Drive into downtown Des Moines from all points west and you’ll enter an exciting zone of urban development and neighborhood rebirth – Western Gateway.
The businesses, retailers and residents of this westernmost arm of downtown are reinventing the entry corridor in a decidedly urban mix, breathing new life into beautiful historic buildings, adding refreshingly modern architecture and surprising the eye with serene green spaces. The mix is eclectic – and entirely appropriate for Des Moines’ capital city.
Anchoring the western end is the headquarters of Meredith Corporation, whose sprawling campus of historic and modern buildings spans either side of the street. As publisher of the venerable Better Homes and Gardens magazine, Meredith relied on its own landscaping and gardening expertise to develop the seasonal prairie gardens at the edge of the Western Gateway.
To the east of the Meredith campus is the new John and Mary Pappajohn Higher Education Center. This bright, sleek, minimalist building draws hundreds of people downtown on a daily basis for a variety of day and evening classes.
At the opposite end of the Western Gateway is the ING office building and the new Allied Insurance headquarters, housed in stylish multi-story buildings.
Just across the street is the Temple for Performing Arts, a beautifully refurbished historic edifice, reborn as a cultural center for the city. Next to it sits the new 117,000-square-foot Central Library, with its ultramodern, freeform architecture and “organic” roof.
Western Gateway investors see continued potential in developing the western landscape of the city as a natural extension of the growth and evolution of downtown Des Moines.