Self-Guided tours are New way to Visit Gray’s

As our various industries adapted to COVID-19 protocols and safety guidelines, Hubbell Homes and Apartment Living both made big shifts in technology to enable self-guided tours. These tours are meant to limit the interaction between agents and the potential renter or homebuyer while not foregoing seeing the product in person.

Self-guided tours are proving successful, especially when people can request a date and time to walk through apartment or homes on their own during the week or on the weekends. In most cases all a visitor needs are a smartphone and access to the internet.

Hubbell Homes and U-Tour:

Hubbell Homes chose to work with UTour, a technology that allows the visitor to select a home, a timeframe and receive an entry code in a click of a button. Step one is to choose from one (or more) of the six Hubbell communities that offer this type of tour – Gray’s Station included. Then, the visitor selects a time by registering and reserving a one-hour window to visit and enjoy their own tour. Finally, the visitor receives a digital entry code to type in to unlock the front door. Viola!

In addition to the self-guided tour option thanks to UTour, all our Hubbell Homes are outfitted with Ring Doorbell security systems. This allows us, our partners, and our visitors to feel more at home while visiting an unfamiliar community.

Hubbell Apartment Living and Rently

When it comes to many of Hubbell’s apartment communities, Rently is a great way to visit available apartment homes in person. Sometimes without seeing spaces in person, it’s difficult to tell how spacious a two-bedroom is compared to a three-bedroom or exactly how a studio floorplan is designed keeping your furniture in mind.

This is a great option so visitors can take their time to explore the apartment and additional community spaces yet still see everything with their own eyes. And most importantly, because social distancing continues to be a factor, this option avoids new groups of people being in the available apartment home at the same time.

At LINC townhomes in Gray’s Station, the Rently location is on the corner of SW 11th and Tuttle Street and is easily seen by its bright orange banner! Set up is easy as logging on to Rently.com, searching for the city you want to live in, putting in your credentials (a name, credit card and photo ID are required for accountability) and then receiving a code with access to enter! Similar to UTour, there is a time limit for visiting so our teams can go in and clean prior to the next visitor entering the home.

Regardless of if you’re buying or renting, there are so many ways to still see your next home whether that’s in person with an agent, virtually or via a self-guided tour!

What’s Going on Downtown in 2021?

We are on the cusp of many events kicking off not only for the spring and summer seasons but after a year of postponements due to COVID-19. Last year, many of the downtown Des Moines staples were put on hold and delayed until 2021.

Now, with the turn of the season, we are all looking ahead to some of our favorites debuting in a matter of moments. From a modified Downtown Des Moines Farmers Market, the welcoming back of DSM Arts Festival or the return of in-person concerts, the sounds, sights, and smells of downtown events are back. Check out some of the upcoming events on the calendar near Gray’s Station or see our personal highlights below:

  • May 1: Downtown Des Moines Farmers Market returns in a limited capacity with 100 vendors spread throughout the Court Avenue District. Pick up flowers, breakfast and so much more.
  • -A reason to run: The Women’s Half Marathon cuts through the heart of Gray’s Station on our bike trail, looping past LINC apartments on MLK and wraps up with wine and a concert at Jasper Winery within Water Works Park! In June, the Ironman Triathlon takes over Gray’s Lake park with triathletes from all over the world. The EMC Dam to DSM returns in August with a route that’s sure to wow.
  • Gray’s Station Summer Concert Series: We welcome all of our Gray’s Station residents to enjoy free music in our paseo one Friday a month from May until August. Bring your own chair, picnic, drinks and snacks or enjoy a few of the items we have available (hint: Craft Bru goodies and possible other partnerships to be announced)!
  • Water Works Park Event Series: Throughout the summer, check the schedule as concerts, lantern festivals, races and more events are announced at the newly opened Lauridsen Ampitheater and Killinger Family Stage.
  • Gray’s Lake Park: Gray’s Lake is welcoming back more recreational water users for kayak, canoe and paddleboard lessons and rentals. Learn how to row, go for a run or just enjoy the outdoors (and the Chris and Marcie Coleman Bridge)!
  • Catch a game at the ballpark – Principal Park that is – starting in May! The Iowa Cubs return for their home opener on May 4.
  • Iowa Events Center have lined up a handful of concerts throughout summer but most remain on the calendar into fall. Big names like Alan Jackson and Michael Buble will be in DSM before we know it!

