BNIM Iowa to Renovate American Enterprise Group’s Downtown Des Moines Headquarters


Des Moines, Iowa. (June 25, 2014) — BNIM announced today that the firm has been retained by American Enterprise Group (AEG) to renovate the company’s downtown headquarters, known as the American Republic Insurance Building, in a $30 million renovation that will occur over the next year.

The renovation is important for downtown Des Moines, since it represents a commitment to the urban core and to the 50 year-old building’s historic significance. The eight-story building was designed by renowned architect Gordon Bunshaft with SOM and completed in 1965. It contains a significant number of unique pieces of art that will be restored or stored temporarily as part of the renovation.

The 154,000 square foot structure at 601 Sixth Avenue will be renovated so that more advanced HVAC and life-safety systems can be integrated into the building. AEG and BNIM’s design strategy is to incorporate the new systems while respecting the original design and defining characteristics of the building. The integrated design includes a robust interdisciplinary design and construction team including Christiansen Development, Design Engineers, Ryan Companies, Baker Group and Baker Electric, among other specialized disciplines. During the renovation, American Enterprise Group’s 250 employees will relocate to a temporary location.

"We are a downtown Des Moines company," Tim Hall, senior vice president, said. "The decision to renovate this building in downtown allows us to demonstrate our commitment while considering the fiscal health of our company and the well-being of our employees."

“BNIM is excited to be working with AEG on the renovation of this iconic building. Renovating any building, especially a building of such architectural significance, is a statement about how the built environment shapes a city,” says Kevin Nordmeyer, Principal. “When you have the opportunity to impact the performance metrics of an organization by creating a more efficient workplace, while respecting the character of an exemplary example of Mid-Century Architecture, it is both an honor and significant responsibility.”

It is anticipated that the renovation of the building’s heating, cooling and plumbing systems, along with new workstations and furniture, will save the company significantly in energy and repair costs. The project also stands to benefit from state and local tax credits, along with historic tax credits.

American Enterprise Group’s 250 employees will continue to work in downtown Des Moines during the renovation process in space leased from Polk County.