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21 June, 2018

Historic Fort Des Moines Barracks Buildings Transformed into 142-Unit Affordable Housing Community

The transformation of six historic Fort Des Moines barracks into a 142-unit affordable housing community is complete. WNC provided $17.1 million in low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) equity to fund the creation of  Fort Des Moines Living, which is located on 13 acres of the original 640-acre fort in Des Moines, Iowa.

“Fort Des Moines Living provides residents with completely renovated affordable housing within a quiet community that includes peaceful walking paths and play areas,” said WNC Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Michael Gaber. “The rich history of the community is embraced in its design, which maintains the structure of historic buildings that date back to the turn of the twentieth century,  while featuring quality modern interior living areas. Fort Des Moines Living’s affordable units are available to families earning 60 percent of the area’s median income level.”

Located at 6908 Chaffee Road, Fort Des Moines Living is comprised of two- and three-story buildings with 80 one-bedroom garden units and 62 two-bedroom garden units. Community amenities include in-unit washers and dryers, onsite parking, keycard security, onsite property management, complimentary YMCA memberships, central air, hardwood flooring and grand ceiling heights.

Fort Des Moines dates back to the 1800s, and its Provisional Army Officer Training School building is a national landmark. The barracks buildings that were transformed into Fort Des Moines Living were constructed between 1903 to 1910. Fort Des Moines was home to the Provisional Army Officer Training School, where black Americans were trained to be officers for the U.S. Army during World War I, and where women first began training for U.S. Army service in 1942 as part of the Women’s Army Corps.

Blackbird Investments, a Des Moines based investment firm, received the LIHTC equity to fund the project. Hugh O’Hagan and Russ Frazier served as project developers. The renovation took approximately 10 months to complete.