The Banks Townhomes, a part of Hubbell Realty Co.'s Bridge District development just east of the Des Moines River. Photo provided by Hubbell Realty Co.

Construction is expected to begin in 2020 on a 114-unit, five-story apartment building in the Bridge District, located just south of Interstate Highway 235 on the east bank of the Des Moines River.

The Des Moines Plan and Zoning Commission on Thursday is expected to approve a request to rezone the 18-acre tract to a planned unit development. The rezoning is a procedural step as the city prepares to implement a new zoning code.

The residential development, begun by Hubbell Realty Co. in 2015, is proving to be popular. Two existing apartment buildings, with a total of 243 units, are fully leased, company officials said.

The first phase of The Banks townhomes included 44 units, which have all been sold. Sixteen units of a 26-unit second phase are under construction with 10 others planned. A third phase, which will include with 50 townhouses, also is planned.

The townhomes, all with garages and rooftop patios that offer views of the downtown skyline, sell for an average of $415,000.

"In real estate, everything is location, location, location," said Rachel Flint, vice president of Hubbell Homes, a division of Hubbell Realty. "This certainly fits the bill."

The area had been home to what was called the River Hills Business District. Principal Financial Group had owned the seven properties in the area bounded by the interstate, Robert D. Ray Drive, Des Moines Street and East Fourth Street. Polk County assessor’s records show the properties had been valued at $6.3 million.

When completed, the Bridge District development will be valued at nearly $112 million. About 1,000 people will live in the development’s 477 home sites.

Construction of a third apartment building that will front Maple Street will begin in spring or summer of 2020 with completion slated for the end of 2021.