If all else fails, grab your bike, and lace up your running shoes to hit a few of our 500-plus miles of trails that connect to Gray’s Station. The infamous Cumming Tap to the south, Raccoon River Bike trails to the west and the notorious lookout point at the High Trestle Trail and bridge lies to the north.

If relaxing is more your speed, take a look at some of Des Moines’ best hidden gems – many that are walking distance from our apartments and townhomes at Gray’s Station. We’re looking ahead to welcoming Craft Bru, a 60-handle taproom that will call LINC home, in July.

From local art galleries to downtown restaurants and bars, there is no shortage of things to do in downtown this summer. Get out there and experience them all!

What does Proposed Soccer Stadium, Redevelopment Mean for Gray’s Station?

A recent redevelopment proposal may mean big changes near the Gray’s neighborhood, and subsequently more retail, event venues and living options near Gray’s Station.

Pro Iowa, the campaign working to bring professional soccer to Iowa, is now working with Krause+ real estate group, the City of Des Moines, Sherman Associates and environmental agencies to redevelop and revitalize the 65 acres to the west and northwest of Gray’s Station. A portion of the area would be environmentally remediated then house, what developers are calling, the Global Plaza and Iowa’s first professional soccer stadium, including large green spaces and ample parking.

Alongside those proposals are plans to add hotels, retail, and a mixed-use neighborhood as well as a Central Iowa Water Trail connector and access site off of the nearby Raccoon River, near the bridge to Gray’s Lake. The water trails aims at activating 150-miles of water ways in and around central Iowa with more than 80 access sites planned.

“The development is a wonderful compliment to projects we have in place,” said Will Anderson, Sr. Developer with Sherman Associates. “New connections and throughways will bridge existing and developing neighborhoods and unlock new opportunities for residents to live, work and play downtown.”

The soccer stadium has a scheduled groundbreaking in October of 2021 with the first kickoff coming in 2024. The stadium would host approximately 20 games a year with other events filling in throughout the year such as high school band/sports, concerts and more.

The proposal’s redevelopment would coincide with Phase Two and Three of Gray’s Station’s master planned community. Phase Two is anticipated to start by 2023. Hubbell Realty Company and Gray’s Station continue to work with the proposed developers keeping traffic flow, parking, and melding of the communities as top of mind.

The streets, cycle track and bike trails would connect with the Gray’s Station neighborhood and MLK Jr. Parkway, making pedestrian traffic a number one priority. The proposal also outlines redeveloping some of the Western Gateway neighborhood, which is a two-minute walk north from Gray’s Station.

To learn more about the proposed plan and stadium, visit uslproiowa.com.

Recreational Connections Make Active Living Easy within Gray’s

There are so many valuable, recreational connections in and around Gray’s Station, especially those that can be found just to the south within Gray’s Lake and Water Works Park.

The running, walking and biking trail that winds along Gray’s Station connects to more than 500+ miles bike trails from the town of Cumming, west to the Waukee Trailhead and extends up to the High Trestle Trail near Woodward. There are countless stops to be made along the way from local breweries and taprooms, food truck stops, and even small-town shops situated along town squares.

The 1.9 mile loop around 167-acre Gray’s Lake Park is the perfect spot for a lunch hour walk, a short jog or a bike loop. At Gray’s Lake, visitors can rent kayaks, canoes, paddle boards and play along the beach front or look out areas near the Gray’s bridge. (Fun Fact: The bridge lights are part of the inspiration for the Chris and Marcie Coleman Bridge leading into Gray’s Station!)

On the west side of Gray’s Lake is the newly opened Water Works Park-Fluer Drive underground passageway/tunnel connection which lights up in true Gray’s Area fashion. This connector, which opened in late 2020, now means direct walking access to the newly opened Lauridsen Amphitheater and the Killinger Family Stage. The Lauridsen Amphitheater faces north and engages the large Innovation Field, which size and design allow for events ranging from 2,000 – 25,000 participants. The Killinger Family Stage is the south facing portion of the amphitheater and engages the Hubbell Celebration Lawn, a more intimate setting for crowds of less than 2,000.

