DAC Sept 26 Public Meeting – Success!
What a great public meeting we had on September 26th, 2017 in the VIP Suite of Plaza Lanes Family Sports Complex! We had over 50 people in attendance to learn about the efforts of the Douglas Avenue Coalition, hear about exciting recent successes, and engage in a question and answer session.
We would like to share a huge THANK YOU to our elected and appointed officials who attended the meeting and showed their support. They include:
- Janet Petersen, Iowa State Senator
- Angela Connolly, Polk County Supervisor
- Bill Gray, Des Moines City Council
- Chris Coleman, Des Moines City Council
- Phil Delafield, Director of Des Moines Community Development
We certainly wouldn’t have made it this far without your support.
Please read on for highlights from the meeting…
Update from Des Moines West Side Chamber
Many thanks to Darrell Sarmento, Executive Director of the Des Moines West Side Chamber of Commerce for sharing an enthusiastic update about all that is going on with our business community on the west side of Des Moines. They recently hosted a narrated economic bus tour through the Beaverdale area, Merle Hay Road area, Drake University, Uptown Shopping Center area, the Roosevelt Cultural District, The Avenues of Ingersoll & Grand, MLK Jr. Pkwy, and the Douglas Ave. Corridor. Tour participants learned about projects that have been recently completed, are currently in process, and what is proposed concerning the economic development and improvements in these areas. The Des Moines west side currently has over $200 million in projects and improvements. Wow! We encourage all of our business owners and commercial property owners to check them out and join if you are not already a member. They do a lot to help promote the success of Des Moines businesses. Thank you, Des Moines West Side Chamber!
Partnership with RDG Announced
The Douglas Avenue Coalition was excited to announce approval by the City of Des Moines to hire RDG Planning and Design to complete a corridor plan for the Douglas Avenue corridor! This approval includes $174,000 budgeted for RDG to combine public engagement, economic and market analysis, and innovative urban design concepts to complete the plan. At the end of this process (which is anticipated to last about 6 to 8 months), we will have a plan that involves streetscape improvements, recommendations for private property improvements, and conceptual site plans for locations along the corridor. The plan will also include cost estimates and phasing to help us incrementally implement parts of the plan and seek federal, state, and local funding opportunities to fund each phase. Special thanks to Cory Scott, Project Planner from RDG, for attending our meeting and sharing his knowledge of the process and answering many of the questions from the audience. Community Development Directory Phil Delafield was also a wealth of information during this Q & A portion of the evening. We’re determined to keep this moving along quickly and we will be kicking off a meeting between RDG and our steering committee in early October to get this process started. RDG has decades of planning, architecture, economics, landscape architecture, and engineering experience. They have had plans presented at the National American Planning Association (APA) conference and received numerous awards for Best Plan and Plan Implementation by several state chapters of the APA. Plus they are a local company and are enthusiastic to be working on a project in their own backyard. We are certainly thrilled to have RDG developing this plan for us. Welcome aboard, RDG!
Lead Story on WHO
Did you catch us on the news? WHO featured the Douglas Avenue Coalition as its lead story at 9pm and 10pm on September 26th. You can watch the clip on their website:
Thank you to all of you who attended. We are fortunate to have a community who takes pride in the neighborhood and has engaged themselves with this project. Such interest and engagement will go a long way towards ensuring a successful outcome.
We want to thank our gracious hosts and owner/manager of Plaza Lanes Family Sports Complex, Randy Thompson and Melody Gray. Thank you both; the venue was perfect and we are proud to have you in our business corridor, a staple in our community, and involved with the DAC.
More Photos From the Evening