A business incubator for entrepreneurs of color is headed to Des Moines

Center on the sixth drawing.
Center on Sixth concepts include large public art wrapped around the building’s facade. Drawing courtesy of the City of Des Moines

The Des Moines City Council will consider a $10 million project Monday to focus its efforts on helping culturally diverse entrepreneurs.

  • The Center at Sixth Incubator, 1714 6th Ave., is a four-story project that will include 12,000 square feet of office space and 32 apartments.

I drive the news: It’s part of the rebirth of a Des Moines district that’s home to black and brown businesses, developer Marquas Ashworth told Axios on Thursday.

Catch it fast: 6th Avenue Corridor, Inc., owns the property and has been working for several years to develop the vacant site.

  • It’s part of a 1.2-mile stretch north of downtown that the nonprofit group is pushing for through commercial revitalization.
  • Ashworth’s development proposal was selected last year.

Game state: The DSM City Council is considering a $300,000 grant for the project.

  • Construction will begin in 2023 and is expected to last a year.

What are they saying?: The project will add to the momentum of redevelopment that has occurred in the corridor in recent years, Whitney Baethke, the city’s economic development coordinator, told Axios on Thursday.

What’s next: Final design plans and additional funding recommendations are expected in the coming months.


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