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DSM Companies Work Together to Build Vibrant Addition to Downtown

ASI Signage Lands Kum & Go Site

June 5, 2018

Kum & Go’s new headquarters, named the Krause Gateway Center, broke ground in 2015 and is shaping up to be an iconic new building within Downtown Des Moines (DSM). Renowned Italian architect, Renzo Piano, designed it with a vision for light, airy spaces that visually connect to the nearby John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park in Western Gateway. His design, perhaps unintentionally, has also connected several Midwest companies and created a lot of jobs in Greater Des Moines (DSM).

Local relationship starts a company

As ASI Signage-Latimer Group Founder, Tom Latimer, tells it, “My initial pitch (in 1983) to (DSM-based) Principal was simple. I offered high-quality signs and expert installation, which they could probably find through some of our competitors too. But what really sold them was that they’d be providing jobs for five people and launching business for a local enterprise. And 40-some years later, we’re still making signs for Principal offices around the country.” 

One project leads to another

Those local relationships 35 years on are still key. When the Des Moines Social Club moved into its current location in Downtown DSM, ASI Signage, headquartered in Grinnell, produced a number of the interior and exterior signs — including the vintage style Kum & Go Theater marquee sign.

DSM companies build addition DowntownAt that time, Kum & Go — the Greater Des Moines (DSM) based family-owned convenience store chain —  was in the process of designing its new marketplace store design. I had only been with ASI for a few months but it was the beginning of a great relationship with the Kum & Go team. They open 20 – 25 stores across the country every year and the permanent interior signage for the new marketplace stores are produced by Iowans at our facility in Grinnell.

DSM companies build addition DowntownI also worked with Sharon Krause, the wife of Kyle Krause, Kum & Go Owner and Chairman, on a signage package for the Bricker-Price Block project in Earlham, Iowa. That project is a fantastic multipurpose facility that offers everything from cooking, theater and community meeting spaces. ASI provided the interior signage and a donor wall that shows the signatures of the original craftsmen that built this building in 1900.

When Kum & Go announced their plans for the Krause Gateway Center, I hoped to be a part of such a unique project. Even though we understood the Kum & Go brand and had worked on new store builds, they were accepting signage bids from across the nation. So, we had to put our best foot forward to stand out from the crowd.

New Kum & Go headquarters

Getting awarded the bid was a process. Relationships and reputation were key. From interviews, to bid documents, to samples, my team was on the ball.

We also had built up a great working relationship with the DSM office of Ryan Companies — the project’s general contractor — producing all of the exterior and wayfinding signage at the Outlets of Des Moines in 2016.

A big win

Fortunately, our bid for the Krause Gateway Center won and even more Iowans will have a hand in creating a new signature building in Downtown DSM.

DSM is full of hidden gems and seeking local experts is a smart move. Whether you’re managing a major build, developing a social media campaign or launching a startup, there are more local resources than you may realize. When DSM companies reach out to support one another, we all win.

Throughout Greater Des Moines’ (DSM’s) eight county region, a thriving economic environment is attracting more investors to do business. Learn more about other recent development projects in the region.