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Southwestern Hills, which reigns as the largest neighborhood in Des Moines, proves that commerce and nature can coexist, even thrive. With the Des Moines International Airport providing the commercial anchor and Water Works Park acting as the ward of Mother Nature, Southwestern Hills consistently ranks near the top of resident polls that rate the most popular Des Moines neighborhoods. A vibrant economic base lowers property taxes and several private continuing education institutions, such as the American Institute of Business, attract career-minded residents to plant their roots in Southwestern Hills.

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Rent Trends

As of August 2017, the average apartment rent in Des Moines, IA is $773 for one bedroom, $849 for two bedrooms, and $997 for three bedrooms. Apartment rent in Des Moines has increased by 8.7% in the past year.

Beds
Avg Sq Ft
Avg Rent
1 BR
677
$773
2 BR
946
$849
3 BR
1,162
$997
Beds
Avg Sq Ft
Avg Rent

Ratings

17 Walk Score® Car-Dependent
6 Transit Score® Minimal Transit
41 Bike Score® Somewhat Bikeable

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Restaurants

Forget corporate chains, and travel along Fleur Drive to find a wide variety of independently owned ethnic restaurants that add a little spice to the Southwestern Hills neighborhood. Tsing Tsao South dazzles the taste buds with flavorful renditions of classics such as Orange Chicken, with house specialties that keep the restaurant packed throughout the week. Located at the southern tip of Water Works Park and less than a mile from Fleur Drive, Orlondo's, established in Southwestern Hills, remains one of the premier dining destinations in the city. Award-wining ribs highlight a menu that receives almost universal food-critic praise. The restaurant includes a large banquet facility for hosting business seminars and wedding receptions. After you move to Southwestern Hills, make sure stop by Orlondo's and try one of the house signature Italian pizzas.

Watering holes such as Francie's and Skip's promote their NFL packages played on several big screen televisions, as well as bar menus that feature classic pub sandwiches and appetizers. Residents of Southwestern Hills only have to travel about a mile to reach the Gas Lamp, a Des Moines entertainment staple that attracts local and regional bands. The closest nightclub district sits along Court Avenue in downtown Des Moines. Joker's typically finds itself a favorite for its spot as one of best dance clubs in the city.

History

For decades, the tract of land directly south of downtown Des Moines acted as the prime section of agricultural based real estate for the entire area. The fertile soil that absorbed nutrient-rich Raccoon River flood waters eventually succumbed to the growth of the city. However, Southwestern Hills did not officially comprise a Des Moines neighborhood until the Des Moines International Airport reached its current size. The modernized airport of the 1980s now provides the commercial development impetus that keeps Southwestern Hills buzzing.

Residents of the neighborhood enjoy the finest cultural attractions within a short drive from their homes. The Des Moines Art Center, which sits on a hilltop along Grand Avenue, runs numerous workshops for would be artists of every age bracket. Fans of science can engage for hours with the exhibits that draw awe-inspiring respect inside of the Des Moines Science Center.

Transportation

Fleur Drive acts as the primary transportation artery for residents of the Southwestern Hills neighborhood. Commuters have less than a 10-minute drive to downtown Des Moines. Although the neighborhood does not have lanes for avid cyclists, residents only need to peddle a few hundred yards to find one of the bike trails located within both Gray's Lake and Water Works park. Ride west out to Jordan Creek Mall, or catch a Cubs game in downtown Des Moines via your bicycle. Pedestrians enjoy plenty of sidewalk space in subdivisions and along bustling Fleur Drive. Park Avenue provides the link between Fleur Drive and Southwest 63rd Street, which welcomes travelers to West Des Moines.

Interstate 235 runs through the heart of Des Moines, but it does not represent the best travel route option for Southwestern Hills residents. Many residents of this large neighborhood eschew costly downtown parking and take one of the bus lines that slice through Southwestern Hills. The number 6 Indianola Avenue, number 7 SW 9th, and number 8 Fleur Drive all move through or near the neighborhood. Once residents reach the downtown central station, they can find a bus route that takes them anywhere in the Des Moines metropolitan area. Because of the lack of easy interstate access, car pooling specialist Uber does not have a strong impact on neighborhood transportation choices. Cabs typically do not wait for fares in Southwestern Hills, although a phone call summons taxi service within 10 minutes.

