The 75-acre development north of the Raccoon River will have 1,100 housing units and take 20 years to complete.


Hubbell Realty Co. has released plans for the first project it will build at Gray's Station, the massive neighborhood the company is developing on the edge of downtown Des Moines. 

The Linc at Gray's Station will have 195 units in five buildings. It will serve as the "gateway" to the rest of the 75-acre neighborhood, said Kris Saddoris, the company's vice president of development.

Gray's Station aims to turn an abandoned rail yard on the north bank of the Raccoon River into an upscale neighborhood with a focus on walkability in a park-like setting.

Developers have likened the project to a small city within a city. 

The $41 million multi-family project will be located along Southwest 11th Street between Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway and Tuttle Street.

Hubbell chose to start development on the northern edge of Gray's Station to establish a link between the neighborhood and downtown. 

"It's the only place you can see us from MLK. So for us to be able to introduce our neighborhood to you, it was critical to have this parcel" done first, Saddoris said.

The Linc will have a range of units from studios up to three bedroom apartments. Many units will have a "bonus room" that can be used as an office, she said. 

There will be a courtyard with a pool, dog park and shared community room with a kitchen. Hubbell will re-purpose shipping containers to use as shades for the pool and seating areas in the dog park.

The Linc will have several rooftop patios "aimed at the best view of downtown," Saddoris said. Buildings will lead into a public plaza along Tuttle Street that connects pedestrians to the rest of the neighborhood.

Gray’s Station will cover most of the empty land south of Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway between Southwest 11th and Southwest 16th streets.

It will have more than 1,100 housing units, some small commercial districts and a network of parks linked by a new pedestrian bridge to Gray's Lake Park. Plans call for both rental and for-sale properties, including detached single-family homes, townhouses, apartments, condos and possibly senior housing.


The dense neighborhood will prioritize pedestrians and cyclists over cars. The Linc will be a 10-minute walk to most amenities downtown and a 15-minute walk to Gray's Lake.

The $250 million development will take 20 years to build and depending on how many housing units ultimately are built, could bring 3,000 to 5,000 new residents downtown.

Hubbell will take its plans for The Linc to the Urban Design Review Board on Tuesday for an initial review. Construction is expected to begin in May with the first tenants moving in by early 2020. 

Plans for the next phase of the Gray's Station project — for-sale townhomes south of The Linc — will be released within 90 days.

Hubbell was given a $3 million grant from Des Moines to assist with cleanup of the site, which is expected to wrap-up in mid-December. That will make way for quicker development of Gray's Station.

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