Alexander Lumber | Champaign, IL

Redevelopment Plan for Birdland Area

Client: City of Des Moines
Location: Des Moines, IA


MSA worked with the City of Des Moines to create a redevelopment plan targeting housing growth and public and private reinvestment

MSA worked with the City of Des Moines to create a redevelopment plan targeting housing growth and public and private reinvestment

The Birdland Area, a subset of the Union Park Neighborhood in Des Moines, sustained significant flood damage during the 1993 and 2008 floods. The majority of the damage occurred in the area on account of levee breaches along the Des Moines River. The levee has recently been rebuilt to current standards, and the area is seeking reinvestment. In the spring of 2014, the City of Des Moines selected MSA Professional Services to assist with a Redevelopment Area Plan for Birdland.

The Redevelopment Plan provides a vision for the area, identifies issues of concern and unites stakeholders and residents in creating a plan for infill housing growth and public and private reinvestment. The area has a unique mix of residential and industrial properties, and there was a great amount of involvement from the steering committee and residents even at the early stages of plan development. MSA completed the planning process in January 2015.
 
Many stakeholders participated in the planning process, outlining their goals for infill development and infrastructure improvements. In October 2015, the City obtained bids from two developers. As a result, 16 vacant lots will be developed into 17 single family homes and two duplexes by the end of 2017. This action was one of the plan’s first priorities.
 
As recommended in the plan, other neighborhood areas are designed for commercial use and planned unit development. The planning area encompasses 60 acres and the inclusionary grassroots effort to create the plan will bring new families, encourage business growth and guide public reinvestment in the plan area. It is also expected that the City will extend the Birdland Trail, another plan recommendation.
 
The process involved many people from outside the area. Through the 10-month process, the PAF and UPNA invited community leaders to become more familiar with the area. The plan educates readers on the history, conditions and the collective redevelopment vision. This successful effort allowed the Council to start implementing the plan upon adoption.

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