Add another brick to the expanding walls of imagination that have defined development projects in the East Village.

 

Angela Campbell teamed up with her father, Melvin, in 2009 to buy the auto upholstery repair shop that Jerome Geller operated at 301 E. Walnut St.

 

A not-so-insignificant plum that came with the property was a two-story parking garage, a convenient amenity for Campbell and partner Gary Dickey Jr., associates and employees of Dickey & Campbell Law Firm PLC. The firm, which specializes in criminal defense and immigration law, has its offices in the building.

 

Working with a $100,000 Neighborhood Commercial Revitalization loan and a $15,000 grant from the city of Des Moines to improve the building's façade, Campbell and her father, have operated as Cosmopolitan Holdings LLC. They've spent about $800,000 on structural, mechanical and internal improvements to renovate the one-story auto repair shop into commercial offices. 

 

For Campbell, the 4,000 square feet on the second level of the parking garage on the south side of the property also beckoned as a loft apartment that would provide ample room for her two rescue dogs to roam and for her to take up residence.

 

On Monday, the Des Moines City Council approved modifying its original loan agreement to take a subordinate position to Community Business Lenders LLC, which carries the development loan on the property. The modification allowed Campbell to convert the parking area into a residence.

 

Among the work that has been done is grinding concrete floors and installing fire walls and fire breaks. Plumbing and wiring were put in place during the renovation of the commercial space that fronts Walnut.

 

Local artist Travis Rice added murals and custom bookshelves designed by an artist from North Carolina.

 

A wide-open kitchen, dining room and living room take up about 2,000 square feet, and there is room, at the end of a steep ramp, to park a car.

 

"You come in and think it's a bowling alley," Campbell said.

 

What she called Phase 8 of the project will involve providing access to the parking garage roof for a patio.