EMC Insurance puts Hub Tower, adjoining Kaleidoscope complex up for sale

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DES MOINES, Iowa — One of Iowa’s most distinctive skyscrapers is now on the market.

EMC Insurance announced Thursday it is planning to sell the Hub Tower and the connected Kaleidoscope complex on the 600 block of Walnut Street.

The company purchased the building a decade ago, but vice president Cindy McCauley said the building is no longer relevant with the rise in remote work.

“It’s in close proximity to our campus and we were hopeful to use that for expansion space, which we have done,” said McCauley. “However, over time our additional space needs have been decreasing, and a lot of that is due to COVID.”

In addition to the Hub Tower and Kaleidoscope package deal, EMC is also selling two brick warehouses it owns near DART Central Station.

McCauley said the company is downsizing to only its main headquarters on the 700 block of Mulberry Street.

“We aren’t landlords. We are not developers. We are an insurance company first,” McCauley said. “I think there’s a tremendous opportunity here for new owners.”

The green-topped tower has stood out among Des Moines’ skyline since it was completed in 1986. The 325-foot building is currently the sixth tallest building in Iowa.

Des Moines Downtown Neighborhood Association president Brandon Brown hopes any potential owners also consider the residents that live among the skyscrapers.

“People are coming, and they are going to continue to come,” Brown said. “We have 8,000 people who are living downtown. It would be nice if we could continue to develop entertainment here with the context of walkability.”

While the Hub Tower and Kaleidoscope remain on the market, EMC announced an undisclosed buyer has already scooped up the warehouses.

“It did not take long for us to secure a buyer there,” McCauley said. “It’s one of the few old warehouse buildings left to be redeveloped.”

However, there is optimism that a buyer will soon come along and revitalize the Hub Tower.

“I think it’s important that we do all that it takes to make sure all of these buildings stay filled,” Brown said.

“It’s going to allow people with other visions for those properties to contribute something to downtown Des Moines,” McCauley said.

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