EMC to sell HUB Tower, Kaleidoscope, warehouses in downtown Des Moines

EMC Insurance Cos. plans to sell four of its downtown Des Moines properties, the company announced Thursday.

One of the biggest downtown property owners, the company says it’s realigning its real estate holdings to keep only the buildings it uses for its own business and employees. It will sell four properties it leases to other tenants or uses for storage: 

  • The 21-story HUB Tower, 699 Walnut St.
  • The west side of the Kaleidoscope at the Hub, 555 Walnut St. 
  • The former Carpenter Paper building, 106 S.W. Seventh St.
  • The Lortex building, 113 S.W. Eighth St.

An EMC news release said the company “has no plans to sell” the three buildings that comprise its headquarters: 717 Mulberry St., 219 Eighth St. and 700 Walnut St., the signature skyscraper commonly known as the “Vodka Building” because of its resemblance to an Absolut vodka bottle. 

EMC also will keep its two parking ramps and a surface parking lot. 

A view of the Hub Tower in 2010, when EMC Insurance Cos. announced it was purchasing the building.

“EMC was founded here more than 110 years ago, and we’re committed to downtown Des Moines for the long term,” President and CEO Scott Jean said in a statement. “Des Moines will remain our headquarters location.”

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The property and casualty insurance company, which employs a total of 2,400 people, half of them in Des Moines, has determined it has “ample space at our three buildings to meet our needs for the foreseeable future,” he said.