Best real estate in Des Moines goes to Fed Government

Former site of Riverfront Y in Des Moines WHO TV

DES MOINES, Iowa - Hubbell Realty says it is selling the former Riverfront YMCA site to the federal government, but the company is not happy about it.

On Friday the company released this statement:

“Hubbell has entered into a purchase agreement with the GSA under the threat of eminent domain. While we are disappointed that we cannot proceed with our proposed condominium development at the Riverfront site, it became very clear that this was the best path forward in order for our company to continue our work on other downtown developments.” – Rick Tollakson, President & CEO Hubbell Realty Company

The land sits in the heart of downtown Des Moines on the Principal Riverwalk, and WHO TV reports it is viewed as one of the best pieces of real estate available in the state.  

Hubbell planned to build a $75 million, 115 unit condominium project on the site. 

But the federal government intends to build a new courthouse at that site. The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) has chosen the prime piece of real estate at 101 Locust Street as the preferred site for the construction of a $137 million federal courthouse. The GSA says it selected the site based on extensive analysis.   

Both the City of Des Moines and Hubbell Realty publicly spoke out against the government’s acquisition of the land and preferred a private development.  With a federal building on the property the city will not be able to collect property taxes.

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