“I’m very encouraged by the activity that’s going on.”

That’s a funny thing to hear from the mayor of West Des Moines, because he’s actually talking about a development coming down.

“It really is good to see some progress,” says West Des Moines mayor, Russ Trimble. “It’s starting to get demo’d and it’s nice to see things moving forward.”

The only value left in the burned out Valley West Inn is in the land beneath it.

“There has been interest expressed by several developers looking to do some kind of redevelopment of this property as well as of the Iowa Realty property next door and to the corner,” Trimble says.

While the Jordan Creek area continues to build, the one around Valley West lies in a sort of retail purgatory.  

“The question is whether the people that own these properties are willing to sell for the price that the developers are willing to buy them for,” he says.

For now, the only action is at the new West Bank headquarters — a gigantic project that’s set to be completed in the spring.

It will stand out in the area, but may not rescue it.

“We thought that it would spark redevelopment quicker,” Trimble explains, “but the problem is that we’ve got the bank holding onto the Valley West Mall property and unwilling to sell it at this point.”

So, without willing sellers and creative developers, this once bustling intersection heads out of another construction season with only small victories to celebrate.