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Major Development Project To Enhance Downtown Skyline

February 9, 2023

DES MOINES, IA (Feb. 9, 2023) – A new development project in Downtown Des Moines will transform the city skyline and further strengthen Downtown’s momentum. Saint Joseph Group announced it will develop the 515 Walnut Tower project, a 33-story mixed income multi-family project in Downtown, on behalf of a not-for-profit St. Kevin Foundation. 

515 Walnut Tower will feature 390 units, including 78 affordable housing units. It will be the third-tallest building in the state of Iowa and the highest housing option between Denver and Chicago. The tower, which will feature a beautiful glass façade, will be located in the heart of Downtown Des Moines near employment and entertainment amenities. It will be constructed in the current location of the east Kaleidoscope building, providing a creative and innovative use to re-imagine a prime Downtown location. 

“This best-in-class housing project will provide a completely new product type for Downtown Des Moines, and will rival similar types of developments in cities such as Chicago, Kansas City and the Twin Cities while meeting demand for Downtown housing,” said Joe Teeling, President with Saint Joseph Group. “Downtown is a business and cultural hub, and this tower will provide a housing option for residents of all backgrounds as well as create a picturesque structure to further enhance our Downtown skyline.” 

“We are excited to see a creative and ambitious use of this space in the heart of Downtown,” said Des Moines Mayor Frank Cownie. “This project will help provide another affordable housing option for Des Moines residents that is close to amenities, arts and culture options, restaurants, major events and more.” 

“The 515 Walnut Tower project adds to the momentum of Downtown DSM,” said Tiffany Tauscheck, Chief Operations Officer at the Greater Des Moines Partnership and President of Downtown DSM, Inc. “We continue to see Downtown evolve as a place where residents, workers and visitors of all backgrounds can find opportunities to create connections, enjoy arts and cultural amenities, experience local restaurants and retailers and enjoy the buzz of a vibrant urban hub.”

The announcement comes as Downtown Des Moines continues to experience growth in terms of foot traffic, economic development, major events and major placemaking projects.  

  • Downtown foot traffic numbers continue to trend upwards and is up to 84% of pre-pandemic levels, significantly outpacing the national average. Major events such as March Madness, the DSM Book Festival, shows at the Civic Center and many more, as well as surprise-and-delight pop-up activations, continue to draw people Downtown. 
  • Major projects continue to move forward including the Iowa Confluence (ICON) Water Trails, the Pro Iowa Soccer Stadium and Global Plaza, the Market District and many more, in addition to the Lauridsen Skatepark that opened in 2021 as the largest skatepark in the country. 
  • The recently completed Downtown DSM: Future Forward Vision Plan and Action Plan lays out bold, community-driven, innovative ideas for the future and has been adopted by the City of Des Moines as part of the City’s comprehensive plan. 

Site preparation has begun, with redevelopment work slated to begin in the summer. With the upcoming development of this project, the skywalk corridors in the Kaleidoscope between Fifth Street and Sixth Avenue will not be available for access. The project is set to be complete and open in 2025. 

About Saint Joseph Group and St. Kevin Foundation 

Saint Joseph Group is a real estate development company, born out of necessity to provide professional and business expertise to mission related projects. St. Kevin Foundation, a 501c3, has been established to own and operate real estate assets that help eliminate spiritual, physical and intellectual poverty.