A developer needs just one more city council vote before he can implement proposed plans to transform a former Des Moines junior high school into an eclectic space featuring meeting rooms, restaurants, a bar and boutique hotel.

We Can Build It owner Jeff Young says he is hoping to invest up to $8 million to revamp the old Franklin Junior High school.

The Des Moines Register reports that the city council is set to vote May 20 on Young’s request to rezone the 213,000-square-foot property from church and school use to a planned unit development.

Supporters say they would like to see life injected back into the long-abandoned and underutilized building that’s attracted crime in the past.

Critics say they are concerned about excessive traffic, garbage and noise.


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