Projects that will transform the Des Moines metro in 2019
Home to the Krause families businesses, the Krause Gateway Center opens its doors after 5 years of planning and construction Des Moines Register
New suburban office buildings, growing entertainment venues, the renovation of an architectural gem and the arrival of a long-awaited skatepark: These are a few of the projects that will reshape the Des Moines metro in 2019.
The steady stream of new apartment buildings opening in the metro is expected to slow next year, but construction on commercial projects will remain strong.
Here's a breakdown of some of the projects that will take shape the next year.
►Catch up on last year's: These are the projects that will transform Des Moines in 2018
Big new office buildings
Deere & Co. is building a $32.6 million home for its intelligent solutions group in Urbandale. The company has leased space for its software developers, systems engineers and product testers for nearly 20 years.
Those employees will move into a new 134,000-square-foot, two-story office building on six acres at 9505 Northpark Drive sometime next year. The project will anchor Urbandale's Urban Loop, a four-square-mile economic development area connected by Interstate Highway 35/80 between Merle Hay Road and Hickman Road.
Deere & Co. will add 31 new jobs, paying at least $24.27 an hour.
In West Des Moines, R&R Realty's new Westfield Complex, 1080 Jordan Creek Parkway, is set to open in the first few months on 2019. The massive four-story building features two 80,000-square-foot wings, connected by a large central atrium.
It also has underground parking, a rooftop patio for employees and an area where food trucks can park.
R&R Realty will move its offices there, and will lease the remainder of the space to other companies.
Casey's General Stores Inc. will add 60,000 square feet to its corporate headquarters in Ankeny at 1 S.E. Convenience Blvd. The $35 million expansion will bring 80 new jobs.
Ruan will build a $9 million operations and training center in Ankeny on the northwest corner of Southeast 72nd Street and Southeast Corporate Woods Drive. The two-story, 22,000-square-foot facility is set to open in the fall.
The Toro Company will open an $11 million, 190,000-square-foot addition to its Ankeny distribution center in the fall. The outdoor equipment manufacturer says the expansion will allow it to significantly increase the amount of equipment that moves through the facility.
The Printer Inc. (TPI) will move of all its Iowa employees under one roof at 2550 Gannett Ave. in Des Moines late next year. The direct-mail printing company has outgrown its current space. The company is investing $13.1 million in the 75,000-square-foot facility. TPI employs 157 people and plans to add 15 new jobs.
IMAX theater opens in Waukee
Fridley Theatres is planning a soft opening at The Palms, its massive IMAX and 15-screen movie theater in Waukee, in time to show "Mary Poppins Returns" this month. But the rest of the entertainment project, including a restaurant and bar, won't open until early in 2019.
That should excite IMAX fans. The Des Moines metro has been without an IMAX screen since the Science Center of Iowa's theater was damaged in June storms.
The Palms is part of a changing metro entertainment scene. Fridley closed it longtime Springwood 9 theater in Ankeny ahead of B&B Theatres' 12-screen theater, 12-lane bowling alley opening this month in the Prairie Trail neighborhood. Des Moines mainstay the Varsity Theatre will close Dec. 30.
New and improved courts
Polk County's Criminal Courts building in downtown Des Moines is scheduled to open in the spring. The project turns the old downtown jail at 110 Sixth Ave. into a five-story courthouse for high-volume misdemeanor and felony cases.
Once open, the Polk County Courthouse at 500 Mulberry St. will undergo a historic renovation to expand courtroom space, add modern technology and bring the building up to code. It should take about two years to complete.
Those projects are the final phases of an $81 million court and justice center renovation approved by Polk County voters in 2013.
The General Services Administration is expected to release the design of its new federal courthouse in March. The $137 million project will be built at the site of the former Riverfront YMCA, 101 Locust St., in downtown Des Moines. Construction is scheduled to start in the fall.
The long-awaited skate park
The Lauridsen Skatepark in downtown Des Moines is expected to open in the summer. At 65,000-square-feet of skateable surface, it will be the largest skate park in the Midwest. It took 14 years to bring the $3.5 million riverfront project to this point. Announcements on public art in the 5-acre park are expected in 2019.
The new Ankeny Kirkendall Public Library will open in late September or early October at 1250 S.W. District Drive in Prairie Trail. Voters approved the $8.5 million, 55,000-square-foot library in May 2017. It's part of a new civic building that will house a new city council chambers. The library's current home at 1210 N.W. Prairie Ridge Drive will be renovated into offices for city staffers.
Urbandale and Clive are working together to open a new fire station at 15100 Meredith Drive in Urbandale in mid-2019. Urbandale will own and staff Fire Station 43. Clive will contract for services. The $5 million station will cover fire and EMS services for the far western areas of both cities. It was approved by voters in November 2017.
New interstate interchanges
There will be noticeable progress on two new interstate interchanges in 2019, although neither project will be done next year. Massive pillars will be installed for the First Street diverging diamond interchange with Interstate Highway 35 in Ankeny and the flyover ramp that will connect Iowa Highway 141 to I-35/80 in Urbandale.
Both projects will open in 2020.