Transwestern to Manage Sky-High Office Campus in Iowa

The firm will oversee Ruan Center and Two Ruan Center, a pair of downtown Des Moines landmarks still owned by their developer, Ruan Cos.

Ruan Center. Image courtesy of Transwestern Commercial Services

Transwestern Commercial Services’ management portfolio has just increased by 750,000 square feet in a single move. The firm has secured a contract to serve as exclusive property manager for Ruan Cos.’ two-building, multi-tenanted office headquarters complex in the heart of downtown Des Moines, Iowa.

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The Class A Ruan Center and Two Ruan Center, carrying the respective addresses of 666 Grand Ave. and 601 Locust St., have been fixtures on the Des Moines skyline for decades. Ruan developed the 35-story Ruan Tower at a cost of approximately $24.3 million in 1975 and has called the building home ever since. Today the 460,500-square-foot property, which includes 12,000 square feet of retail space, also counts Meridian Health Plan and the Des Moines Embassy Club among its list of tenants. Ruan erected the neighboring Two Ruan Center in 1981, bringing an additional 241,000 square feet of office space to the central business district. The 14-story structure’s occupants include the Iowa Insurance Division, Fidelity & Guaranty Life Insurance Co. and tech firm Cognizant. Both buildings provide access to downtown Des Moines’ 4.2-mile skywalk system.

Micah Larmie, Bonnie Boden and Pete Miceli of Transwestern’s Midwest Asset Services team will spearhead management responsibilities, as well as building engineering services for Ruan Center and Two Ruan Center. CBRE is the leasing agent for the complex.

New territory

Transwestern’s new Ruan assignment marks the firm’s first contract in Des Moines. As noted in a press release, Transwestern sees growth potential in the Hawkeye State’s capital, and the firm is not alone in its optimistic forecast for the city. According to Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2020, a report by PwC and the Urban Land Institute, evidence of growth can be uncovered in Des Moines, which has experienced a 15.1 percent increase in population since 2010. “Opportunities to be discovered here are most likely to be identified by locally savvy developers and financiers,” per the report.

Awards abound

Transwestern has been at the top of the list for many property owners seeking management or leasing expertise this year. Sumitomo Corp. of Americas tapped Transwestern to provide property management services for its entire $800 million U.S. portfolio, which spans 3.1 million square feet of office properties, and Georgia-Pacific LLC awarded the firm the exclusive property management contract for its 1.2 million-square-foot Georgia-Pacific Center office tower in downtown Atlanta. Additionally, the Texas Medical Center selected Transwestern to provide development services for its 1.5 million-square-foot TMC3 Campus, a mixed-use biomedical research compound in Houston.  

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