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Construction Begins on Des Moines Industrial Transloading Facility

DES MOINES, IA — Des Moines Industrial (DSMI) is poised to move forward with Iowa’s premier industrial transloading facility after recently acquiring 31 acres of land purchased from the City of Des Moines and Norfolk Southern. Ryan Companies US, Inc. recently began construction, and the facility is expected to be operational by late 2021. The site has direct access to Iowa Interstate Railroad, Norfolk Southern, and BNSF railroads, making it the premier rail-based transportation hub in Iowa. It is also just one mile from the nation’s busiest commercial trucking intersection of Interstates 35 and 80.

“Our team brings decades of business development success in multiple industries and is enthusiastic to collaborate with the railroads’ marketing teams in conjunction with our own business development efforts,” said Paul Cownie of Des Moines Industrial. “We are even more enthusiastic to provide customers with the positive impacts of multi-railroad competition not recognized in any other third-party transloading facility in the state of Iowa.”

The planned facility will serve as a logistics park where bulk materials are transferred between semi-trailers and trains and vice versa. This will provide flexibility and reduced shipping costs to benefit area businesses and consumers with a potential economic impact of over $10 million annually. Plans include 15,000 linear feet of track infrastructure, 115,000 square feet of traditional warehouse space, eight acres of exterior storage capabilities, future cold storage, and additional off-site close proximity warehousing opportunities.

"By providing multiple railroad and trucking options, the Des Moines Industrial Transloading Facility will be instrumental for Greater Des Moines' current and future business growth, particularly for manufacturing, logistics, and distribution companies that need healthy supply chain connectivity," said Brian Crowe, Executive Vice President of Economic Development at the Greater Des Moines Partnership.

The project was born out of planning work by the Des Moines Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), which first showed the feasibility for such a facility at that location. The Des Moines Area MPO also raised nearly $13 million in public funds for the project, including an $11.2 million Better Utilizing Infrastructure to Leverage Development (BUILD) grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

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The Des Moines Transloading Facility Project is a partnership between DSMI, Des Moines Area MPO, City of Des Moines, Greater Des Moines Partnership, Iowa Department of Transportation, and the Federal Railroad Administration.

“After years of hard work by the development team and a host of entities that have been supportive of the transload project, the City of Des Moines is pleased to see construction begin on this important facility,” said Erin Olson-Douglas, Development Services Director for the City of Des Moines. “This is a rare opportunity to utilize a sweet spot of railroad carrier convergence on an underutilized site that is proximate to major street and highway corridors. Des Moines is proud to be the community of choice to host this facility, and we look forward to its future success.”

Ryan Companies will build the facility designed by VAA and Genus Landscape Architects. In addition to the proposed transloading and warehousing operations, plans provide for stormwater detention basins, native and ornamental landscaping including trees, shrubs, and grasses.

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