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TOP VALUE: Failed grocery store building to get new tenants. | News

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TOP VALUE: Failed grocery store building to get new tenants.

Top Value Foods had good intentions, but it didn't work.

175508 "I think it was very, very difficult to compete on price."

Empty since 2004, the building appears headed for new tenants. A nail salon, a small grocery store and, thanks to Des Moines Area Community college and the Greater Des Moines Community Center, the Evelyn K. Davis work training center. It's hard to tell which is most welcome.

"I guess I'm most excited about the grocery store," says Bates Carr, a resident of the near northside neighborhood.

"The retail market--it's a need, but the Evelyn K. Davis Center for Working Families is the greatest opportunity," says Calvin Briggs, of Urban Dreams in Des Moines.

"Evelyn Davis was on my board," says Urban Dreams coordinator, Wayne Ford, "I've known her for 30-40 years, I'm just very happy, today's a happy day, a celebration."

Equally happy is the Des Moines City Council, which not only helps a needy neighborhood, but helps itself by clearing out $195,000 a year in HUD loan payments.

"If nothing else, it gets that debt taken care and it gets that property back on the tax rolls," says council member, Halley Griess.

Des Moines Area Community College plans to get started on the Davis Center soon, and says developer Simon Cotran has already started on the retail spaces.

"Simon has 6 semi loads of grocery equipment and baking equipment already in Des Moines," says DMACC president, Rob Denson.

Expect openings to begin around the first of the year. Good news for a property that's already sat too long.

"Getting it off the books is one thing, but opening up an opportunity for the neighborhood, I think is the biggest one," says Des Moines mayor, Frank Cownie.


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