Local businesses not worried about new Des Moines mall

Jennifer Nacin

The opening of the Jordan Creek Town Center in West Des Moines has yet to economically impact local businesses.

Many local business owners said that they have seen no economic change or impact in Ames since the Aug. 4 opening of the 2 million square-foot Jordan Creek Town Center, but they said that they realize an impact is possible.

“I think it’s hard to tell,” said Brian Smith, co-owner of Everts Flowers, Home and Gifts, 329 Main St.

“Businesses might be being affected because of customers’ curiosity of wanting to see [the new mall],” he said.

“It’s a big thing for Des Moines and for Iowa to have something like that.”

Angela Moore, director of the Main Street Cultural District, said the types of stores that are available in the downtown area attract shoppers in and around Ames.

“We have our own niche in the area,” Moore said. “And by working with the arts and culture [in the area], we bring something special to downtown Ames.”

Moore said the Main Street Cultural District has not discussed the possible effects of the Jordan Creek mall because it is focusing more on its partnership with the arts.

Moore said she does not see Jordan Creek as a threat to the Ames economy, but said the new mall “has made a great addition to Des Moines.”

Smith said there will always be customers who want to support local businesses and to get the services they can find only at specialty stores. This is a reason he thinks Jordan Creek will not affect the downtown area and Ames in general.

“Some people are going to be mall shoppers and they will go no matter what,” Smith said. “Others like individual proprietors that meet their needs and care about the customers as a person.”

Dave Durlam, co-owner of Durlam and Durlam Men’s and Women’s Clothing, 226 Main St., said his store, which offers exclusive clothing lines not found anywhere else in the area, is thriving like the downtown area.

“Our downtown is healthy,” Durlam said.

“We are getting a lot of requests from people who want to start businesses in the downtown area. So we’re excited about the potential this has on the Ames downtown area.”

Durlam said that he has known about the arrival of Jordan Creek mall for the past five years. Finding out what stores and clothing lines would appear in the new Des Moines mall was a tactic Durlam said was important to his business.

Monicia Soder, owner of Works of Glass, 114 Duff Ave., said specialty stores have an advantage over large retailers because they offer a unique experience and product to its customers.

“We are such a unique, one-of-a-kind store here that they don’t have anything like us at the mall in Ames,” Soder said. “I doubt they have anything like us at [Jordan Creek].”

With a customer base from all over the region, Soder said her store, like many local businesses, offers quality products and valued personal customer service that are hard to find in any mall or retail store.

“Ames is a unique community in itself,” Smith said. “The downtown is thriving, and we’re trying to highlight attractions and highlight the events that we have down here to create a feeling of community and keep [shoppers] in the Ames community.”