A rare opportunity for admirers of upscale urban living is for sale inside the historic Liberty Building, one of only 16 condominiums hidden within the almost century-old downtown structure.
Located at 418 6th St., right at the intersection with Grand Ave., the 2,085-square-foot, ninth-floor apartment is listed at $849,000.
Completely remodeled since its purchase in 2012, apartment 905 features two bedrooms, two full bathrooms, and an outdoor balcony constructed on the west side of the building.
The Liberty Building’s condo conversion was completed in 2006, overhauling floors 9 through 11.
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Stefanie Running Anderson of Fathom Realty is representing sellers Kevin Schnell and Josh Garrett and describes the spacious apartment as “a fusion of modern and mid-century design.”
Years of upgrades to the interior space have created “small, little eye-popping, touches,” she said, including amber flecks mixed into the terrazzo flooring.
Natural light is provided by an abundance of large windows on three sides of the apartment, and the interior shares a single wall with its neighbor.
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The streamlined kitchen was designed in partnership with the East Village’s Projects Contemporary Furniture and has added a built-in espresso machine, quartz countertops, and cabinets fabricated without external handles to create a smooth finish.
While entertaining guests, the open-plan dining room sits under a chandelier imported from Canadian design firm Bocci.
The primary bathroom includes a heated tile floor, a zero-entry shower, and a freestanding bathtub. Running Anderson said, “These are things you don’t find in most other units. It is a very unique property.”
Some furnishings, like the floor-to-ceiling bookcase credenza, will be included with a full-price offer on the space.
Outside the condo’s front door are two, walk-in storage units, one installed with a window. “Some people use them for an office, or a kid’s room,” she said.
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Homeowners can access the building’s own movie room equipped with a mini-kitchen and theater-style seating, plus a bicycle storage space with a private exit to the street.
Liberty Building residents are permitted access to the gym and pool at the adjoining Hyatt Place Des Moines Downtown hotel and receive a discount if they choose to book a room for friends or family.
Access to the Skywalk is situated on the second floor, and tenant-only parking has been assigned at the garage across 6th Street. But Running Anderson says, “it’s so centrally located that you can walk to Wells Fargo and you can walk to the Farmers’ Market. You really don’t need a car. There are so few places here in Des Moines that you don’t.”
Limiting the number of residential tenants has also resulted in “a much closer community. They all know each other,” she said.
The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places
Other than the replacement of the original windows, little of the exterior has changed since the Liberty Building debuted in 1924 and the property has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 2010.
The Historic Register notes the exterior maintains “a powerful impression of strength and stability, exactly the qualities the insurance company, which originally occupied the building, wished to convey to the public.”
Between 1924 and 1940, the Bankers Life Insurance Company, a predecessor of The Principal Financial Group, was the primary tenant, eventually occupying a total of six floors. Radio station WHO broadcast from the 11th floor until 1932, an area since gutted and replaced with six apartments.
Running Anderson observed, “it looks a little rough on the outside of the building. Looks a little plain, maybe. But then you go in, and you’re like, this is stunning.”
“Just overall, it’s an idyllic lifestyle,” she said.
The condo is listed at $849,000. Call (515) 689-1985 to tour this home or similar properties.
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Richard Lane is the real estate reporter for the Des Moines Register. He can be reached at [email protected]