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DSM Forward: Building for the Future

Development Updates from Hubbell

September 17, 2020

The Greater Des Moines Partnership DSM Forward webinar series offers insight on moving the Greater Des Moines (DSM) region forward in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. As plans are made and businesses reopen, The Partnership has put together resources for employers at DSMpartnership.com/DSMForward.

The “DSM Forward: Building for the Future” webinar, featuring Kris Saddoris, VP of development for Hubbell Realty Group, touched on COVID-19 challenges for developers, rental and home sale changes in the market, neighborhood projects happening in DSM and equity efforts.

COVID-19 Challenges for Developers

In the long-term, Saddoris says the effects of the pandemic will depend on how long social distancing lasts, as well as what happens with the commercial office market. Will companies need the same amount of space? How will the work-from-home employees impact this?

Rental/Home Sales Changes

Saddoris says that the shutdowns hurt everyone in the beginning. Today, the rental market has slowed. In April and May, college graduates are the driving force in that market. Because of the pandemic, those people are not renting at the same level as previous years. Saddoris explains how this is due to the fact that the job market for May graduates has not opened up to allow them the finances to be able to rent.

Saddoris says that rental renewals are strong right now due to the fact that renters want to stay in place, while home sales are up almost 35% to last year as buyers seek quarantine-friendly spaces.

Interesting Projects in DSM

In the business 35 years, Saddoris reflects on how in the past projects were for one building. Today, the focus is on building neighborhoods. Part of why you live where you live is that you want to have a sense of community. By thinking through trails, retail options, etc. and creating a neighborhood, office and residential development becomes part of a larger plan.

Equity in Housing

Saddoris says that conversations surrounding racial equity are happening all the time through their diversity committee, but recently those conversations have amped up — as they have for many other businesses across the nation — as people seek to do even more to combat inequities. She also discusses zoning changes within the industry, including how zoning affects separation of smaller homes and larger ones. Minneapolis recently got rid of single-family zoning, which she says is a major step forward when it comes to dismantling the separation that decides who lives where in a city.

Watch the entire webinar below:


You can count on The Partnership to continue to share accurate and fact-based updates as well. See more on COVID-19 here.

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.