URBANDALE, Iowa — Urbandale is one of the most populated suburbs in the Des Moines metro, with more than 45,000 residents. The city is now taking inspiration from its humble beginnings on 70th Street and Douglas Avenue to keep the population boom going.

Urbandale city council voted Tuesday night to make $1.5 million available for revitalization of its historic downtown district.

According to the proclamation during the council meeting, the now-named Downtown Urbandale Assistance Program hopes to “strategically assist property owners to make lasting
improvements to real estate, prepare properties for reinvestment, and encourage business
expansion in the area.”

“Every part of our community is part of our brand, and downtown should lean into that brand,” said Urbandale assistant economic development director Aaron DeJong.

The money has minimal restrictions on its usage, as long as it improves buildings around 70th and Douglas.

DeJong hopes an improved downtown will make the entire city a better place to live and shop.

“When I look at the existing businesses there, I see them thriving and building on the vibrancy we create over the next five years,” DeJong said.

Urbandale previously invested in a renovation of the junction of 70th and Douglas in 1999.