Kevin Crowley, commercial sales manager with the West Des Moines office of Iowa Realty Commercial, says that there’s an important reason why the Des Moines commercial real estate market not only survived the economic downturn but is in the middle of a strong recovery now: good companies.
“We have a tremendous energy here from strong employers both downtown and in the suburbs,” Crowley said. “We have quality companies here, and those are the companies that are doing well today.”
Crowley points to such strong firms as The Principal Financial Group and EMC Insurance Companies, both of which are strong presences in downtown Des Moines. Other financial firms headquartered here include Aviva Insurance and the Meredith Corporation.
Then there are those companies that while not headquartered in Des Moines do boast large operations in the city or its surrounding areas. Wells Fargo might be the prime example of this. The company has long been an important presence in this region. But earlier this year, Wells Fargo & Co. made an even bigger commitment to the area, beginning construction on a $100 million addition to its existing Jordan Creek mortgage operations in West Des Moines.
Wells Fargo is building a fourth office building at the campus, one that will add 265,000 square feet of space, a training center, cafeteria and 1,400-space parking facility. According to Wells Fargo, the new office building will be able to house 1,800 workers.
For Crowley the efforts of businesses such as Wells Fargo, combined with the work done by business groups, civic associations and community organizations, have helped Des Moines’ commercial real estate market remain steady during even the worst days of the country’s economic slump.
“I don’t want to sound like the chamber of commerce, but there are a lot of good things going on in the community today,” Crowley said. “There’s been a lot of hard work over the years here, and it’s paid off. You look at everything from bike trails to events to a phenomenal new world-class events center that can handle everything from concerts to Triple-A hockey, people have put a lot of work into creating a city here that can attract young people, families and older residents. There is a lot of excitement in Des Moines today.”