Downtown Des Moines’ first market-rate senior housing building planned for Gray’s Landing

Downtown Des Moines is getting its first market-rate senior apartments.

The Slate at Gray's Landing will be a 125-unit independent senior living building at the corner of Southwest 11th and Tuttle streets. It's the first project in a new $154 million phase of Gray's Landing, an urban neighborhood on the southern edge of downtown that's home to a hotel, two apartment buildings and a child care center.

"We feel like this is really going to complete the neighborhood and make it a multi-generational community," said Carole Mette, a developer with Minneapolis-based Sherman Associates.

There are two affordable senior housing buildings downtown, but this is the first geared toward market-rate renters.

The Slate will target active seniors aged 55 and older who want to be close to downtown and its walking and biking amenities, Mette said. It will not have any assisted living services.

The c-shaped, four-story building will have a mix of 1-bedroom, 1-bedroom with a den, and 2-bedroom units. Each apartment will have a balcony or a walk-up patio for units on the first floor. The building will be pet-friendly.

A clubhouse with an indoor pool, fitness center, hobby room and spa will bookend the southern end. A second phase, which will mirror the first, is planned on the south side.

Construction is expected in spring 2019 with a target opening of summer 2020.

A bike trail, known as the paseo, will run along the western perimeter of the building. The bike trail is being built by Hubbell Realty Co., which is developing Gray's Station, another urban neighborhood directly to the west of Gray's Landing. Construction has started there on an apartment building and the first phase of owner-occupied townhomes.

Gray's Landing is a 50-acre development located in the area generally between Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway, Southwest Ninth Street, Southwest 16th Street and Tuttle Street. The eastern portion is home to a Holiday Inn Express, The Nexus at Gray's Landing and The Edge at Gray's Landing apartments, and a New Horizons Academy child care center.

Sherman Associates plans a second phase, which includes a second hotel, both phases of The Slate senior apartments, two market-rate apartment projects and a commercial pad site. It also includes the completion of the Gray's Landing office building, which was originally scheduled to be constructed in the first phase. The 72,000-square-foot office space will be built south of Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway between Southwest Ninth and 11th streets.

There will still be room for future development.

"We're going to see some really exciting things coming to the market," said Rita Conner, economic development coordinator for Des Moines.

The total project cost is expected to exceed $215 million. Des Moines is contributing about 10 percent of the project cost under a complicated economic development agreement, which includes tax increment financing and project-based grants.

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