Monthly Archives: January 2014

2013 Year in Review

2014 Goals

As we bring the year to a close, the 6th Avenue Corridor would like to take a moment to celebrate our many accomplishments in 2013. In our fourth year as a Main Street Iowa Urban Neighborhood Program, we continued to make significant progress in our efforts to revitalize the 6th Avenue Corridor commercial district.

During 2013, the 6th Avenue Corridor…

  • Celebrated the grand opening of C-Fresh Market, which brought much needed fresh foods AND new jobs to our district.
  • Coordinated with the City of Des Moines and the EPA in the development of the Greening America’s Capitals program. With the public’s input, a team of designers offered strategies to incorporate green infrastructure and sustainable design initiatives into our revitalization plans.
  • Installed new street banners to beautify corridor.
  • Hosted our most successful Jazz in July yet, with great music, delicious ethnic foods, and a diverse crowd estimated at nearly 1,500 people.
  • Published the organization in Iowa Architect Magazine, which has a reach of over 10,000 design professionals throughout the state.
  • Advocated for the new Quik Trip store’s site plan approval with the City of Des Moines Zoning Board of Adjustment.
  • Provided support to Hatch Development Group in their efforts to bring $8.6 million in quality affordable housing development to 6th Avenue.
  • Administered a $50,000 Main Street Iowa Challenge Grant, to assist Trinity Church in the construction of a chair lift that will allow people with disabilities to attend a variety of events held daily at the church.
  • Received an additional $75,000 Main Street Challenge Grant to further assist Trinity Church in the next phase of their renovation work – remodeling the outdated kitchen so that free nightly suppers offered to the community can continue.
  • Strategized opportunities for commercial redevelopment of vacant buildings by hiring a team of architects to complete a Revitalization Study at 6th & College Avenues.

Of course, our work is far from complete. Looking ahead to 2014, the 6th Avenue Corridor has exciting plans to:

  • Launch a quarterly newsletter — The Connector — to share information, connect resources, and promote business development along 6th Avenue.
  • Encourage healthy communities through social events such as a 6AC night at Brenton Skating Plaza, a Zumbathon, and perhaps even a costumed fun run down 6th Avenue.
  • Enhance the appearance of 6th Avenue through a number of beautification efforts, including neighborhood clean-ups and a Litter Letter campaign.
  • Coordinate the work of the City, designers, and engineers as we take steps towards implementation of our streetscape improvements.
  • Install a mural and coordinate other public art and place-making efforts to bring a renewed sense of vibrancy to the district.
  • Recruit new businesses and retailers to 6th Avenue, and help bring stability to those currently located here.
  • Promote the benefits of Historic Preservation, in both commercial and residential structures.
  • Host new cultural events, in addition to Jazz in July, to celebrate our rich diversity and promote 6th Avenue as a safe, friendly, up-and-coming district.

Interested in helping us move forward in these efforts? The 6th Avenue Corridor is always looking for volunteers. Whether you want to join a steering committee, offer expertise to a specific task, or just plug an idea, we’d love to hear from you! Please feel free to contact our Director at 314-4243, or at director@6thavedsm.org

New Housing Developments Proposed for 6th Avenue

hatch

Hatch Development Group is proposing two new affordable housing developments on 6th Avenue. Collectively referred to as the “6th Avenue Brownstones”, these developments would infill two prominent vacant lots in the corridor – one at 6th & Forest, and the other at 6th & Indiana (just north of University, immediately north of McDonalds).

Shown here is the proposed development at 6th & Indiana. Each story of these four-story rowhomes is a separate 1,100 s.f. unit, for a total of 16 units on site. A brickstone development, similar to that on Martin Luther King Parkway, is proposed for Forest Ave. Hatch Development Group hopes to submit the project for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding in summer 2014.

Greening America’s Capitals

gac 800300

Greening America’s Capitals is an EPA program to help state capitals develop an implementable vision of distinctive, environmentally friendly neighborhoods that incorporate innovative green infrastructure strategies. In collaboration with U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) through the Partnership for Sustainable Communities, the EPA provides design assistance to help support sustainable communities that protect the environment, economy, and public health and to inspire state leaders to expand this work elsewhere.

Des Moines was selected as one of five state capitals for design assistance in 2012. Building upon conceptual streetscape plans completed by the City’s Community Development Department, the design team of BNIM and Vireo defined opportunities for incorporating green infrastructure through permeable pavement and rain gardens to minimize stormwater runoff. Plans also offer ideas for commercial redevelopment, public art, improved bus stops, and increased connectivity with biking and recreational amenities. Sixth Avenue strives to be a model of sustainability for the greater Des Moines metro area.

The Des Moines City Council formally adopted the plans in November 2013. The full document can be found here.