Welcome to the Johnston Economic Development Corporation

Johnston Economic Development Corporation
Our mission is to foster economic growth and opportunity in the Johnston community and in the Greater Des Moines region.

Plaza on 86th

New Construction for 2016 Openings

Plaza On 86th Street

NAI Optimum is offering Pre-Leasing for 2016 Openings on Plaza on 86th located on the SW corner of NW 86th Street and NW 54th Avenue. When complete this new retail center will offer 21,000 SF of space. This strategic location will serve areas of hyper growth in Johnston, Urbandale and Grimes. Around 15,000 corporate employees from John Deere Financial, DuPont Pioneer, Rain & Hail Insurance and Delta Dental pass this site every weekday. Bay sizes are 20′ x 80′ and Drive-thru end caps are available. Lease rate is $24-$28 PSF NNN. For more information on this property contact Steve Scott, CCIM at 515-309-4002 or sscott@naioptimum.com.

Click here to view a print brochure with more detailed information on this Retail Center.

MidAmerican Substation Special Use Permit


MidAmerican Energy has been working with The City of Johnston to determine a location for a new substation to serve the growth in electrical needs within the Central Part of the Johnston Community. At their meeting on November 9th, the Johnston Planning and Zoning Commission considered and approved a Special Use Permit to allow for an electric substation at 6750 Pioneer Parkway.

Johnston is currently served by three substations, the Sycamore Substation at NW 62nd Avenue and NW Beaver Drive, the NW 100th Street Substation at NW 54th Avenue and NW 100th Street and the Highway 141 Substation located north of NW 70th Avenue along Highway 141 in Grimes. These three substations are spread out across the community and create a gap in coverage for the central part of the community. To interconnect the electric grid, each substation needs to be connected to two other substations by high voltage transmission lines, which made it difficult to find the appropriate location for the fourth substation.

It was determined that a substation at 6750 Pioneer Parkway would reduce that distance of the transmission lines needed. To complete this project two lines would be constructed parallel to each other and would span from the proposed substation southerly to the existing transmission lines that run east/wet through the community. The remaining lines would be located on the existing towers, with one extending westerly to the NW 100th Street Substation and one extending easterly to the Sycamore Substation.

Follow the link below for more information on the proposed MidAmerican Energy Substation.


West Central Urban Renewal Area Expansion




The Johnston City Council recently conducted a public hearing concerning a proposal to expand the West Central Urban Renewal district to include property in the NW 70th Ave. corridor west of NW 86th street.

Developments on properties classified as commercial may be eligible for Tax Increment Financing assistance. With the planned road and infrastructure improvements the corridor is poised for significant growth in the near future.

Learn more about the expanded urban renewal area here.


Vote on November 3rd


Tom Cope, Paula Dierenfeld, and John Temple answer questions about future City plans



On Thursday, October 22nd Johnston Economic Development Corporation and the Johnston Chamber hosted a Meet the Candidates event a Johnston City Hall. The event provided Johnston residents with an informal opportunity to meet the candidates for the upcoming City Council election and ask them questions.


Council Members Tom Cope, Matt Brown and John Temple are all current City Council members seeking election and are running unopposed. In addition Mayor Paula Dierenfeld is seeking election and is running unopposed. Tomorrow is election day. Please remember to exercise your civic duty and vote!

DuPont Pioneer Krug Expansion


Over the years the residents of Johnston have watched the DuPont Pioneer campus expand and change. The City of Johnston and DuPont Pioneer are now working on a development agreement to support the construction of a 4,965 square foot expansion to the Krug Complex – located on the north side of NW 62nd Avenue. The project involves a $1,300,000 capital investment and includes an addition to the insectory and other improvements such as technology and equipment. The project is a continuation of an existing project which includes updates to several other facilities on the Johnston campus.

City staff has recommended that tax increment financing (TIF) be awarded in the form of a forgivable loan, which would be provided in a lump sum once the improvements are constructed and the actual value of the project is determined. It is anticipated that the project would result in an increase in taxable value of $607,275, and be eligible for a property tax rebate of up to $48,000.

At their meeting on October 19, the Johnston City Council set a November 2 meeting date for a public hearing on the development agreement.

Follow the link below for more information on this expansion.

