Visitors to Drake University and the Drake neighborhood will have exciting new hotel and restaurant options soon. Nelson Construction & Development has submitted documents to the city of Des Moines’ Urban Design Review Board regarding the hotel they plan to build across the street from Drake’s iconic OId Main building on University Avenue. The hotel will carry the flag of Home2 Suites by Hilton. This dynamic project, representing the start of the University Avenue redevelopment initiative, will also feature a restaurant and retail stores. Ground is scheduled to be broken in March 2019 with construction complete in May 2020.

“When we chose to work with Nelson on this project last year, it was in part because we knew the result would be a development that strengthened Drake’s ability to integrate more fully with our surrounding neighborhood and engage with the community,” said Drake University President Marty Martin. “The addition of a Hilton Home2 Suites hotel flag and a restaurant across the street from Old Main will allow us to do exactly that. We look forward to welcoming our new neighbors and the vitality they will bring to our growing campus.”

The hotel, restaurant, and retail project started to take form in April 2017 when Drake University announced the sale of two parcels of University-owned land to Nelson Construction & Development after a competitive selection process. This project represents the first phase of development on a 2.65-acre site that neighbors First Christian Church on the south side of University Avenue and crosses 26th Street to the west, offering spectacular view of Drake’s campus.

Separate of today’s announcement, construction work continues at an impressive pace on Boys and Girls Club of Central Iowa’s Gregory & Suzie Glazer Burt Club at the southwest corner of 25th Street and Forest Avenue on the Drake University campus. The Club is scheduled to be open next fall and will eventually serve up to 250 K-12 youths in the neighborhood. The Club site will be only the third in the nation to exist on a private college campus, providing Club members and Drake students with opportunities for collaboration.

About Home 2 Suites by Hilton
Home2 Suites by Hilton, one of the fastest-growing brands in the history of Hilton, is a mid-tier, all-suite, award-winning extended-stay hotel concept designed to offer stylish accommodations with flexible guest room configurations and inspired amenities. With a commitment to environmentally friendly products and hotel operations, Home2 Suites offers complimentary breakfast selections with hundreds of combinations; innovative and customizable guest room designs; laundry and fitness areas; complimentary Wi-Fi internet access; multiple outdoor spaces; 24-hour business centers; expansive community spaces; and pet-friendly environments. Home2 Suites by Hilton has more than 235 hotels, and more than 415 in the pipeline.

About Nelson Construction & Development
Nelson Construction & Development is a real estate developer and general contractor located in Des Moines, Iowa. Its projects include more than 2 million square feet and $300 million in ground-up, historic, apartment, hotel, retail, office, and industrial buildings. The company’s work spans many states, including Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota, and Arizona.

  • Looking east from University Avenue