These venues are situated in one of the largest urban parks in the entire country. With an estimated 1,500 acres, Water Works Park is nearly twice the size of New York’s Central Park with bike, hiking and equestrian trails and roadways flowing throughout it. This unique park sits at the confluence of two major Iowa rivers, the Raccoon and Des Moines, and is home to more than 200 bird species and native plants. It is also the home of a world-renowned ornamental crabapple arboretum and serves as the primary source of drinking water for over 500,000 central Iowans.

All of these amenities are within one mile of the Gray’s Station neighborhood and are cost free or at minimal cost (kayak and paddleboard rental rates start at $8), making choosing the outdoors a daily activity when you call our community home!

Stop by to see our for-sale open houses Saturday and Sunday from 12-5 PM or by appointment or Monday thru Saturday, and by appointment, to visit LINC rental apartments and townhomes.

The Inspiration Behind Gray’s Townhome Design

The inspiration behind Gray’s Station townhomes began with a purposeful master plan to turn 75 acres of set aside timber and land into a sprawling urban neighborhood with endless housing choices and entertainment options for those looking to live in downtown Des Moines.

When it comes to the townhomes you’ll discover in the community, much of the ideation came from market visits and Susanne Roesch, the Lead Designer for Hubbell Homes. When the project was proposed, Susanne understood the need for high density housing coupled with the access to nearby trails and walk ways.

“It was quite overwhelming to hear 75 acres – it’s a huge space. We wanted to create a fun, urban and diverse environment that would attract many areas of our population,” said Roesch. Between the varying levels of home heights and features found inside, it was really the outside that proved a fun challenge.

“For such a big area, the goal was to create the buildings so they don’t look the same. The challenge was to bring texture in the façade and to play up the in and outs but not to over do it. In an urban neighborhood – how do you define all of it without doing too much and without combining too many things as it’s all coming together?” said Roesch.

In the first phase alone, visitors will see 7-plus home types, all of which sport different interior finishes. The outsides boast metal siding, panels, stone and many other materials that only blend together in an urban community like this.

“The concept was taking the master plan that we created with the city and use it like building blocks. It went very much from nothing to streets, then we knew we wanted alley-loaded homes where the front door could have more walkability and could be more pedestrian friendly,” said Roesch. “All in all, it took about four months to get the schematics and elevations done, which then we wanted to perfect them. We did a lot of iterations of every unit type to get the right mix in order to attract family with kids, young professionals to empty nesters. It was important that we had something for everyone.”

 

Learn more about available homes here: https://graysstation.com/live-here

Join Us at the Gray’s Station Neighborhood Tour!

Come take a tour of the first phase of Gray’s Station, the newest urban neighborhood in downtown Des Moines, during the first Gray’s Station Neighborhood Tour. This self-guided tour is held on a monthly basis and covers the popular bike trail and bridge connection, walking paseo, for sale townhomes, and rental LINC Townhomes and LINC apartments plus all the wonderful amenities on site. This month’s tour is on Sunday, August 30 from 1-4 PM.

“We really wanted to bring together all types of downtown residents who may be looking for their next home. This tour shows you every type of product you could want: for sale homes, rental townhomes, rental apartment homes and walk-up studios all within two minutes of downtown Des Moines,” said Kris Saddoris, Vice President of Multifamily Development.

The tour, which can start in any chosen location, will be self-guided in recognition of COVID-19 guidelines and recommendations. Small Gray’s Station teams will be located along each stop to provide information, individually wrapped snacks, beverages, directions and to answer any questions visitors may have while touring.

