1. Buildings are coming down and going up at EMC's downtown campus

EMC Insurance Cos. will demolish three old buildings and replace them with a four-story office building at Eighth and Walnut streets, the company said. The EMC campus currently includes the EMC home office building at 717 Mulberry St., the 700 Walnut St. high-rise tower, the Hub Tower at Seventh and Walnut, the Kaleidoscope at the Hub, a parking garage and several surface parking lots. The new building will be constructed where there are three smaller vacant buildings that are no longer suitable for occupancy.


2. Wanted: 'critical mass' to bring retail downtown

The lack of retail tenants for a combined extended-stay hotel and apartment complex in the East Village has forced developers to revise plans for the project.Hansen Real Estate Services has owned the property at 201 E. Locust St. since 2007 and considered a variety of possibilities for the space, which stretches between Locust and Walnut streets. The city of Des Moines Urban Design Review Board will review the revised plan Aug. 19. Troy Hansen said more downtown residents and visitors will provide the "critical mass" necessary to bolster retail projects.


3. Who is the most influential of them all?

We want to know who the business community thinks is the most influential business leader in the Des Moines area. So, for the third straight year, we areopening up a vote that gives you the chance to pick the business leaders you think have the most influence in the community. Voting closes Friday, Aug. 29.


4. Their eyes are on the prizes

Ten businesses have been selected as finalists in the 2014 John Pappajohn Iowa Business Plan Competition. A panel will choose three winners who will be awarded the top prizes of $25,000, $15,000 and $10,000 at an awards ceremony Sept. 18 at Drake University. The annual competition is designed to stimulate business development and provide support for outstanding business plans. Read more.


5. It's the tastiest time of the year

Restaurant Week starts today and runs through Saturday, Aug. 24. The event, sponsored by dsm magazine and the Business Record along with the Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau, is in its seventh year. Chefs at 32 Greater Des Moines restaurants have prepared special prix fixe menus for the occasion, and patrons can purchase two lunches or one three-course dinner for $25. Read more.