DES MOINES, Iowa — Leaning over the map, Brian Vincent turned to a city official and asked, “Why does it show a park instead of my business?”

The planner paused and then explained. Des Moines leaders had concluded that the park was a better use of the land than the low-slung building that had housed Corn Belt Aluminum for decades.

“I’m like, ‘Thank you for the 50 years I’ve been here,’ ” Vincent said.

Vincent was shocked by the exchange, but businesses across the country are landing in similar positions as cities remake gritty, industrial districts into trendy hotspots with glassy apartment buildings, coffee shops and microbreweries. The transformations are a point of pride for growing communities but difficult for manufacturers and warehouse owners, who, after operating successfully for decades, sometimes now feel shunned by their new, more polished neighbors.

The cold shoulder feels especially chilly in the Midwest, a region that has long prided itself on an unassuming work ethic and a long, prosperous history of steel mills, factories and meat-packing plants.

In a part of Minneapolis-St. Paul known as the Midway, manufacturers have drawn complaints about noise and truck traffic from residents of new apartments built along a light rail line that links the two cities.

Many warehouses and light industrial businesses have disappeared from Denver’s River North Art District. With real estate becoming so expensive, the few that remain will likely sell out.

And in the Milwaukee neighborhood called Walker’s Point, the trend has progressed to the degree that some people are now trying to retain some industry and older housing because, as University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee urban planning professor Carolyn Esswein puts it, “If it’s suddenly all 12-story housing towers, that doesn’t have the same feeling.”

Des Moines businesses are focused on the makeover of an area dubbed the Market District, which stands nearly in the shadow of the golden state Capitol dome and borders a trendy area of shops, hotels and bars called the East Village. Planners envision replacing manufacturing buildings, warehouses and scrap yards with housing, offices and shops. It’s a dream that’s quickly becoming reality as sleek apartment towers, craft beer bars and even a design-your-own cupcake bakery open in the neighborhood.

The encroaching development convinced Teresa Van Vleet-Danos to sell a 2-acre property and move her stone-cutting business. Rowat Cut Stone & Marble has been at the same location for 138 years. The company has until this summer to clear out. The weathered building will be knocked down and replaced with apartment towers.As painful as the upheaval can be, the increased interest among housing developers and others caused property values to soar. So in the best-case scenario, businesses can make enough money by selling out to pay for the move to a new location, said Erin Olson-Douglas, the city’s economic development coordinator.

Susan Wachter, a professor of real estate and finance at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, said over the next 10 to 20 years, development will drive the last warehouses and light manufacturing centers out of city cores.

“This transformation is taking place right now,” she said.

Apart from preserving specialty industries, such as Philadelphia’s diamond district, Wachter said there is no stopping the trend.

When development chased manufacturers from Denver’s River North district, artists moved in to the fill the void. But like the industrial businesses before them, many are now getting pushed out by high property values and development.

“It’s disruptive to your psyche,” said Chandler Romeo, who owns property in the area. “It’s really strange. Our landscape is changing so fast.”

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