January 25, 2021

Hotel space planned for colorful Des Moines office building

DES MOINES — One of Des Moines’ taller and more colorful office buildings will house hotel guests by 2022 under a plan being developed by its owner.

Floors one through 13 of the Financial Center would become the hotel, with 190 guest rooms, a food market, coffee shop and an upscale restaurant. Floors 14 through 25 would be upgraded for office tenants and have separate elevator access.

The building opened in 1972 and is known for its colorful lights that change with current events.

Its owner, Lawmark Capital, is negotiating with a hotel group but not ready to announce who will operate it.

“It will be a unique-to-Des Moines, unique-to-Iowa project,” Jake Christensen, a local developer who is working as a consultant to Lawmark Capital, said. “It will be a hotel flag and type that we don’t have yet,” he said.

Wells Fargo announced last year it was leaving 13 floors in the Financial Center, which is known for lights that change with current events. It opened in 1972.

The Des Moines City Council approved preliminary terms of a development agreement Monday with Lawmark, including a 15-year tax-increment finance package totaling $7.5 million.