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Gray's Neighborhood Bursting with Living Opportunities

Gray's Downtown DSM

May 6, 2021

It’s no surprise that as Downtown Des Moines (DSM) has continued to develop and transform, so have the living options in the neighborhoods surrounding the downtown core and already-established neighborhoods. In addition to the character of Sherman Hill, vibes in the Historic East Village and vibrancy of the Historic Court District, the Gray’s Lake Area is a place where opportunity for outdoor and downtown enthusiasts abounds.

Living in the Gray’s Lake Area

Over the past five to ten years, the opportunities for living in and around the Gray’s Lake Area in Downtown DSM have expanded to include rental apartments, for-sale condos and as of 2020, for-sale homes. This area, connected by running and bikes trails to Gray’s Lake and Water Works Park, also connects to places like Principal Park, Wells Fargo Arena and the Western Gateway neighborhood’s Pappajohn Sculpture Park.

Learn more about the Gray’s Lake Area transformation since 2017 by watching the video below:


Living in this area really boils down to what you are searching for in your home.Gray's Lake Area Apartments

Rental Opportunities in Gray’s Lake Area

The options for renters span greatly from walk-up studio apartments to large three- and four-bedroom apartments or rental townhomes. LINC at Gray’s Station is one of the newest communities to join the Gray’s Lake Area, with more than 225 apartment homes and rental townhomes ranging from 590 square feet up to 1,700-plus. Nearby, the rental apartment homes at Cityville on 9th, Nexus and The Edge at Gray’s Landing are one block to the east and also connect to the same trails that meander through LINC and the nearby Gray’s Station community. Nearby historical renovations at places like Rocket Transfer, Riverpoint Lofts and Station 121 are also options for those looking for more character — like exposed brick and steel — in their homes. These rental options offer the perfect balance of urban energy, especially for those looking to quickly relocate to the downtown area and rent verse purchase. Gray's Lake Area House

Buying Opportunities in Gray’s Lake Area

When it comes to owning a piece of downtown property, the options are far greater now than they have been historically, especially in the Gray’s Lake Area. As mentioned, the Gray’s Station neighborhood now offers 10 different types of for-sale townhomes with attached two-car garages, rooftop patios overlooking the downtown skyline and up to 1,700 square feet of living space. While the prices for the homes range greatly, future phases of this neighborhood also include condos, more varieties of townhomes and modern single-family detached homes.

Watch this short clip of a featured home in Gray’s Station:


Smaller footprint condos, like what’s found at Edison condos or at a higher-rise viewpoint at Whiteline Lofts, give everyone — singles, couples, families and retirees — an affordable option steps away from Downtown DSM. Starting in the $170’s, these condos offer studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom options with onsite parking — something that can’t be found in most major cities. Gray's Lake

Connecting to the Outdoors

The one commonality every home option in the Gray’s Lake Area has is the instant connection to outdoors. All of the aforementioned places have bike trails steps away which connect to more than 500 miles of Iowa trails. These trails are home to some of the best scenery, as well as locally-owned restaurants, breweries, distilleries and pop-up shops along the way. Gray’s Lake Park offers water-enthusiasts the ability to paddle board, kayak and canoe, fish and relax beachside during the summer months.

Future Plans for the Gray’s Lake Area

Looking ahead to the future, the Central Iowa Water Trails project will have a large access point at Gray’s Lake for people to tube, canoe and recreate on the Raccoon River. Krause + is also planning a $550 development including a USL Pro soccer stadium, pedesetrian Global Plaza, music venue, beer hall, retail, restaurant and office space to more than 50 acres in the Gray’s Lake Area. Both projects are underway now and will take an estimated five to seven years to fully develop.

As any growing city, housing options continue to change and develop as the population expands. This is an area of immense growth and opportunity — especially if you’re looking to live, work or play in downtown #DSMUSA.

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.

Claire Brehmer

Claire Brehmer is the Senior Communications Specialist for Hubbell Realty Company, a West Des Moines-based real estate development company specializing in homebuilding, construction, land and multifamily development and property/community management.