Merle Hay Apartments for Rent(hide neighborhood information)
One of the largest neighborhoods in Des Moines in both size and population, the Merle Hay community was named for the first American soldier to die in World War I in France. Merle David Hay was, of course, an Iowa soldier, and at one time the land now named for him was a military training camp with airport runways located far from what was then central Des Moines.
Today, this neighborhood of more than 4,000 homes and businesses is bordered by Aurora Boulevard to the north, University Avenue on the south, by Forty-ninth Street on the east, and Merle Hay Road on the west.
Many Des Moines residents are most familiar with this neighborhood for its namesake shopping center, the Merle Hay Mall, which houses more than 90 retail stores, as well as offering dining and entertainment, including movie theaters and bowling lanes. Since its opening in 1959, the Merle Hay Mall has been host to more than 100 community events each year, ranging from antiques shows to educational programs for elementary school students.
Another spot popular with area residents is the Waveland Golf Course, the oldest golf course beyond the Mississippi River. Its rolling hillsides offer greens that provide one of the most challenging courses statewide, and its 1940s clubhouse offers golfers a place to relax, shop, and dine once the golfing is over.
Community residents care about their neighborhood, and the popular Merle Hay Neighborhood Association sponsors year-round activities. Just a few examples include regular meetings, community alerts, a neighborhood party (typically a summer picnic at a favorite local spot like Riley Park,) and a Holiday Lights Contest in December.