New 5th Street parking garage serving downtown Des Moines residents, visitors

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DES MOINES, Iowa — Just in time for the return of many summer events downtown, the city of Des Moines has opened a new parking garage on 5th Street and Court Avenue. 

Although this parking garage will be very convenient for those who frequent Court Avenue, it was originally a part of an entertainment development plan that never came to fruition. 

The 11 1/2 story parking garage was the first of three buildings including a 40 story skyscraper and a movie theater that was planned to be developed by Mandelbaum Properties downtown.

Mandelbaum and the city of Des Moines made an agreement in 2017. However, after the project saw months of delays and Mandelbaum Properties failed to pay a construction loan the property went into foreclosure. 

At the beginning of this year, the city of Des Moines purchased the 5th Street garage for $42 million. 

Now it serves as a long-term parking option for weekend visitors, downtown residents, and those who work in surrounding offices, including the Polk County Justice Center. 

With the original plan for this garage currently halted, the traffic engineer for the city of Des Moines, John Davis, said the city will open only six out of 11 1/2 of the garage levels for parkers.

“There is some added cost for maintaining cleaning and such for having the whole facility open, and we’re gonna be cautious. At this time, seeing what the demand is and then adjusting accordingly,” Davis said. 

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