Des Moines may buy Nationwide insurance building for $30 million

Leonardo Rasaki

In a move that could dramatically alter downtown Des Moines, the City Council will vote Monday on a potential development agreement to take over a Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. office building.

The $30 million deal would give Des Moines the five-floor, 360,000-square-foot building at 1200 Locust St., city officials said in a news release Friday. City leaders are looking to renovate the building, possibly as a new home for the police department, which is currently in a 103-year-old structure on the east bank of the Des Moines River.

They said city workers operating out of the similarly aged Argonne Armory building, also on the east bank of the river, and at other sites could benefit, as well.

The agreement with Nationwide would include the acquisition of a 1,690-space parking garage at 1200 Mulberry Street, just southeast of the Locust Street building and linked via the skywalk. The city would pay an extra $10.6 million for the garage, though the two sides don’t expect to close that deal until 2025.

The Nationwide building at 1200 Locust St. in downtown Des Moines. The City Council is set to vote on acquiring the building for city offices.

Assistant City Manager Matt Anderson told the Des Moines Register that the agreement would have wider effects for downtown, particularly along the east bank of the river. The move could give developers the chance to renovate the police headquarters at 25 E. First Street, just off the Court Avenue bridge, and the armory building at 602 Robert D. Ray Drive.  

The U.S. Government Services Administration already has indicated the U.S. Courthouse at 123 E. Walnut St., also on the east riverfront, will be available as surplus property once a new courthouse under construction on the west bank of the river opens next year. That offers another redevelopment opportunity on the east side of the river.

Next Post

Masters in management: evolution is essential in uncertain times

From heatwave and drought to conflict and famine, the past few months have proved apocalyptic for communities around the world. Business schools are coming under pressure to respond, as we report in this latest survey of the Masters in Management (MiM) diploma. Russia’s war against Ukraine — like China’s threats […]