D.M. council to consider incentives for Krause stadium, hotels, entertainment venues downtown

The Des Moines City Council is considering incentives for a downtown soccer stadium, hotels, housing units and related developments in these areas. (Image courtesy city of Des Moines)

Real estate developer Krause+ would get a 20-year tax break for proposed developments that would include a professional soccer stadium near the Raccoon River and a hotel and entertainment venue on the west edge of downtown Des Moines, under the city manager’s recommendation. 

The Des Moines City Council will be asked Monday to create a new reinvestment district that includes the two Krause sites. Another district would cover Merle Hay Mall’s proposal to turn the old Younkers store into an ice arena and the remodeling of an office building into housing. That project also is on the agenda Monday.

Both projects are vying for hotel-motel taxes from a $100 million state program.

Scott Sanders is city manager of Des Moines. (Photo courtesy city of Des Moines)

Krause+ would be allowed to use 90% of the added taxes generated from the development, with a cap to be determined later based on the “funding gap” for the project, City Manager Scott Sanders told the council. 

Krause+ is part of Krause Group, the parent company of Kum & Go convenience stores. The company wants to bring a professional soccer team to Des Moines to play in a proposed 6,600-seat arena south of Martin Luther King Parkway. The location is a Superfund site once occupied by DICO.

The Stadium District also would include a 150-room hotel, residences, commercial and office buildings, a restaurant, a plaza, a pavilion, outdoor practice fields, a two-story athletic training facility, a soccer store and a public parking ramp. Krause would buy or lease land from the city for the developments.

Krause expects about 20 professional soccer games a year, plus concerts and other events.

The six-acre site to the west, between High Street and Grand Avenue and 15th and 17 streets, would include a 125-room hotel, commercial and office buildings, several hundred housing units, a 1,100-stall parking garage and the renovation of some of the buildings, a city report says. Krause officials previously have said they want to keep the Butler building, home of Gas Lamp blues club. That land is near the Krause Gateway Center, the company’s high-profile downtown headquarters. 

The developments would be a combined $550 million in new construction and redevelopment, according to the city. The land currently is assessed for $12 million and could be assessed for $330 million after the buildout, the city says. That could generate $190 million for the city over 20 years, Sanders noted in a city report to the council. 

Krause+ has said some of the construction could be done by 2022, with the stadium expected to be open in spring 2024. 

The Krause and Merle Hay projects are expected to be discussed at the council’s work session at 7:30 a.m. Monday and its regular council meeting, which began at 4:30 p.m.