DES MOINES — Statewide elected officials have approved spending nearly $7.8 million to buy a Des Moines office building.
The four-story structure will be the new home of the Iowa Economic Development Authority. The Iowa Finance Authority already rents space in the building. Debi Durham is director of both state agencies, which soon will occupy the same building.
“We can begin to strategize and plan together. It’s just really an alignment of our programs,” Durham told Radio Iowa. “We’re starting to do that now but, again, it’s so much easier when we are co-located and they can work next to each other.”
The office building sits on 10 acres, on the edge of downtown Des Moines. Staff from the Iowa Economic Development Authority will begin moving to the new space later this year.
“The plan is we’ll be here as one happy family in December,” Durham said.
The Iowa Economic Development Authority and the Iowa Finance Authority will occupy the second, third and fourth floors of the building. The first floor will be leased and that rental income will be funneled to Iowa Finance Authority projects.
The Iowa Economic Development Authority has been leasing space in an office building a few blocks from the state Capitol. Once Durham’s agency moves out, the IT department for state government will move in. Durham said what’s officially known as the “Office of the Chief Information Officer” has been flooded in its current location twice.
“They were in a situation where they needed to do something different,” Durham said. “It actually aligned that the space…and the robustness of the IT that we had at the IEDA, it actually is a perfect fit for them.”
Durham said she’s talked with key legislators from both parties to show the deal that’s been struck “puts the state in a better financial position” than continuing to pay rent on two separate buildings for the two agencies.