking to take Valley Junction to the next level," said West Des Moines Director of Community & Economic Development, Clyde Evans.

The city is accepting replies to its request for proposals through 2 p.m. on September 9; from there, it will form a steering committee with the consultant it chooses to work with. The idea of a master plan is to work on ways to better-utilize areas of the Valley Junction district. For instance, Evans says upper-level space in buildings isn't well-utilized at the moment. To attract more businesses - and even residential projects - to Valley Junction, Evans says a master plan needs to be put into place.

"Well, this is really where we began. West Des Moines was incorporated as the community of Valley Junction in 1893. It was very much a working-class community, it was a railroad town," he said. "In fact, the name Valley Junction comes from the junction of two railroads in a valley. And we feel that you've got to continue to respect your past, you've got to maintain this because once it's gone, it's gone."

The area officials are looking to affect with a master plan includes the Valley Junction shopping area, reaching west from First to Eighth Streets, and north from Railroad Avenue to Vine Street. Evans says the city hopes to spruce up this historic area of town before it begins to fade into disrepair.

"If you let a part of the community start to deteriorate, then it has kind of what I'll call a 'Rotten Apple' effect, where you start getting a larger and larger area that falls into disrepair," he said. "And we think that would be a terrible waste of what we have here."

For more information, contact Naomi Hamlett at naomi.hamlett@wdm.iowa.gov.

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