The construction of a Fareway Meat Market at 2716 Beaver Ave. in Des Moines is slated to begin this year after city council approved the site plan today. Architectural rendering by Simonson & Associates Architects LLC
A proposal to build a Fareway meat market in the Beaverdale neighborhood of Des Moines overcame a final hurdle today when city council approved the development site plan, reversing the plan and the zoning commission’s denial plan.
“We saw the excitement [for the development] just explode in Beaverdale, ”said board member Bill Gray, who represents the area. “It’s exciting to see the work being done to get something [the neighborhood] it will be a great magnet for businesses in Beaverdale.
The project, proposed at 2716 Beaver Ave., has been controversial since it became public that the Boone-based grocery chain planned to raze a house at 2723 41st Place to allow more parking for the store and improve traffic flow.
The parking lot includes a driveway on 41st Place and Urbandale Avenue. Neighbors were bitter about having more traffic on residential street at 41st Place. The zoning commission rejected the plan earlier this spring. But after Fareway made changes, the plan was approved by the board.
In June, the zoning commission rejected Fareway’s design of the 7,800 square foot building planned for the southwest corner of Beaver and Urbandale avenues where a vacant bank branch building currently sits. It was proposed that the store have only one entrance instead of at least two as required by city zoning standards. Additionally, concerns were raised that the building was incompatible with other commercial buildings in the Beaverdale area.
Fareway, after his officials met with those in town, agreed to replace the non-transparent spandrel glass windows with ornamental red bricks to better “accommodate the vibe of the” Beaverdale “neighborhood. according to a letter to the town of Fareway. He also added raised windows to the sides of the building that face Beaver and Urbandale avenues.
The grocer also made changes to the store entrance, giving it a more urban look, according to the letter.
However, the grocer was adamant that he would not add another entrance to the building due to safety and liability concerns. Additionally, “another entry is reducing our operational footprint, as we would have to cut commercial layouts, and further diminish the functionality of an already difficult development site,” wrote Koby Pritchard, attorney and property manager for Fareway, in the letter to the city.
The board, in a 6-0 vote today, approved the site plan and building design for the store. Mayor Frank Cownie was absent.
After the meeting, Garrett Piklapp, executive vice president of Fareway, said the grocer has been planning to build a store in the Beaverdale neighborhood for more than a decade.
“We worked on a lot of issues and the process did exactly what it was supposed to do – provide full transparency to the neighborhood and give people a chance to have their say,” he said.
Piklapp said the old bank will be demolished in the coming weeks. Construction of the store will begin once the debris has been removed from the site, he said.
According to the letter to the Town of Pritchard, construction materials have been ordered for the project, bids awarded and contractors planned.
The new store is slated to open in 2022, Piklapp said.