Supervisor’s Office

Polk County Board of Supervisors Approve Downtown Land Transaction

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Click here for the offical release

DES MOINES, Iowa – April 2, 2013 — The Polk County Board of Supervisors took action today to finalize the property transaction between Polk County, the Young Men’s Christian Association of Greater Des Moines (YMCA) and Wellmark, Inc.  The transaction trades the vacant Wellmark building (former JC Penney’s) for the Polk County Convention Complex (Plex).  This will allow the YMCA the opportunity to relocate from the river front to the former Plex location.

“The Board of Supervisors is pleased to have been able to work cooperatively with Wellmark, the Des Moines Redevelopment Company and the YMCA in making this transaction a reality.  The impact of this property transfer will leave a lasting effect on our community for years to come,” stated Board of Supervisors Chair Tom Hockensmith.

The Wellmark building will be incorporated into the County’s master courts plan which is in the process of being finalized by OPN Architects and will provide space for the County Attorney, Clerk, Juvenile and Magistrate Courts.  The Wellmark building gives the County the opportunity to move the County Attorney and Clerks records out of leased space resulting in an immediate cost savings for Polk County.  The approved property transaction allowed for Polk County to pay $500,000 to Wellmark for the Wellmark building and conveyed the Plex property and the vacant land adjacent to the Plex owned by Wellmark to the YMCA.

In a separate action by the Board of Supervisors, the Board voted to commit one million dollars to the YMCA toward demolition costs for the former YMCA facility once the new YMCA is complete and operational at the former Plex location.

Polk County closed the Plex following the opening of the renovated ball and meeting room space at Veterans Memorial – Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center in January of 2012.

Contact Us

Polk County Administration Building
111 Court Avenue, Room 300
Des Moines, IA 50309

Phone: (515) 286-3120
FAX: (515) 323-5225