Reconstruction of Younkers Building Two Years After Fire

The reconstruction of the Younkers Building in downtown Des Moines is moving along, two years after a fire destroyed this historic building and damaged surrounding buildings.

From KCCI:

A hole in the ground with a skywalk in mid-air is some of what’s left of the corner of Seventh and Walnut streets, but the future is not as bleak as it was this time last year.

“We take an old building, take it back to its old structure and build from there,” said Ryan Doyle of Blackbird Investments.

Blackbird Investments started construction on the western portion of the former department store – known as the Wilkins Building – last month.

The $22 million project is in the initial stage, which will include residential and commercial space.

Contractors are removing old debris from the building and laying out stairs and floors while trying to keep the building’s historic feel.

“Everyone has an identity with this building, and it shares a very core space in downtown Des Moines and is a key piece of (the) fabric,” said Doyle.

Nearby properties that suffered damage, such as the Greater Des Moines Partnership, have also made progress. The organization sports a new office after being displaced for months.

Read the full article and watch the video from KCCI here:

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