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Ingersoll Live

Posted August 07, 2013 in Des Moines West
Members of the Ingersoll Live committee sit along Ingersoll Avenue next to some of the streetscape improvements that have been done. The annual event, in its 10th year, was created to draw Des Moines residents to the area. Committee members include: back row, from left: Matt Coen, co-president; Suja Jacobs and Alex Duong, representatives from Mediacom; Todd Richman, co-president; front row, from left: Emily Toribio, event planner; and Emily Steding, Lynn Neswold and Becky Rogers, all from The Mansion.

Members of the Ingersoll Live committee sit along Ingersoll Avenue next to some of the streetscape improvements that have been done. The annual event, in its 10th year, was created to draw Des Moines residents to the area. Committee members include: back row, from left: Matt Coen, co-president; Suja Jacobs and Alex Duong, representatives from Mediacom; Todd Richman, co-president; front row, from left: Emily Toribio, event planner; and Emily Steding, Lynn Neswold and Becky Rogers, all from The Mansion.

The 2013 Ingersoll Live event will include the addition of a Grammy-nominated children’s musician and will continue as a celebration of the business corridor and its surrounding neighborhoods.

The 10th annual Ingersoll Live will return on Aug. 24 to the area between 28th and 29th streets along Ingersoll Avenue. The day’s events will run from 2 – 11 p.m., with the highlight being a performance by children’s performer Justin Roberts, who is a Roosevelt High School graduate and has been nominated for a Grammy award.

“We’re really excited about that,” says Emily Toribio, event planner for Ingersoll Live.

There also will be rides and other activities for children at the family-friendly format.

Ingersoll Live, which began as a way to draw people to the Ingersoll Avenue area in order to boost interest in revitalization of the corridor, has grown in some capacity each year, either through attendance or offerings. About 10,000 people have attended the past couple of years, though the number may have been a little lower last year because of rainy weather, Toribio says.

The event has been referred to as the Roosevelt High School all-class reunion, says Matt Coen, co-president of the Ingersoll Live committee.

“It’s neat to have a lot of folks come back to the event who may no longer live here,” he says.

Event includes wide range of entertainment for kids to adults

Ingersoll Live is free to attend, as is the entertainment. Rides, games, food, drink and vendor items cost.

Entertainment for this year’s Ingersoll Live includes:

The Isiserettes Drill and Drum Corps., a group of Des Moines-area youth, ages 7 to 18, that was formed in 1980. The group will kick off Ingersoll Live with its signature march up and down Ingersoll Avenue beginning at 2 p.m.

Justin Roberts, a children’s musician, will perform from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.

The Roosevelt High School choir will perform during the 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. time slot, along with another act that had not yet been booked as of the deadline of this publication.

Faculty Lounge performs at the 2012 Ingersoll Live. The group, which consists of local school teachers, coaches or administrators, will make a return appearance this year.

Faculty Lounge performs at the 2012 Ingersoll Live. The group, which consists of local school teachers, coaches or administrators, will make a return appearance this year.

Brother Trucker, an Americana roots rock band, will play at 7 p.m.

Faculty Lounge, a band whose members are school teachers, coaches or administrators in the Des Moines area. The band plays an assortment of jazz, funk, soul and R & B music. The group will play at 9 p.m.

Most groups will perform a roughly two-hour set, with music running the entire day except for breaks between sets.

“I think we’re trying to bring more acts to the main stage than ever before and make it a bigger and better event for the Ingersoll district and Des Moines in general,” Toribio says. “The event has that fun family atmosphere in the early hours and then turns into a concert experience as the day goes on.”

The bicycle valet will continue again this year. It’s located on the east side of The Mansion, 2801 Ingersoll Ave., for anyone who rides their bicycle to the event.

It costs about $13,500 to put on the Ingersoll Live event, which is paid for through vendor fees and sponsorships from neighborhood businesses and the community. Most businesses along Ingersoll will have a booth set up during the event.

