Downtown Des Moines has grown into a business and cultural center that consistently receives national attention. In 2014, Fortune named Des Moines the #1 city with an up-and-coming downtown and Politico wrote an in-depth report on how Des Moines went from "dull" to "cool." Des Moines is attracting a broad spectrum of people because the city holds something for just about everyone, which the city’s many recent national media mentions illustrate.
#3 Top City for New College Grads -SmartAsset, 2015
#2 Best City for Jobs in 2015 -Forbes, 2015
#2 Top Under-the-Radar Tech Hub -SpareFoot, 2014
#4 Most LGBT-Friendly City -Huffington Post, 2014
#6 Best City for Raising a Family -Forbes, 2014
#2 Best City to Start a Business -Forbes, 2013
#2 Best City for Business and Careers -Forbes, 2014
#5 Best City for Retirement -Bankrate, 2015
#6 Best City to Grow Old In -MSN Money, 2012
Downtown is the heart of Des Moines. It’s where business thrives alongside a flourishing cultural and social scene. As housing opportunities expand in downtown, more and more Iowans are choosing to make their homes here – and for good reason. Here are just a few:
For Your Health
Who needs rush hour traffic? Downtown Des Moines is easily navigated on foot or by bike, so your daily commute can not only be healthly but also relaxing. You can also walk or bike to the Downtown Farmers’ Market (which The Daily Meal named America’s second-best farmers’ market!).
For Efficient Living
Living downtown greatly reduces the need for a car (and the payments, maintenance, fuel, and parking costs that come with it). Many urban dwellers also find that they don’t need as much square footage in their homes because the wealth of nearby amenities lets them treat the city, to an extent, as their living room. Additionally, many of the newer downtown apartment communities are incorporating many appealing amenities on site, essentially extending residents’ living space into the communal areas.
Downtown Des Moines is experiencing a cultural boom. Once regarded primarily as a business center for the insurance industry, downtown Des Moines is now being touted as a hipster haven, and world-renowned musician David Byrne (of Talking Heads fame) has sung its praises. Of the Des Moines Social Club, housed in downtown Des Moines’ renovated art deco firehouse, Byrne said,
I think what’s happening here is hugely encouraging…. It makes things possible: performances, exhibitions and all that, which can provide an essential venue for all the creative folks around here—and their audiences. But it’s also what it says, a social place where folks can come in contact with people they never ordinarily would meet. Worlds in collision.
Western Gateway Park serves as another important cultural center for the city. Each year, the 80/35 festival draws indie and rock musicians such as Wilco, Cake, Weezer, David Byrne, and the Wu-Tang Clan. It’s also the location of the Des Moines Arts Festival, winner of the International Festivals & Events Association’s Golden Pinnacle Award for best festival, and it’s adjacent to the stunning Pappajohn Sculpture Park.
For Great Food and Nightlife
Award-winning martinis at The Lift, locally sourced shared plates and craft cocktails at RoCA, attitude-free French delectables at Django, and inventive Latin American cuisine at Malo are just a few of the abundant choices in the downtown neighborhood. If you’re in a more casual mood, you can enjoy an undead-themed burger at Zombie Burger + Drink Lab or kick back with the local crowd at The Royal Mile. The choice is yours.
Hubbell Realty is proud to make living downtown a possibility for more and more Iowans. We offer a wide range of downtown options to suit many budgets, lifestyles, and tastes. We offer trendy studios and microapartments at Cityville on 9th, spacious three-bedroom units at the 7th Street Brownstones, luxurious new homes at Artisan Row and The Banks at the Bridge District, and much more. Browse our many Des Moines multifamily communities here. If you’re considering building a new custom home in Des Moines, check out our free eBook, “Your Dream Home Experience” to learn what to expect throughout the process.
Image Source: Pat Hawks, "Des Moines After Dark."