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Creating a Rich Downtown DSM Hub by Supporting Our Local Businesses

Jake Christensen Downtown DSM

The Downtown Board Member spotlight allows Downtown Board Members to introduce themselves to their residents and customers while also showcasing their support and dedication to the region and our small business owners. Each member would have a chance to create a blog centered around attractions, dining and events that they enjoy and give them a moment to be recognized for the work that they put into the development of Downtown Des Moines (DSM).Jake Christensen Headshot

Name, Title + Organization: Jake Christensen, President, Christensen Development

Jake Christensen Q+A

What specific role do you have that supports Downtown Des Moines (DSM)?

The roles that I have supporting DSM include:

  • Downtown real estate development through our 17-year history of projects predominantly in downtown DSM
  • Co-Chair Downtown Development Board
  • ICON Water Trails Board Member
  • Downtown Design Committee for ICON Water Trails
  • Downtown Vision Plan Tri-Chair
  • Firehouse Transition Board Member
  • Deming Cancer Center Fundraising Committee Member
  • DM Soccer Stadium Cabinet
  • United Way Tocqueville Co-ChairHEV Building

How long have you been a part of the Downtown DSM Board?

5 years

What are your favorite Downtown DSM attractions (Botanical Garden, Science Center, Sculpture Park, etc.) and why?

Historic East Village, Downtown Farmers’ Market, ICON Water Trails and the John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park

The amenities listed above are significant quality of life amenities that are high quality and compete with other large metro areas. In addition, they are just great for the members of our community. They activate our downtown and encourage people to get out and engage with our great city.

What are some of your favorite Downtown DSM restaurants?

Aposto, Alba, Centro, Bubba, Lucca, La Mie, Miyabi 9 and Á Dông

What are some of your favorite small businesses in Downtown DSM?

Eden, Fontenelle Supply Co, Funky Finds Vintage & Retro, Drieberg Coffee and Molly’s Cupcakes

What have been some of your favorite #DSMlocal recent purchases?

Coffee from BLK & Bold, Burn the Boats Rye Whiskey and candles from Eden

What are some of your favorite Downtown DSM events (Des Moines Arts Festival®, World Food and Music Festival, DSM Book Festival, etc.)?

Des Moines Arts Festival®, World Food and Music Festival and the Latino Heritage Festival

What is your favorite Downtown DSM moment?

The Kerry James Marshall public art installation. It was over a 10-year effort to commemorate the National Bar Association being founded in DSM, and to see its completion with a world class artist, was a great moment.Exterior Building

What are some new Downtown DSM developments that make you excited?

The continued development of the Historic East Village. Once we get some additional density, it will reach the full potential. The ICON Water Trails will also be a game changer for DSM.

How do you think that others can support the development of the Downtown DSM area?

People should continue to explore Downtown DSM. I have been working downtown for 20 years and I continue to find new and wonderful things in our city. It is a rich cultural center and we should continue build on it and celebrate it.

Recently ranked a top five metro for number of economic development projects among metros with a population of 200,000 to 1 million, growth continues in and around Downtown Des Moines (DSM) in part thanks to unique public-private partnerships that allow community leaders to work together to invest in, grow and improve the city center. Learn more about other recent development projects in Downtown DSM.

Greater Des Moines Partnership

The Greater Des Moines Partnership is the economic and community development organization that serves Greater Des Moines (DSM), Iowa. Together with 23 Affiliate Chambers of Commerce, more than 6,500 Regional Business Members and more than 400 Investors, The Partnership drives economic growth with one voice, one mission and as one region. Through innovation, strategic planning and global collaboration, The Partnership grows opportunity, helps create jobs and promotes DSM as the best place to build a business, a career and a future. Learn more at DSMpartnership.com.