Operation Downtown is a Self Supported Municipal Improvement District (SSMID) in Downtown Des Moines with a mission to enhance the quality of life in Downtown Des Moines by making it safe, clean, welcoming and beautiful. Operation Downtown, a 501(c)6, was formed in 1998 by business leaders in an effort to provide enhanced services not provided by the City of Des Moines. Explore the website to learn more or take a look at the Community Report. 

What is a SSMID?
A Self-Supported Municipal Improvement District (SSMID) is a defined area within which businesses pay an additional fee to fund improvements and enhanced services within the district’s boundaries. The services provided by SSMIDs are supplemental to those already provided by the municipality.

How is Operation Downtown funded?
Operation Downtown, Downtown Des Moines’ SSMID, is funded by downtown property owners through a fee structure based on assessed value. Local hospitals also voluntarily contribute to our budget. Operation Downtown is managed by the Downtown Community Alliance and Operation Downtown Board of Directors, who represent the various geographic areas of Downtown Des Moines.

How does Operation Downtown work with the City of Des Moines?
Though Operation Downtown is not affiliated with the City, we work closely with municipal employees. Throughout the year, our ambassadors provide downtown Des Moines with enhanced services that go beyond basic city services, from downtown event support to holiday lighting.

Public space maintenance
Operation Downtown, Riverfront Development Authority, and City of Des Moines maintain a number of public spaces, including the John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park in Western Gateway Park, Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway, East Locust Street, and the Principal Riverwalk, which features lighted, landscaped public spaces and unique pedestrian bridges and pathways that connect with 300 miles of Central Iowa trails. The maintenance includes mowing the grass, adding new plantings, snow removal and utilities.