Our Approach

  • Kuhnert Arboretum

    December 10, 2013

    The Kuhnert Arboretum is a 19.2-acre area along Moccasin Creek that was among 50 acres of land purchased by the city of Aberdeen in 1969. The original plan in 1974 was to create an area that featured every type of tree that grows in South Dakota. Today, it features a gazebo, nature area and public garden space and provides learning opportunities for residents of all ages.

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    • The Kuhnert Arboretum is a 19.2-acre area along Moccasin Creek that was among 50 acres of land purchased by the city of Aberdeen in 1969. The original plan in 1974 was to create an area that featured every type of tree that grows in South Dakota. Today, it features a gazebo, nature area and public garden space and provides learning opportunities for residents of all ages.  

      The Arboretum offers environmental education about:

      • Native plant ecosystems
      • Prairie community environments
      • Species of trees and shrubs grown in the area
      • Water systems
      • Wetland communities

      Click here to read more about the project.

  • Excelsior Springs Community Center

    November 17, 2013

    Confluence is part of the consultant team working with the Excelsior Springs, Missouri Parks and Recreation department to shape a potential community recreation center.

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    • Citizens are asked to participate in the planning process for a potential community recreation center in Excelsior Springs, Missouri by providing input. The site being considered is located south of the high school and north of Century Park. A public meeting is scheduled for Thursday, November 21, 2013 from 6-7:30pm at The Montgomery, 425 Thompson Avenue. The same day, a community engagement website will launch to allow citizens to engage, communicate and collaborate with community decision makers, other residents and the consultant team and help in shaping the future community center.  Please visit the website at growESMO.MINDMIXER.COM.

  • In Progress: Olathe Community Center

    September 19, 2013

    Confluence is part of the design team for the new Olathe Community Center and Stagecoach Park master plan.

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    • The building is located within the existing park and care was taken to retain many of the existing mature trees. Currently, the lazy river is being constructed inside the building and the exterior is being skinned with limestone cladding. Throughout the site, parking lots and sidewalks are being poured in preparation for shelter construction and playground installation.

  • In Progress: Kansas City Downtown Streetcar

    August 9, 2013

    Confluence is part of the consultant team currently working on the design of the new Kansas City Downtown Streetcar.

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    • This two-mile north-south streetcar starter line will run through downtown, connecting the River Market on the north to Union Station and Crown Center on the south. The modern, electric streetcar vehicles will operate within existing street lanes with stops occurring approximately every two blocks. Confluence has collaborated with the design team to develop prototype design options for station/platform design and integrate them into the surrounding urban setting. On Thursday, August 1, the Kansas City Streetcar Authority approved the final design for streetcar stops and platforms.

      The streetcar is scheduled to become operational in the summer of 2015.

  • Just Completed: Holocaust Memorial

    June 28, 2013

    Confluence collaborated with the Jewish Federation of Iowa to complete the Iowa Holocaust Memorial located on the grounds of the Iowa State Capitol. The memorial was built in memory of the Holocaust victims, in gratitude to Iowans who, as members of the United States Armed Forces, liberated concentration camps and in honor of the over 100 Holocaust survivors who ended up living in Iowa.

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    • The original concept was the result of a design competition involving Iowa State University design students. Confluence was then retained  to assist in design development and construction documentation. Throughout the process, the project went through several design iterations and was ultimately approved by the Capitol Planning Commission.

      The memorial consists of a series of four aluminum wall panels featuring inscriptions and photographs. The panels were designed in collaboration with Dimensional Innovations, a fabrication and innovation firm located near Kansas City. The Jewish Federation of Iowa provided text and quotes to Confluence who was responsible for the final layout and graphic design of the panels.

      Confluence’s commitment continued throughout construction, with staff assisting in the installation of sod, seed and plantings. The project was completed in late June of 2013. We are proud to say we were part of this meaningful project which will be viewed by many at the annual Yankee Doodle Pops festival held the evening of July 3 on the capital grounds.


  • In Progress: 801 Grand Avenue Waterproofing & Site Renovation

    May 24, 2013

    Confluence was retained by the Principal Group and Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) to redesign the existing plaza on all sides of 801 Grand in Des Moines. In addition, with the plaza leaking into an underground parking deck, Confluence was charged with providing a water-tight solution and retained SGH to provide waterproofing expertise as the Plaza gets a facelift.

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    • With the plaza renovation, Confluence proposed a new emphasis on a better front door entry to 801 Grand. The re-design incorporates new granite paving, an expanded outdoor terrace, granite planters and curbs, new signage design, new railings, and a drop-off lane with corresponding ‘bump-outs’ on Grand Avenue. These streetscape ideas will be carried west a few blocks to better tie-in the streetscape of Gateway West and the 801 block.

      Confluence worked closely with JE Dunn, tenants and Owner’s team to phase in the construction to best accommodate access throughout the duration of the project.This $8 million renovation will start construction in March of 2013 and will be complete by December of 2013.


