'Watch Us Grow' at Wesley Acres! - WesleyLife

June 02, 2021  |  by WesleyLife

Master planning is an integral part of WesleyLife's growth and development. Last week, WesleyLife CEO Rob Kretzinger shared the following with residents of Wesley Acres in Des Moines to make them aware of plans for their community in the coming months. Continue to watch this space for master-planning news involving other WesleyLife and WellSpire communities, including our campuses in Pella and Indianola!


As we head into Thanksgiving Week, I hope this finds you with many things for which to be grateful this season. It’s an unprecedented one, for certain, and filled with numerous challenges, but I am certainly grateful for the opportunity to continue to serve all of you.

As some of you know, my career with WesleyLife began at Wesley Acres many years ago — so long ago that one of my now-grown daughters slept in a dresser drawer in our apartment in the Chamberlain Mansion when we first arrived in Des Moines!

I am writing today to offer some details about the master planning that is under way on your campus. I know Damon, your Executive Director, has been discussing these plans during his communications with you, but I wanted to reach out personally to let you know, from an organizational perspective, a few things that are in store, as well as our proposed time frame for groundbreaking.

As is the case with all of our endeavors, our goal with the Wesley Acres master planning project is to enhance the quality of life for all who make their home with us. We wish, always, to be good stewards of your resources by investing them back into your home, and to continue to care for the community in the way you deserve as well as for future generations of residents.

We also hope to foster a greater sense of connectedness on our campus for you and for those future residents — who could include your children or grandchildren! As you know, Wesley Acres has a large footprint and many components. We hope to provide and highlight opportunities for common experiences, bringing residents closer together and encouraging a greater sense of community.

Some of our more specific goals for this project include:

  • Redesigning the community’s entrance —to help people know how to enter the campus, practically speaking, but also to provide a welcoming, warm, and inclusive experience for all.
  • Renovating and redeveloping the Chamberlain Mansion in a way that is befitting of this amazing gift that was bestowed on our organization so long ago, and to honor the building’s historic status.
  • Creating and enhancing amenities designed to benefit health and well-being and take advantage of the “walkability” of the campus. 
  • Enhancing our culinary spaces in terms of equipment, finishes, and overall experiences.

These are just a few of our goals; Damon will continue to fill you in on other details as the calendar brings us closer to groundbreaking. We are hoping that will take place in the spring of 2021, and we plan to uproot your lives as little as possible when that site work begins.

This week -- Thursday, December 3 -- the Des Moines Plan and Zoning Commission, an advisory body to the Des Moines City Council, will consider our request to approve an amendment to our Planned Unit Development Conceptual Plan. This will deal primarily with changes and additions to parking and planned outdoor spaces and features, as well as some landscaping needs. Once the approval is granted, Damon will be able to provide you with additional details.

I am looking so forward to getting this project off the ground. We have the opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of everyone we serve through our mission at Wesley Acres, and I hope you join me in looking forward to these wonderful enhancements in the coming year.

If you have questions, please reach out to Damon via phone or email, as the Wesley Acres team is very excited about this project and looks forward to partnering with all of you to make this transition as easy as possible.  I am also available as needed, and always happy to help.

Find the community for you

Subscribe to the WesleyLife Blog