WEST DES MOINES, Iowa -- It used to be a bustling area in West Des Moines` midtown area, but the east side of 8th Street, south of Interstate 235, is now quiet and dark. However, a new multi-million dollar project hopes to spotlight a revitalization.
On Monday night, city council leaders pushed their chips all in with a unanimous yes vote. "We are excited about it. We`ve been excited about this area for three to four years," said Shane Isley, a partner with Benchmark Real Estate Group out of West Des Moines.
The group has lofty goals for two $8 million mixed-use buildings in an area that could use a facelift. "An area that used to be vibrant like this has just gotten a little bit tired. It could use a little extra shot in the arm with extra capital," said Isley.
Both 11,000-square-foot projects will include four stories and 40 housing units. "A unique concept for a restaurant and will extend that to alternative offerings for retail and another breakfast and coffee shop potentially," Isley said.
They are calling it Keystone on 8th. Isley said, "Keystone was a name of the first coal mine that sat underground here on this part of town, so we wanted to tie the neighborhood back to its origin."
The project hopes to see similar success as long-standing restaurants across the street: Gilroy`s Kitchen + Pub + Patio and El Fogon. "Speaking of two really successful business owners who have taken what they had to the next level. Everybody is really excited to have another life injected into the 8th Street Corridor," said Isley.
With Monday`s vote of approval, it seems city leaders share a mutual enthusiasm for midtown`s future. Isley said, "People that work here have somewhere to go for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Really just revitalize, not necessarily just daytime activities, but also nighttime activities in the area."
Benchmark Real Estate Group plans to break ground on the first building of the Keystone on 8th project in the spring of 2020. Despite the yes vote, developers still need to go through platting and site plan approval. They hope to have both buildings finished by the end of 2021.