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DES MOINES, Iowa — Construction has started on the city’s newest neighborhood, but you won’t have to purchase a new home to use one key feature.

“We were not willing to move forward with the project unless we could have this bridge that connected Gray’s Lake to the downtown,” said Hubbell Realty CEO Rick Tollakson.

Construction of the Gray’s Station bridge is underway and expected to be complete in the late summer. Tollakson says he’s excited to see construction start on the linchpin of the Gray’s Station project, but he says even Iowans who don’t purchase a new home have reason to be excited after the bridge is built.

“They can use it immediately. We’re going to try to get the trails enough in place so they’ll be able to take a trail off of MLK Parkway and come and take a shortcut through to Gray’s Lake” he said.

Tollakson says the bridge is going to be one of the big selling points for people looking to move to Gray’s Station.

“Your proximity to nature is key, and we’re right there on the river overlooking. The first thing you’re gonna say is ‘why do I have to go all the way over to Fleur and then come up north and then pull in to Gray’s Lake, why can’t I just walk across?’ And we agreed. We want that experience for this neighborhood because it’s so unique to have a park as large and as great as this one here” said Tollakson.

The first phase of the neighborhood that sits between MLK Parkway and Gray’s Lake will be made up of 80 to 90 townhouses with construction starting in early spring. The neighborhood will be within walking distance to Exile Brewing Company and the shops on Walnut Street. Horizon Line Coffee Co-Owner Brad Penna says he’s excited for a new crop of potential customers.

“We hit multiple demographics so being in the downtown area having people from Meredith and Nationwide and our regular customers; and then kinda being a destination spot on the weekends being so close to the sculpture park. So, I think we’re pretty excited to have more people in the neighborhood” said Penna.

Hubbell Realty says the first group of Gray’s Station homes is expected to be ready for purchase in the late fall.