Best Ways to Visit Gray’s:
While we’re excited to have everyone visit, we are still a slight construction zone. So, here are the best ways to visit us during our Neighborhood Tour:

  • Bike, Run or Walk! The downtown bike trails connect to the east, west, south and north. From Water Works Park, the Central Iowa Bike Trails and Gray’s Lake area, you can hit the trail on what looks to be a gorgeous weekend.
  • Drive! If you plan to drive, parking can be found along SW 11th and Gray’s Parkway; SW 11th St. and Murphy or Tuttle Streets; to the east along SW 11th St. and at Cityville on 9th!
  • Take the Bus! The DART bus system has a drop off in many downtown locations.
Once you arrive, you will see signs pointing the way! For fun, follow the chalk path as you wind your way through the neighborhood.
What You Will See: 
Currently there are four townhome floorplans that are completed, with roughly 20-25 completed homes, including a staged Paisley floorplan. The two-and-three-story townhomes range in square footages from 1,500 up to 2,300 with prices starting in the $360’s. The staging in the Paisley is vibrant and was designed by our in-house Hubbell Homes Design Team.”The idea for this space was to be youthful and cheerful. The Urban Collection finishes are modern and clean and these lively colors just add another layer to the fun that you find when living downtown,” said Stacey McDonald, Design Studio & Staging Director.

In addition to the Paisley, visitors to Gray’s Station can now also see other plans like the Embden, Bexley, Asana and many more varieties of downtown homes that will continue to be completed through the rest of late summer into early fall.

Directly to the north of the bike trail, bridge and for-sale townhomes are the LINC townhomes and apartments that are currently available to rent. The LINC townhomes feature a two-car garage, and a mix of floorplan layouts. The first available townhomes will feature three-story walk up units with entry ways on first floors, living and kitchen on second and two and three bedrooms located on the third floors. The LINC apartment homes feature studio-, one-, two-, and two-plus-den homes with private balconies and walk up patios. LINC offers fantastic amenities such as rooftop patio and community spaces, business center, game room, pool + cabana test kitchen + dog space and on site parking.

Just two blocks to the east are the Edison condominiums, another fantastic choice for people looking to live downtown. These affordable condos start at $169,000 and have studio-, one- and two-bedroom options with great views of downtown, single-stall parking available and a 10-year tax abatement. (This is a bonus stop – get your passport stamped here and enter another chance to win a great prize!) 

 

What’s In It For You?
Well, hopefully a place to call home and a new, wonderful neighborhood!

Our knowledgeable teams can get you where you need to go and you can win fun prizes while doing it! At your first stop, be sure to pick up a Tour passport and at each stop, get a stamp to be entered to win an Orchestrate gift card to downtown favorites like Django, Malo and more restaurants. As our tours continue, we will add new prizes and possibilities!

To learn more about the tour, please visit Gray’s Station Neighborhood Tour today!

First Townhomes Completed in First Phase of Gray’s

Despite some of the challenges brought on by this year, August has proved prosperous for Phase One of Gray’s Station. Multiple townhome products have come online in the last few weeks including the model home, The Paisley floorplan.

This three-bedroom, 2.5-bath townhome will be one of your first stops when visiting the townhomes at Gray’s Station. You’ll walk in to a purposeful landing space, walk up to the second-floor kitchen, dining and living space and finally up to the third-floor bedrooms, master on suite and laundry space. Our in-house Hubbell Homes Design Team fully furnished and staged this product to showcase what type of vibrant choices can compliment the modern, clean finishes inside.

Stacey, our Design Studio and Staging Manager, said the inspiration for the Paisley staging was based on items that can be found at the Downtown Des Moines Farmers Market throughout spring and summer. From baskets of fruit, to the vibrant paintings on the wall, this space was all about layering pops of colors against the neutrals, golds and chromes. The blue couches (which were a total steal) made for a perfect launching point and smaller touches like the bar cart, dining table and finishing kitchen selections fell into place.

 

“The idea for this space was to be youthful and cheerful. The Urban Collection finishes are modern and clean and these lively colors just add another layer to the fun that you find when living downtown,” said Stacey.

In addition to the Paisley, visitors to Gray’s Station can now also see other plans like the Embden, Bexley, Asana and many more varieties of downtown homes. Ranging from 1,600 up to 2,300 square feet, these townhomes will continue to be completed through the rest of late summer into early fall.

