Rising to the Challenges to Create Growth in 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).
Name, Title + Organization: Kris Saddoris, VP Development, Hubbell Realty Co.
Kris Saddoris Q+A
What specific role do you have that supports Downtown DSM?
Our company supports the regional economic development efforts by developing unique and vibrant urban housing and neighborhoods. I lead a creative team that develops those neighborhoods and housing options in Downtown DSM.
How long have you been a part of the Downtown DSM Board?
What are your favorite Downtown DSM attractions (Botanical Garden, Science Center, Sculpture Park, etc.) and why?
Our community has done an amazing job developing attractions and some of my favorites are recreation/outdoor focused — Gray’s Lake, Water Works Park, our trail system and Principal Park. As our world exits the pandemic, there will continue to be a focus on opportunities to enjoy outdoor recreation opportunities that are walkable from office or home.
What are some of your favorite Downtown DSM restaurants?
Downtown DSM continues to add wonderful options — St. Kilda has always been a breakfast favorite, Alba for dinner and Republic on Grand for cocktails because of the great views of the downtown neighborhoods. I’m looking forward to Craft Bru and Mad Meatball joining the downtown scene this summer in the Gray’s Station neighborhood.
What are some of your favorite small businesses in Downtown DSM?
Aimée in the Historic East Village, Crème Cupcake and of course, Raygun is just a classic in Downtown DSM.
What have been some of your favorite #DSMlocal recent purchases?
I think my favorites were all of the carryout meals we had supporting downtown restaurants during the last year. Fortunately, we all as a community understood the critical work we had to do together to save what makes our city so unique.
What are some of your favorite Downtown DSM events (Des Moines Arts Festival®, World Food and Music Festival, DSM Book Festival, etc.)?
Our city hosts national profile events and some of my favorites are the Downtown Farmer’s Market, Des Moines Arts Festival® and all the small intimate neighborhood music events.
What is your favorite Downtown DSM moment?
Walking and eating my way through the Farmer’s Market on a sunny Saturday morning with an armload of fresh cut flowers and fresh produce, the dog pulling on his leash, with some light jazz playing in the background.
What are some new Downtown DSM developments that make you excited?
Both the new soccer stadium and Water Trails, coupled with the brand-new skate park, will continue to support our recreation growth and serve to support the unique housing growth we are seeing downtown. In addition, as we all work to enhance the quality of life and address issues of inclusion, equity and wellness, quality placemaking efforts will serve us well in our critical future growth goals.
How do you think that others can support the development of the Downtown DSM area?
Realize that we all play a role in the economic growth of our region. Downtown DSM has a strong history of positive progress, but we can’t rest. We can see the challenges that arise without population growth in our region and state. We all can play a part in promoting and creating a vibrant welcoming city for visitors and new residents. We can’t afford to rest during a critical opportunity that Downtown DSM has to shine on a national stage and offer unique options in an ever-changing world.
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.