New Projects

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.

Des Moines Building

Nelson Development and Foutch Brothers are redeveloping the Des Moines Building, one of our city’s most prominent historical office buildings, into 136 apartments with additional office, retail, and restaurant space. Unique features of the building, when complete, will include an adjacent pocket park, ground-level access to the city skywalk system, and a 360 degree roof deck for use by the residents and public. In the heart of the newly acclaimed “Silicon Sixth Avenue”, the Des Moines Building looks to be the next addition to a street under transformation and a city on the move.

Nelson Chosen to Redevelop Historic Des Moines Building

July 12, 2011  – We are excited to announce that the City Council of Des Moines has agreed to sell Nelson Foutch Joint Ventures the historic Des Moines Building at 405 Sixth Avenue, in downtown Des Moines. This building is a key piece of downtown Des Moines’ redevelopment and will simultaneously increase the number of urban rental units while decreasing vacant office space inventory. Further details are included in the Des Moines Register’s summary of the project.

Plans for the building include 145 market-rate apartment units, two floors of commercial space, and creation of a “pocket park” to highlight a new restaurant and outdoor projection and sculpture area (pictured at left).

Nelson Foutch Development is honored to have been selected by the City Council of Des Moines to breathe new life into this great structure. We would also like to thank City staff and all those involved in the proposal process for their time and effort.

Be sure to visit our site again for update renderings, project developments, and news regarding this project.