Expansion of improvement district another reason to celebrate
Organizers say part of this year’s celebration will focus on the fact that the Self-Supported Municipal Improvement District (SSMID) that encompasses the area was expanded earlier this year to include a larger portion of the properties along Ingersoll Avenue and parts of Grand Avenue. These districts are in a defined area in which the businesses and property owners located there pay an additional fee based on their property’s assessed value. This money is designated for improvements that enhance the district in some capacity.

The expansion of the district, which became effective July 1 based on Des Moines City Council approval, means that about $200,000 a year will be generated, which will go toward the Restoration Ingersoll project, as well as additional marketing and economic development efforts, says Mike Ludwig, planning administrator for the city of Des Moines.

The area’s SSMID board will submit a budget and spending plan to the City Council each year for approval.

“It’s important because it allows for more renovation and restoration of Ingersoll,” Toribio says.

Any money generated from Ingersoll Live goes toward the Restoration Ingersoll project. Last year, about $5,000 was raised toward the revitalization efforts, Coen says

“We’re really making this a celebration of that huge milestone that was crossed,” says Coen, referring to expansion of the SSMID area. “It’s really a wonderful economic development tool. We had significant buy-in from the property owners on Grand and Ingersoll to make that elective tax levy happen.”

A dunk tank was one of the many fun activities at the 2012 Ingersoll Live. Event organizers say that attendees can expect more fun for all ages at this year’s event.

A dunk tank was one of the many fun activities at the 2012 Ingersoll Live. Event organizers say that attendees can expect more fun for all ages at this year’s event.

Restoration Ingersoll is an effort under way to beautify the Ingersoll Avenue corridor from Martin Luther King Junior Parkway to 42nd Street. The project has been expensive with more than $1.2 million in private contributions and taxpayer money invested thus far to landscape and rebuild the sidewalk area between 28th and 31st streets. That area was finished in 2009. A bicycle lane was added in 2010. A year later, Dahl’s Food Marts finished the portion of the streetscape project in front of its new store between 34th and 35th streets.

Key points of the overall Restoration Ingersoll project include new trees and flowerbeds; the location of public art along Ingersoll; improved street parking and improved off-street parking; enhancements at the major intersections; and a new sign ordinance to allow business owners to have greater creativity in displaying signs for their business.

Other businesses have done some improvements, and Ludwig, the city’s planning administrator, says as redevelopment occurs along the corridor, some of the Restoration Ingersoll redevelopment goals will be incorporated into those developments.

The Ingersoll Live event has played a big role in drawing people to Ingersoll Avenue so they can see firsthand the work that has been done to beautify the area, neighborhood leaders say.

“It’s that opportunity for everyone to get together who currently lives in the neighborhood,” says Coen, one of the event co-presidents.

Future areas for revitalization include finishing the streetscape between 31st and 42nd streets (outside of the areas that Dahl’s has already done) and between 15th and 28th streets.

The project has been put on hold while business owners and neighborhood leaders work with city officials and others to raise the remaining money needed to complete the project. Expanding the SSMID was part of this effort, as is expansion of an Urban Renewal Area to create a tax-increment financing (TIF) district. Approval of that effort could happen next spring when Des Moines City Council members approve their annual budget. A TIF district means increases on the taxable value of properties would go toward a special fund of money that would be allocated to the restoration efforts.

“Everybody likes the streetscape that is there, and they want it completed, but if we have to wait for federal sources and a multitude of other sources to come together and build it in individual phases, it’s going to take a long, long time,” Ludwig says.

He says there’s no estimated timeline as to when work will begin again and be completed on the corridor.

“A primary focus is economic development or to generate and pique interest in the corridor and development along the corridor,” Ludwig says.

Organizers try to add more each year to draw more attendees
Each year, Ingersoll Live organizers aim to add something new to the event in order to draw more people. First, it was additional food vendors to the point where now almost all of the major restaurants in the neighborhood participate. Then, more regional and neighborhood performers were added for entertainment, along with local artists. About eight to 12 local artists show their handiwork, which ranges from various genres of art to jewelry making.

For the second year, one of the event’s sponsors, Des Moines University, will have its mobile health unit on site and will provide free blood pressure screenings.

This year artist Frank Hansen will do a ransom sale at Ingersoll Live, in which he’ll threaten to destroy one of his own pieces of art unless it’s purchased.





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