DES MOINES, Iowa — The Des Moines City Council will vote Monday on whether to approve design plans for a proposed Fareway meat market in the Beaverdale neighborhood.
A business owner in the area wants the city council to make pedestrians a priority.
“I think that everybody is excited about the concept. Having the first Fareway meat market here in the Des Moines metro area is very exciting,” said Jay Cox-Kozel, the owner of Back Country. “My main concern is that the current site plan does not include prominent pedestrian access along either Beaver or Urbandale Avenue, which are the main arteries through our business community.”
Fareway’s design allows for a single entrance for customers from the parking lot on 41st Street. It would have an emergency door along Beaver and Urbandale Avenue. However, some neighbors want that emergency exit to become a second entrance for customers instead.
“I think the most important thing is the cost,” said Councilman Bill Gray. “It’s going to be paying a quarter-million and $300,000 just to put that door in; it’s up to them then if they want to move forward.”
If the council approves Fareway’s design plan, city leaders believe Beaverdale’s business district could move forward with construction.
“This would be a great staple and stability for the whole area if we could get them to come here,” said Gray.
“If the vote tomorrow doesn’t go the way that I would personally like, I think that probably everybody participated in the process as best they can. The process worked its way through and we move forward with continuing to build and grow our business in this community with Fareway along for the ride,” said Cox-Kozel.
In response, Fareway Stores Inc. wrote,
“The location is very unique with many challenges. But we appreciate our dialogue with the City of Des Moines and the neighbors in trying to overcome these challenges. We have been successful in addressing all but one of the outstanding issues. But adding a second door has safety, liability, operational, and functionality implications.
As proposed, we believe our project meets the uniqueness and urban feel of the area.
We appreciate the many comments of support and look forward to having the public process play out.”Fareway Stores
The city council will vote at the meeting on Monday at 8 a.m.