Gray’s Station Bridge Enters River, Construction Continues

The pedestrian bridge construction is continuing to move forward on the south side of Gray’s Station and to the north of Gray’s Lake. Weather depending, the next step for Hubbell and Jensen Construction is to set structures in place to begin on the pier’s and prepare to bring in the physical bridge.

While Hubbell is an expert in many fields, bridge building wasn’t at the top of our list. That’s why we brought in the Jensen Construction Company, the oldest operating business line of The Rasmussen Group. Since 1912, the company has focused on bridge building, heavy construction and marine contracts.

Ryan Cheeseman, with Jensen Construction Company, gives us an inside look on what his team has done so far and what the future schedule looks like for the bridge.

The Evolution of the Gray’s Station Land

When Hubbell Realty Company began conceptualizing and researching what mitigation the land at Gray’s Station would need, it became obvious we would need a team of mitigation experts.

Terracon is a national company that has had held a successful Des Moines office since 1975. The professionals at Terracon specialize in geotechnical engineering, environmental and construction material services and have assisted on more than 2,400 projects in Iowa.

The 75 acres of Gray’s Station was previously home to farms, an urban landfill and Norfolk Southern Railroad. When the railway became a thing of the past, the remnants stayed behind. For decades, the area sat empty yet full of overgrown trees and railroad material.

Terracon’s Senior Associate Dennis Sensenbrenner takes us through the process and how Hubbell and Terracon ultimately received the certificate of approval from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources for the land.

Living at Linc

Out of all of the living options at Gray’s Station, there is one that stands out – literally. Linc at Gray’s Station is the first building under construction on site and it’s hard to miss as you drive down Martin Luther King (MLK) Jr. Parkway. Linc will actually occur in two phases: Phase I is underway and Phase II will begin later this year.

Linc is literal in its name. It is a link from downtown Des Moines to the Gray’s Station neighborhood and its southern amenities. The $48 million project really kick-starts the 75-acre community. Linc will be a modern apartment community that will have 227 units, each sporting a private balcony and various floorplans. Let’s break it down:


Linc’s entryway and community rooms will face downtown Des Moines. The first floor of the building along MLK Jr. Parkway will be home to commercial and retail space. While Hubbell is still working on securing leasing opportunities, the hope is to bring in a retail vendor and possibly a large food court concept with a variety of restaurant choices and plenty of patio seating. The units located along SW 11th will have walk-up units, just like the front doors you see at Verve and Velocity in the Bridge District downtown.

The floorplans will range from one-, two- and two-plus-den-bedroom plans with higher end finishes in the open concept kitchens. There will also be plenty of community amenities within Linc including a business office, community gathering room with views of downtown and a gym.

Outside of Linc 

Linc’s outdoor community spaces will be a top-notch addition to people renting at Gray’s Station. Linc will have an indoor-outdoor community room built strictly from shipping containers. These containers were moved from MLK and 19th Street in Des Moines and have murals painted by local artist Ben Schuh. The community room will connect to Linc’s pool and on the other side, a dog park. There will also be plenty of on-site parking, outdoors and covered options, at Linc as well.

One of the best amenities in this community is no doubt downtown Des Moines. By end of summer 2019, Gray’s Station will also have a direct connection to downtown, Gray’s Lake and Central Iowa’s bike trail system. This includes a pedestrian bridge connection over the Raccoon River, which is currently underway.

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