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City submits pre-app for a Reinvestment District for the Valley West Mall site

The City of West Des Moines has submitted a preapplication for a Reinvestment District under the Iowa Reinvestment District Act for the Valley West Mall site and surrounding area. This is the first step in applying for consideration for the Reinvestment District program managed by the Iowa Department of Economic Development.
 
The Valley West Mall and surrounding area project would include approximately $262 million in private investment by Watson Properties, the owner of Valley West Mall, and infrastructure projects to support the redevelopment. The estimated total cost of the project is $278 million. The City is requesting $30 million in state assistance from the Reinvestment District program.
 
Community and Economic Development Director Clyde Evans said the University Avenue Corridor Study confirmed that the redevelopment of the Valley West Mall area was critical to the economic health and stability of the entire retail and business corridor.
 
“The market analysis and interviews with property owners, local brokers and developers told us a great deal,” Evans said. “It’s clear that without a significant overhaul and transformation of the mall site, other property owners will not make investments in their properties, and the University Avenue corridor in Clive and West Des Moines will decline.”
 
Evans said the Valley West Mall redevelopment would be anticipated to occur in two to three phases over a projected three-year timeline (see attached renderings). The project would include:  
 
1. A full redevelopment of the approximate southern one-third of the property by removing the vacant Younkers building and constructing approximately 18,000 square feet of new restaurant space and approximately 240 units of multi-family residential, platting 5 retail out-parcels, and creating highly amenitized outdoor public gathering spaces focused around a new stormwater retention pond. 
   
2. The removal of the JCPenney building and a complete renovation of the mall building to reorient tenant spaces towards the building exterior, creating nearly 300,000 square feet of newly remodeled office and retail space with its own under-building parking. The south end of the former mall building will contain a 65,000 square foot entertainment complex with under-building parking.
 
3. Renovation of the north end of the former mall building into a 130,000 square foot event space with a 5-story conference hotel. Taking advantage of the synergy brought by an event space and hotel, a 3-story, 60,000 square foot office building is planned at the northwest corner of the site.   
 
4. Another 240 units of multi-family residential is also planned along with an additional outdoor public gathering space focused around a second stormwater retention pond.   
 
Evans said that with the redevelopment, City staff and the private owners involved with the project are projecting an increase in valuation of approximately $100 million. If approved, the City will have one year to submit an application.