A planned tower along Fifth Avenue between Walnut Street and Court Avenue has grown from 32 to 39 floors. The project's estimated cost has reached $170 million.


Construction on the first phase of downtown Des Moines' 39-story skyscraper The Fifth has been delayed.

The 671-stall parking garage along Fifth Avenue between Walnut Street and Court Avenue has been pushed back 12 weeks while city staff and developers review plans for the mixed-use project.

Mandelbaum Properties' plans for The Fifth have grown in size, scope and cost several times since it was proposed three years ago, causing delays in final permitting and design approvals, said Justin Mandelbaum, principal of the development firm.

"It's a massive undertaking," he said.

The Fifth will include several structures, including a five-story office complex that will house a nine-screen movie theater. The 39-story tower facing Walnut Street will include a 117-room luxury boutique hotel and 201 apartments. An 11-story, 671-stall parking garage will stand between the two buildings.

The Fifth's building permit packet — a document submitted to the city before final permits are issued for footings and foundations — consists of at least 1,700 pages and 170 construction and architectural drawings, Mandelbaum said.

Both the development team and the city have requested more time to review and amend all related plans and applications.

Mandelbaum Properties is operating under a development agreement with the city that outlines significant deadlines required for a complex loan package. New deadlines were approved by the Des Moines City Council on Monday.

Only the parking garage has been delayed. It must now be complete by May 22, 2020 — 12 weeks later than the initial deadline.

More: Check out the views from The Fifth skyscraper's 37th-floor apartments

Construction on the theater and tower buildings is expected by Oct. 31, 2019. The theater building will take two years and the tower three years to complete.

The 1.4-acre lot was once a city-owned parking garage. Demolition at the site is nearly complete.

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