News & Events

Rypma Plans to Bring Court Avenue Property Back to Life

Real estate broker and developer Tim Rypma is ready to take on a Court Avenue rehab project that has been a head-scratcher for the last five years. (Editor's Note: Rypma received a UI Certficate in Entrepreneurial Management in 2004.)

Rypma, whose focus in recent years has been development projects in the East Village, and his Norris Partners LLC have made an offer to buy the former Judge Roy Bean's restaurant building at 210 Court Ave. for $450,000.

The deal is expected to close in September, with Rypma planning to fill the first floor with a restaurant and bar and open up the second floor for office uses.

The building is owned by Jeff and Pam Baker, who closed the restaurant in 2008 after 26 years. They have made a couple of efforts to spruce up the building, working with two construction firms and, at one time, Bank Iowa.

However, the tanking of financial markets in 2008 scuttled those plans.

The deal to acquire the property has been eight to nine months in the making, Rypma said.

Meanwhile, Rypma has received good news regarding plans to develop a commercial building at 350 E. Locust St. Rypma and his East Village Growth Partners LLC will receive $3 million in federal flood recovery funds for the $7.9 million project. The Des Moines City Council recommended the project for federal funding in February.

Rypma, his brother, Paul, Jim Cownie, Bill Knapp, and Paul Hayes are partners in the project, which still must clear some regulatory hurdles before construction begins.

Plans call for a five-story building, with 6,000 square feet of retail space on the first floor, topped by 20 studio, one-, and two-bedroom apartments, then a penthouse office on the top floor, where Cownie plans to move his offices.

Rypma said Cownie will finance construction of the fifth floor using private funds.

"That is a separate project," Rypma said.


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