Work is progressing on an apartment and commercial project on the southeast corner of 26th Street and University Avenue. The project is being developed by Nelson Construction & Development. Photo by Kathy A. Bolten

Mixed-use building near Drake expected to be completed in July

 Apartment and commercial project

Where: 26th Street and University Avenue, Des Moines
Project value: $20.6 million
Developer: Nelson Construction & Development
Architect: RDG Planning and Design (rendering at right)
Update and background:
A mixed-used project under construction in Des Moines’ Drake neighborhood is expected to be completed in July, said Alexander Grgurich of Nelson Construction & Development, the project’s developer.

The roof is on the building and windows are being installed in the four-story, 83,000-square-foot structure that will include 135 apartments, many of which will be micro- or studio units. Leasing of the apartments is expected to begin in January or February, Grgurich said.

The mixed-use project is part of a plan Nelson Development submitted to Drake University nearly five years ago. At the time, Drake officials asked developers to submit proposals for development of 2.7 acres on the south side of University Avenue that had been occupied by parking lots and Drake-owned houses rented to students. University officials selected Nelson Construction’s proposal for a hotel, restaurant, retail and apartments.

Construction of a 124-room Home2 Suites by Hilton at 2650 University Ave. is complete and the hotel opened in November. The hotel includes street-level retail.

About 5,700 square feet of commercial space is included in the mixed-use project.

"We’re being very selective to make sure that we have the right retail tenants that will build on everything great happening in the Drake neighborhood," Grgurich said. "We have interest but we're not going to say 'yes' to the first one that comes along.

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$20.6 million mixed-use building planned in Drake neighborhood