Colby Interests will demolish its Apple Valley shopping center in Windsor Heights to make way for a phased retail development called Midtown Center that could add $10 million in taxable value once the new project is completed and leased.


A site plan has been submitted for consideration next month by the city’s planning commission that shows a total of 56,500 square feet of retail space in four buildings, including an 18,000-square-foot space for an anchor tenant near 73rd Street and University Avenue and an inline building that would have 12,600 square feet of space. Two separate buildings would be constructed on the east side of the 6.2 acre property.


The present shopping center was built in two phases in 1979 and 1984 and has a total assessed value of nearly $2.7 million, according to Polk County property records.


Apple Valley It is immediately north of the Sam’s Club and Wal-Mart Superstore that were built over an old coal mine on property owned by the Colby family. The site originally was planned for what is now Valley West Mall in West Des Moines.


A construction date is pending approval by the city and signing of tenants, said Theresa Greenfield, president of Colby Management Co.


The Colby family is noted for its conservative, close-to-the-vest development of vast holdings in Greater Des Moines. True to style, Midtown Center will be built in phases as tenants are signed, beginning at the west end of the property.


“It’s prudent to have some level of leasing completed prior to breaking ground,” she said.


Tenants who can afford to pay higher lease rates will be encouraged to stay at Midtown Center. Colby Interests is working with NAI Optimum to find tenants for Midtown Center and to find new locations, preferably in Windsor Heights, for Apple Valley businesses that decide to move, Greenfield said.


Apple Valley has an occupancy rate of about 70 percent. One of the tenants has been at the shopping center since the day it opened. Read more about the Colby family and its influence on development in Windsor Heights and Greater Des Moines.