shredderrrrrr wrote:Opie wrote:shredderrrrrr wrote:Opie wrote:I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but Hubbell Tower isn't as great as it seems.
1) parking isn't close and it's not free. You could rely in public transit, but after about 6, there is only one bus that goes that way and the stop is 6 blocks away through a bad neighborhood.
2) the facilities aren't as nice as they look online. I walk through that building daily and it isn't that great. Also, the washers that they show online? I'm relatively certain that those are the only washers in the building. I'm not aware of any laundromats downtown.
3) there's nowhere to buy groceries, etc. The nearest grocery store is at least a mile away. In walking distance is a daylight only convenience store in the skywalk and a Walgreens that is closed when I walk by at 8:00 PM. I'm not sure how late it's really open.
4) the management company has kind of a bad reputation in town.
5) all of the units are small. Even the two bedroom ones.
6) the entire building is income restricted, so most of us don't qualify.
I'll try to get more info about them, but in general, I don't recommend living downtown for most people.
What would you say constitutes downtown? I know very little about Des Moines in this regard. I would assume Court Avenue area is downtown? What about East Village or Sherman Hill? Are those considered 'downtown' in regards to noise and inconvenience?
I liked a lot of ones in those areas (Gateway Lofts, AP Lofts, Vine Street) but hadn't really considered the noise and such. I need to look more outside of just the center of the city.
East Village and Sherman Hill are not Downtown in my book, and they are better choices, but I would probably look at less trendy areas because you will be closer to things and will pay a lot less. Windsor Heights, Beaverdale, Kingman Place, and even Urbandale or West Des Moines if you're going to be driving.
Court Ave has such bad noise that it is a frequent discussion at council meetings. The bars win.
Thanks! I'll definitely look into those other areas when I make it back out to DM.
When it comes down to it, I really don't care at all about the location of where I live (in a geographic sense). I obviously want a nice/safe/relatively quiet part of town, but whether I'm, for instance, 5 minutes from campus vs. 20 minutes doesn't really matter too much to me. Where we live right now, we pay a huge amount simply for location. I would much rather take the money and sacrifice location and improve quality.
The biggest problem for my girlfriend and I is that we will (finances permitting) likely be more tempted to spend too much for aesthetic preference rather than value. For instance, we would easily pay for an apartment (based only on pictures in this discussion) like http://www.apartmentfinder.com/Iowa/Des-Moines-Apartments/Ap-Lofts-Apartments or http://www.apartmentfinder.com/Iowa/Des-Moines-Apartments/Gateway-Lofts-Apartments before we paid a much lower price for an apartment like this http://www.apartments.com/summary.aspx?page=summary&property=211726.1&SearchCriteria=FaHZeU52QYf8v2Ctznzh9PgKOTrGMO7URifP4ksbPaFXOXcrWX10hbJspZJRqr5z50uSlaOUHoxswhE-%7cVtl%2fdPofnOd0SBfHqnJntlN9bKzTEOlHbwPIuCssM9Tr2ArRnWGqd1hYLSEYRYNKpT9NEvEggx-%7cHCJgx8GQRMJ4t6fU%3d&prvpg=1067&sid=5be045f4-4f57-48c7-a2d2-fe4f094e5f73&productId=P&Hidebackresults=T&pdriveit=0&pdrivefrm=1#MenuItem.
Any recommendations/idea if there are some better priced apartments that don't look like they are 30 years old in the areas you mentioned?
If you want a trendy place like that, you'll be limited to Downtown, East Village, and several locations way out West (West Glen, Jordan Creek, etc.). I would recommend the e300 building, which is an eco-friendly place that is way trendy. It's at 300 East Grand in the East Village. It's pricey -- like $1100 a month for 785 sq. ft. -- but very nice and way trendy. The East Village is also way less busy and loud than Downtown, and also more gentrified (read: you won't find homeless people sleeping in your doorway as much).
The place you mentioned is nice, but you'll be 15-20 minutes from Drake by car and in a part of town that is subject to CONSTANT delays due to poor urban planning. The South side gets cut off from the rest of the town EVERY spring when Gray's Lake floods over several roads. This has happened for months at a time before. Just be aware that if you live South of the river, you may have to take detours that could turn that 20 minute drive into 45. If all goes well though, you're a straight shot up MLK to Drake. Overall it's a decent choice though.
You may want to look at condos if you have that kind of money to spend. There are a few on the South edge of Downtown that are away from most of the bustle. I'm thinking Whiteline by the Science Center and some others. Not sure if you're in a position to buy, but they overbuilt these places before the bubble and I've heard the deals are good if you have the money and credit.
I would spend some time looking at the West Glen area too. Very convenient as it is close to shopping and other nice things. Most of these places have more of a suburban feel than the more urban looking place that you posted, but there are some like that. There are a lot of townhomes too that can be rented or purchased. West Glen is a long way from campus, but there is an interstate onramp right there and an off ramp blocks from Campus. I'd say it's 20 minutes during rush hour, 15 otherwise.
Most of what I would consider the good apartments in Des Moines are 100+ year old houses and tenements that have been converted into apartments. These aren't as crappy as the ones in Iowa City though.
I have not heard anything about the Drake West Village Apartments, but I drive by them a lot! They're very new (like 1-2 years) and would be very convenient. They're on the opposite side of campus from the law school, so walking would be icky during the winter (but doable if you bundle up), but there is a McDonald's, Paul Revere's Pizza, a great BBQ place, KFC/Taco Bell, several bars, Walgreen's, Subway, Starbucks's (though only douchebags go there with Mars Cafe around the corner), a Japanese place, the non-law campus bookstore, and a lot of other amenities within a block (or in the building!). I don't think they have filled the buildings yet because there are so many units and they are so new, so if you got one of these places, it is unlikely that that many people would have used the furnishings. The buildings are also really nice looking even if they're in the ghetto. This is a solidly UG area of campus though, so most of the people living there are in UG and the biggest dorms are across the street. Not recommended if UGs annoy you. IMO, Drake UGs are not like most places UGs. The majority of Drake UGs I run into are 19 year-old girls with rich parents. A little snotty, but not the party animal hoes of Iowa City. That's just a generalization though. YMMV