Electronic Message Centers

Electronic Signs

Johnston businesses with monument signs that include an electronic message center will soon have a little more flexibility in setting the frequency for changing the messages. Current regulations state that electronic message center copy may change “no more than one time in a 24 hour period.” Under an amended ordinance, electronic message center copy may change “no more than once per five (5) minutes.” Amber alerts and emergency messages are exempt from the time regulations.

Electronic message center signs may not include any flashing, flowing, alternating or blinking lights. This is a continuation of current policy.

At their meeting on October 19 the Johnston City Council approved the 2nd consideration, and waived the 3rd consideration to adopt and publish the amendment to Chapter 170 of the City of Johnston Code of Ordinances.

Follow the link below to read the full Sign Regulations Ordinance.




Birchwood Road Extension Considered

NW 54th & FoxboroIn a community survey completed in 2013, residents indicted that the highest priority for the city is to improve the traffic flow for the community. As the Johnston Community continues to grow the congestion on the existing road systems also increases. Over the years the city has been approached by property owners regarding a road connection from NW 54th avenue to Birchwood Court. The road extension is important for future development in the area.

During their work session on August 3, 2015 the Johnston City Council discussed the road connection. Additional traffic would be created with new developments in the Birchwood area. A traffic study indicated that the connection of a road from NW 54th Avenue to Birchwood Court would reduce traffic congestion on the intersection of NW 86th Street and Birchwood Court.  The likely alignment of the Birchwood road extension would be with Foxboro Road, creating a four-way intersection . The City Council approved the construction of a public road from NW 54th Avenue to Birchwood Court at their meeting on September 8th.

The Council is now set to consider a resolution for a public hearing to be held on October 5, 2015. The purpose of the hearing would be to consider action to condemn a portion of certain properties which would enable the City to acquire the necessary easements for the road extension.

Click here for more information on the road alignment, and click here for information about the proposed condemnation public hearing.

Comprehensive Plan Change Factors

The Johnston Comprehensive Plan Task Force met three times in recent months to review housing information and trends. Based on the review the Task Force recommended that the Planning and Zoning Commission and the City Council follow several guidelines when amendments to the Johnston 2030 Comprehensive Plan Land Use Map are considered. At their meeting on August 10th the Planning and Zoning Commission endorsed the use of eleven factors to consider when amending the Comprehensive plan, and recommended that the City Council approve a resolution adopting the criteria.

Noting that the criteria are intended to be guidelines and not an all encompassing list of items that may be considered, the Commission approved the following items with respect to the review of future Comprehensive Plan amendments.

  1. Is there a demand in the community for the proposed use?
  2. Current supply/demand, vacancy/occupancy rates, etc.
  3. Short and long term projections for the existing and proposed uses
  4. What benefits would be generated by the proposed use as compared to the existing use? What negative impacts would be caused by the proposed use?
  5. What is the history of the property? Are there impediments to marketing/developing the site pursuant to the existing use that are unique and distinguish the site from other properties in the community? Are there any factors or criteria unique to the site or area under study that would argue for or against the proposed use?
  6. Is there or can adequate land use transitions be provided between existing uses and the proposed use? Can buffers and site design be incorporated to minimize the impact on neighboring property owners? What impact is there to existing development sight lines?
  7. What are the impacts and is there capacity on the property and within the surrounding area to support the proposed use in the following areas:
  8. Roadway network/traffic
  9. Utilities (water, sewer, storm water management)
  10. Services and amenities (typically available to support the proposed use
  11. What are the property tax implications that would result from the proposed change?

For more information on the proposed Comprehensive Plan Change Factors click here. To examine the housing information previously reviewed by the Task Force click here.

Goodwill Industries New Johnston Headquarters


After the American TV and Appliance store on NW 86th Street was left empty in early 2014 many Johnston residents wondered what would happen to the retail space. In December of 2014 Johnston residents learned that Goodwill Industries of Central Iowa would convert the former American TV and Appliance store into their headquarters. Johnston residents will soon notice changes to the building taking place. At a meeting on Monday, August 10th the Planning and Zoning Commission approved the site plans for the conversion of the former building into Goodwill Industries new headquarters. The new space will include 51,929 square feet of office space, 20,047 square feet of retail space, 33,124 square foot of industrial space and 39,855 square feet of warehouse space.

For more details on the Goodwill Industries site plans click here.