Innovating Parking Ramp Design Achieves Record Low Cost to Build

Nelson’s new parking ramp project at 555 East Fourth Street showcases an innovate way to achieve structured parking in Des Moines’ iconic East Village.

Traditionally, structured parking requires an immense investment of capital because of the extremely high construction costs to achieve multi-level parking ramps. Developers outside of major US cities are often forced to try and provide this parking with extremely low parking rents and the financial pro forma does not work as a viable project.

Faced with this challenge, Director of Development and Chief Operating Officer, Alexander Grgurich, started breaking down what drives the costs of structured parking and how the project team could deliver a cost effective parking solution that would work within the financial constraints of a pro forma. His idea to carve into a downtown hillside takes advantage of natural grade changes to provide three levels of parking that do not connect with each other, allowing each level to have its own entry and exit point on a different adjacent street. This cuts costs of ramping within the structure and relies on structural integrity of the surrounding hillside to reduce costs. This approach allowed the project to achieve a $21,379.63 construction cost per stall, a record low for structured parking in the greater Des Moines market.


Floors two and three of the ramp will be used by local residents, nearby office workers, and Capitol Hill Lutheran Church. Floor one of the ramp is being leased by the City of Des Moines and will provide hourly parking to the public in order to satisfy the high demand for parking in the bustling East Village part of downtown.


Nelson is a developer that continues to listen to the community and its members, and is then capable to turn those thoughts into innovative and unprecedented solutions that solve existing problems for tenants and community members alike.

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