 

 

Beginning Sunday, August 30th, Gray’s Station will hold a monthly Neighborhood Tour where you can join our teams along a self-guided tour of Gray’s townhomes, bike trail and LINC apartment homes. Enter to win an Orchestrate gift card to downtown favorites like Django, Malo and more and see what’s new in this neighborhood. Find more information here!

LINC Opens First Phase of Apartment Homes

LINC at Gray’s Station is not only the entry into the Gray’s neighborhood, but it’s also the first homes that are available in the new community.

What bikers, walkers and visitors may notice though is that the construction is far from done! LINC, as an entire rental apartment community, is actually comprised of six individual buildings.

This summer, the first phase of LINC welcomed its first residents into their new apartment homes. This phase has around 80 rental apartment homes all facing the downtown skyline, varying from 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom options with walk-up mezzanine units. There is a different community space on every floor: a business office with reserved conference room, a modified fitness center, a game room with skeeball and poker, and finally the floor-to-ceiling glass rooftop community room and patio.

Within the first floor, there are also retail spaces for future businesses facing MLK Jr. Parkway. In fall of 2020, Mad Meatball, a locally-owned pizzeria, will open with patio seating and shortly after, LINC will welcome a locally-owned nail salon to another space.

An outdoor cabana, pool and dog park is also located in the center of LINC. This space has a test kitchen, showers, and shipping containers decorated with local murals from Ben Schuh for indoor-outdoor shelters for both the pool and dog park areas.

The second phase of LINC is directly to the south and this building will feature even more floorplans, finishes and amenities than the first. In total, there will be 60+ floorplans to choose from at LINC, so there’s something for everyone’s needs. This phase will also offer covered, single-stall car garages on the first floor and a Crossfit-inspired two-story gym on the above floors. The second phase of LINC opens in March of 2021.

The third, fourth, fifth and sixth buildings at LINC take on a different feel and appearance. These walk-up townhomes, which once were referred to as Fusion townhomes, will have various floorplans and two-and-three-story options. Hubbell decided to merge these homes with the LINC community so resident’s could share the common amenities like fitness centers, rooftop patios, pool and dog park space.

Each building will open at various times from August of 2020, December 2020, February 2021 and August of 2021.

The Changing Wetland Basin

The Gray’s Station storm-water wetland basin and trail are finally complete. While many bikers, walkers and joggers are using the trails for fitness, many may not understand what they’re running next to is a well-designed system aimed at improving our city and states’ water quality.

Approximately 300-400 acres of downtown water flows into the Gray’s Station wetland basin. Civil Design Advantage, alongside RDG who helped master plan the neighborhood, have created a layout and a plan to manage, control and improve the water.

“There were two separate storm-water systems with two pump station that we merged into one large wetland basin,” said Greg Pierce with RDG.

“In the old station, water would flow through the pipe system, to the pump station and straight into the river,” said Ryan Hardisty with CDA. “In the case of a 1.25 inch storm event, the basin will take days to release the water and in larger, more unique storm events, like a 500-year flood, it will build up and hold the water to keep it from backing up into the street system.”

In order to improve the water quality, RDG designed the basin so that water now travels 3/4 of a mile, through natural grasses, plants, sediments, oils and nutrients to cleanse the water before it enters into the river. The team planted nearly 45,000 plant plugs in late fall of 2019 and over the course of the next two to three years, those will emerge, blossom and flourish.

“Some people don’t realize in the urban environment, rain most generally goes from our roofs and gutters, into storm sewers and straight into our streams. We’re changing that with this basin,” said Pierce.

Right now, bikers along the trail will mainly notice prairie grasses and some smaller vegetation and manicured grasses growing. Many of the other species take a full year cycle to emerge.

CDA, who also mapped the bike trail that spans from MLK Jr. Parkway through the community and across the bridge into Gray’s Lake, says people will really begin appreciating the wetland basin when they can see it.

“It’s a really neat thing to connect downtown with an area like this, Gray’s Lake and other nature systems,” said Hardisty.

In the future, both CDA and RDG hope the basin can be used for educational purposes with nearby schools as well as for field trips. There will be opportunities to learn about wildlife, plants, flowers, pollinators and so much more once the basin matures and diversifies.