By Kent Darr


The city of Des Moines has spelled out a four-year plan for the redevelopment of property it owns at Seventh Street and Grand Avenue in a document that seeks a private developer for the project.  


Interested developers have until July 12 at 5 p.m. to tell the city why they are qualified to redevelop the property, which includes the city's Seventh Street parking garage and stretches from Grand to High Street, into a mixed-use development that would include preserving public parking and could consist of market-rate apartments, condominiums, build-to-suite offices, retail space and restaurants.


The request for qualifications went out Monday. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2015 and wrap up in 2017.


Among other things, the city wants to hear from developers who have completed similar projects and have the financial wherewithal to see the job through to completion.


The development would complement Principal Financial Group Inc.'s $250 million rehabilitation of its corporate campus and is near the soon-to-be-abandoned Des Moines Register building.


Construction on the redevelopment site must be advanced to a state that it will coordinate with the renovation of Principal's corporate headquarters at 711 High St. and maintain the skywalk connection to the building, according the document.


The city is requiring that developers meet these goals: preserve parking, with the caveat that a parking garage should no longer span Seventh Street; have first-floor lobby and retail space that would "activate" Grand; preserve existing skywalk access to Principal's buildings at 801 Grand and 711 High and the Ruan Center and Des Moines Marriott Downtown; and replace a skywalk over High Street.


"The city views the redevelopment site as a prime opportunity for adding density to this site and introducing additional uses to downtown," according to the document.