Residents have begun moving into Des Moines' newest neighborhood as work continues on apartments and townhomes in the area

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Residents have begun moving into Des Moines’ newest neighborhood as work continues on apartments and townhomes in the area.

The Des Moines Register reports that downtown’s East Village is being transformed by Hubbell Realty Co.’s 16-acre development known as the Bridge District

Developers hope the district will attract homeowners and renters to the city’s core. The neighborhood is slated to have nearly 700 housing units in five years.

The area’s first apartment building, called the Verve, opened last month. Half of the building’s nearly 130 units are leased, said Kris Saddoris, vice president of development at Hubbell.

Units range in size from studios measuring about 480 square feet to 3-bedroom units with 1,500 square feet. Monthly rent ranges from $895 to $1,895. Each apartment includes a patio or walk-up doorway. The building includes a community room and a fitness center.

Residents began moving into the company’s upscale townhouses, known as The Banks, in the fall. About 36 of the 44 units have sold, said Rachel Flint, vice president of Hubbell Homes. Nearly 80 percent of phase one units were sold before crews were finished with construction, she said.

“People have been buying before the foundation is poured,” she said. “When you want to buy downtown, you know there’s only so many options and so much land, so there’s a sense of urgency. There’s more demand than there is supply.”

The second phase will include 55 townhomes. The townhomes each have three stories with rooftop patios and garages. Floor plans range from 1,800 to 3,500 square feet. Costs vary from $375,000 to $750,000.

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Information from: The Des Moines Register, http://www.desmoinesregister.com