Cost

Easy access only represents one of the advantages of taking public transportation to and from Southwestern Hills. Riders enjoy an affordable fare of $1.75 that last two hours and allows for one transfer. Savvy public transportation riders buy monthly passes, which give them unlimited rides for 30 days at a cost of $48. Once you arrive back home in Southwestern Hills, enjoy a $2.25 domestic draw that most of the bars pour during happy hour. Normal draw beer prices add 50 cents to the happy-hour tab. Fill up your vehicle, and benefit from per-gallon pump prices that sit 8 percent below the national average.

Despite the affordable prices of beer, gas, and bus fares, Southwestern Hills has an average cost of living that runs 10 percent higher than the cost of living in other Des Moines neighborhoods. Much of the higher cost of living derives from expensive real estate, especially residential properties that stand adjacent to the airport. At $672, the median rent for a one-bedroom Southwestern Hills apartment far exceeds the median rent for a similar abode elsewhere in Des Moines.

Shopping

Avoid the 15-minute drive to Southridge Mall, and instead, shop along nearby Ingersoll Avenue at specialty stores that sell a wide variety of products. While Fleur Drive overflows with large corporate retailers. Ingersoll Avenue attracts smaller retailers that specialize in selling products within a certain niche. Repeat Boutique Consignment sells a vast array of high-end women's brand-name fashion that includes Kate Spade and Michael Kors. Badowers provides men with the same high-quality fashion options that women enjoy at Repeat Boutique Consignment. The highest-end retailers operate at Jordan Creek Mall in West Des Moines. Southwestern Hills residents flock to the Hy-Vee located next to the airport to meet all of their grocery needs. The company renovated its dining area to build sparkling restaurants that put a new twist on grocery store dining. A team of chefs utilizes the fresh products brought into the store to create an appealing menu. Organic food shoppers who want to support local farmers typically visit the Des Moines Farmers Market, which spans several blocks in downtown Des Moines.

Parks

The area's two most popular parks sit within one mile of the Southwestern Hills neighborhood. Water Works Park sits adjacent to the Raccoon River, and the park features beautiful, huge oak and elm trees. The quiet setting provides the perfect environment for deer, and bald eagles make a winter home in the park.

On the opposite of Fleur Drive, Gray's Lake acts as the city's premier family park. The Des Moines Parks and Recreation Department ensures the lake remains full of bass and blue gill during fishing season. Stand along the vast shore, or rent a boat to capture the essence of Iowa fishing. During summer, both parks run high profile softball tournaments that attract the best players from across the Midwest. Located 2 miles to the west in Windsor Height, Colby Park hosts summer movie and concerts series that promote family-friendly entertainment. Colby also adjoins a large dog park that includes several amenities to keep your furry friend occupied.

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Southwestern Hills Apartments for Rent

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Park Avenue by Broadmoor
4400 Park Ave, Des Moines, IA 50321
1 / 30
6 hrs
$870 - 1,110 1-2 Bed Available Now
844-370-2572
Weston Park Apartments
4200 Park Ave, Des Moines, IA 50321
1 / 50
New
$688 - 1,080 1-3 Bed Available Now
888-718-8974
Wakonda
1800 Watrous Ave, Des Moines, IA 50315
1 / 19
New
$595 - 825 Studio - 2 Bed Available Now
888-851-0618
Grays Lake Apartments
2800 Fleur Dr, Des Moines, IA 50321
6 hrs
$680 - 935 1-3 Bed Available Now
515-412-7014
Deer Ridge Apartments
6000 Creston Ave, Des Moines, IA 50321
2 wks
$628 - 910 1-3 Bed Available Now
888-542-9834
River Oaks Apartments
6010 Creston Ave, Des Moines, IA 50321
2 wks
$725 1-3 Bed Available Now
515-346-6437
New
Wakonda West Apartments
2221 Stanton Ave, Des Moines, IA 50321
$645 - 840 1-2 Bed Available Now
844-234-8947
Stanton Apartments
2200 Stanton Ave, Des Moines, IA 50321
$795 2 Bed Available 10/01/17
2 wks

Apartments for Rent in Southwestern Hills, Des Moines, IA

Southwestern Hills, which reigns as the largest neighborhood in Des Moines, proves that commerce and nature can coexist, even thrive. With the Des Moines International Airport providing the commercial anchor and Water Works Park acting as the ward of Mother Nature, Southwestern Hills consistently ranks near the top of resident polls that rate the most popular Des Moines neighborhoods. A vibrant economic base lowers property taxes and several private continuing education institutions, such as the American Institute of Business, attract career-minded residents to plant their roots in Southwestern Hills.

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