DES MOINES (CelebrityAccess) – The West Des Moines City Council approved a development agreement with the Val Air Ballroom owner, Sam Summers, at its Tuesday meeting. The city will give a 10-year property tax rebate of $1.1 million and a development grant of $72,000 for the renovation project.
Summers then agreed to have the renovations finished by the end of December, have a $.5.5 million minimum assessed value of the building, and create or retain 14 full-time employees, as the Des Moines Register reported.
Plans include new electrical, plumbing and sprinklers, and ADA-appropriate accessibility options such as an elevator. He also plans to add a bar and grill in the basement, two new bathrooms on the first floor and improve production capabilities by adding a steel structure above the stage that holds cables, motors and lights that will allow artists to use screens and other stage elements.
“Really just being able to service the artist and the market at every level is something that’s super important to me,” Summers told the Des Moines Register. “I think this 2,500 (capacity) club is going to be an important piece of the puzzle. We’re moving closer and closer to having everything covered here.”
Summers may be a familiar name as he is the organizer of the Hinterland Music Festival, CEO of First Fleet Concerts, and owns Wooly’s music venue. He plans a $14.5 million reno of the Val Air Ballroom, which just turned 84. An Instagram post from December shows the ballroom wholly gutted. He purchased the storied venue in January 2022.