The Village at Gray's Lake offers 'Ideal living with a smart past' at the former AIB campus

When the AIB College of Business announced that they were ceasing operations after 95 years, the campus was donated to the State of Iowa Board of Regents for use by the University of Iowa. After a couple of years, the University of Iowa decided they didn't want it anymore. The property, which includes several structures and sits in a prime location just south of downtown Des Moines, was sold to private developers and investors. One of the structures is the former student dormitory (maybe residence hall is the more modern term) and it has recently been totally renovated into more than 90 rentable one and two bedroom apartments.

The new complex is called "The Village at Gray's Lake".

Iowa Adventurer was recently invited to check out the facility and I even got to stay overnight in one of their guest suites that residents can rent if they have family or friends coming for a visit. As part of my stay, I also got a tour from a couple of the friendly staff members.


One of the first things that hits you when you walk in the building is the gorgeous common space. It is near the elevators and the leasing office.

This community / common area is an elegant space with nice lighting and furnishings.

Not far from the leasing office is a really cool coffee bar. As a bit of a coffee addict myself, I definitely made myself a couple of cups during my stay.

They have a nice, modern gym facility that is available to residents.

The community space has a nice shuffleboard table.

But there is another alcove that has a billiards table and a television above a fireplace.

Next door to that, there's a room that is being turned into a rentable party room.

There is some nice renovated office space available for rent if someone is looking for a high quality place to set up shop.

The facility has a nice mail room as well as an extensive laundry room. There are no washers and dryers in the units.

The office and common area is essentially the middle of the building and one half of the building is one-bedroom apartments and the other is two-bedroom apartments. All of the floor plans within each wing are the same. The hallways are very nice, bright, and wide.

I stayed in unit 209, which is the two-bedroom guest suite.

Inside, you find the units to be spacious and updated.

There's a nice spot for a small dining room table and that leads to nice family room.

There is a door that leads to balcony.

Every unit has outdoor space.

Back inside, the kitchen has a nice L shaped counter and has both open shelving storage and cabinet storage.

You can head down a short hallway and you'll find two bedrooms on one side and a bathroom across the hall. There's a small storage closet at the end of the hall.

The first bedroom in this particular unit is set up as an office. There's ample storage space and a nice window for some natural lighting.

The next bedroom is similar in size and can easily fit a queen size bed, a dresser, and a night stand. It also has nice closet.

There's a nice storage closet at the end of the hall.

Across from the bedrooms is a nice-sized bathroom with a double vanity.

There's also a toilet and a shower.

I appreciate that they preserved a lot of the original features of the dorm. For example, there are signs in the common spaces that are very much a reminder of the place's long history as a college dorm.

From the corner of the property, you can get a pretty nice view of the Des Moines skyline.

As the name indicates, it's only about a block to Gray's Lake, one of the most popular recreational attractions in the metro. There is easy access to the multitude of trails from this property.

Parking is free and there is no shortage of it.

They've added some nice artwork to the property. It really adds a nice modern touch.

"Ideal living with a smart past" is a great slogan to honor the history as a college. It's ideal in that it's pet friendly, includes the utilities within the rent, and is in a great location.

Overall, I had a great experience as a "Villager" for the night. I'd certainly recommend checking out their website, Facebook page, and Instagram page to learn more and keep up on the latest. They offer both longer-term and shorter-term leases and and so it's ideal for really just about any kind of person or situation.

As always, I welcome your suggestions of places to visit and profile whether in Polk County or any of the other 98 counties in Iowa. If you have a good idea or would like to host the Iowa Adventurer, please drop me a note through this website.

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