A nearly $60 million renovation is proposed for the Financial Center, 207 Seventh St., in downtown Des Moines. Photo by Emily Blobaum

The Financial Center in downtown Des Moines would undergo a $59.3 million renovation that would include converting 13 floors to an upscale, 190-room hotel and adding a restaurant, coffee shop and market on the first floor, according to information included in the City Council packet.
Lawmark LP, the owner of the 25-story Financial Center, located at 207 Seventh St., is also proposing adding a rooftop bar, the city document shows. The remaining 12 floors would continue as offices.

The City Council at its 4:30 p.m. meeting today is expected to approve a preliminary financial package for the project that includes up to $7.5 million in assistance generated from tax increment financing. The assistance is 12.7% of the project’s expected costs.

The project is estimated to contribute $9.8 million in hotel/motel tax during the 15 years of financial assistance, city documents show.

In early 2019, Wells Fargo announced it was moving 300 workers out of the Financial Center to its building at 801 Walnut St. The move was completed last fall. Wells Fargo had been the largest tenant of the Financial Center, which is owned by a Canadian investment group that purchased the building in 2014 for $8.87 million.

The group also owns the Partnership Building at 700 Locust St., a surface parking lot at 118 Sixth Ave., and the building adjacent to the Financial Center in which Walgreens is a tenant. 
The Financial Center was built between 1972 and 1973. At the time it was built, it was Iowa’s tallest building. The building includes 365,674 square feet of space.

In 2019, the property and parking garage were valued at $14.7 million, Polk County assessor records show.

According to a city document, Lawmark plans to participate in Mid-American Energy’s Energy Efficiency Program for new commercial construction. Lawmark, in the city document, plans to convert to high-efficiency lighting on all 25 floors and in the parking garage, add sensor light controls on the floors occupied by the hotel, and upgrade mechanical systems and elevator equipment. 

The renovation would begin this summer.

Read more: Columnist Dave Elbert in 2012 wrote about the group that purchased the Financial Center. To read his column, click here.