  • In Progress: Jawhawk Boulevard

    May 6, 2013

    Confluence is assisting a multi-disciplinary design team to update the historic core of The University of Kansas campus, Jayhawk Boulevard.

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    • As a part of reconstruction of this historic, multi-modal boulevard, Confluence is restoring the boulevard landscape to embrace the original landscape intent as designed in the 1920’s. A number of buildings along Jayhawk Boulevard were recently placed on the Register of Historic Kansas Places and are awaiting consideration by the National Register of Historic Places. The plans for Jayhawk Boulevard take into account the broader historic campus landscape and extraordinary view sheds originally conceived by George Kessler and Henry Wright in 1904, all while accommodating the needs of the modern University. As part of the project, Confluence also proposed and conceptually designed an entry experience on the western end of the boulevard that formally announces your arrival to Jayhawk Boulevard. Conceptual plans for the corridor were completed in November 2012 and implementation of the initial phase of improvements is currently in progress to be completed in summer 2013.

  • In Progress: Walnut Street Streetscape

    April 22, 2013

    The City of Des Moines and Downtown Community Alliance are pleased to invite the community to the unveiling of the final streetscape concept for Walnut Street on Monday, April 29, 2013, from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Downtown Public Library, 1000 Grand Avenue in Des Moines. The consultant team will give a presentation at noon, followed by a question and answer session.

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    • Confluence is leading a multi-disciplinary team in preparing a streetscape improvement plan, along with a retail strategy and merchandising plan for the Walnut Street Corridor in downtown Des Moines. The team won the highly competitive commission with a mix of local design talent bolstered by urban media and a retail strategy consultant.

      Historically, Walnut Street was bustling with pedestrians, shopping and vehicular traffic which in recent years have been replaced by vacant store fronts and noisy bus traffic. The goal of the project, which stretches from 2nd Street to 10th Street, is to re-introduce Walnut Street as a memorable connection and destination to draw visitors and residents back to downtown while also maximizing the City’s dollars in infrastructure improvements. The Confluence team has held a series of focus group and public meetings to generate ideas for attracting visitors and encouraging after-hour shopping and dining by downtown employees. The Retail Market Analysis conducted by the team identified a need for 225,000 square feet of retail and restaurants in downtown Des Moines.

      The resultant plan proposes a number of improvements to the district including urban gardens, illuminated public art, on-street parking, interactive kiosks, and a streetscape framework that provides space for outdoor dining, pop-ups, and vendors. Landscape treatments are focused at intersections in an effort to maximize views to storefronts. Construction is proposed for spring 2014.

  • In Progress: West Central Valley Athletic Complex

    April 4, 2013

    Confluence is part of the multi-disciplinary team selected to provide master planning services for an athletic complex for the new West Central Valley High School in Stuart, Iowa. The scope includes a track, football, baseball and softball fields.

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    • To date, Confluence has led a series of visioning sessions with school board members to develop a final scope. The scope was then “put to the test” in the estimating phase. Ultimately, a few changes were made along with the development of several alternates to give the owner some flexibility on bid day. We are proud to say that the project came in slightly below budget and many of the alternates have been accepted.

      The grading and utilities were completed in fall 2012. The track and football stadium will be completed and ready for play in fall 2013. The baseball and softball fields will be open for competition in spring 2014. The West Central Valley Community School District will have a facility that can host district events for many years to come. The community pride exhibited throughout this project has been overwhelming. We will not miss opening night, and neither will anyone else in the district.

  • In Progress: Rock Island Corridor Study

    February 11, 2013

    The Mid-America Regional Council (MARC), in conjunction with a number of local communities, created the Creating Sustainable Places initiative in 2012 which included six identified corridors within the Kansas City metropolitan region.

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    • The purpose of the Rock Island Corridor Study is to evaluate the potential economic development opportunities associated with anticipated short and long-term re-use of the inactive Rock Island rail line for trail and/or future transit use. 

      This corridor is currently inactive and privately owned, yet is being considered for acquisition to be transformed into a transit corridor linking numerous communities to each other, to the Truman Sports Complex, and eventually to Downtown Kansas City, Missouri. As part of a multi-disciplinary team, Confluence is assisting in studying potential station area locations in several locations, including Downtown Raytown, Knobtown (350 Highway + Noland Road) – Raytown/Kansas City, View High (Interstate 470 + View High Drive) – Lee’s Summit / Kansas City, Greenwood and Downtown Pleasant Hill.

      The scope of our work includes assisting in facilitating a series of interactive community stakeholder and public meetings and charrettes, reviewing community input provided both in person and through online forums, analyzing existing conditions and review of each station area, and preparing future land planning and development concepts. These concepts include opportunities for short-term development of a trail connection along the corridor – which is anticipated to become part of Missouri’s Katy Trail network – as well as long-term transit-ready development in each of the proposed station locations. A series of meetings and coordination activities are being organized to integrate a wide range of community input from key stakeholders, agencies, and constituents along the entire corridor.