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.

 Featured Property

5055 Merle Hay Road

Merle Hay Road Gateway  

 5055 Merle Hay Road

Knapp Properties has a redevelopment opportunity available in the heart of the Merle Hay Gateway Master Plan in Johnston. This investment property has visibility from I-80/35 with access to a lighted intersection on Merle Hay Road. The Property includes over 32 acres, 17 of the acres are available for redevelopment. Approximately 10.2 acres are zone Highway Commercial (C-3) and approximately 22 acres are zoned Conservation District (CD). The average daily traffic counts are 27,000 vehicles per day on Merle Hay Road and 95,000 vehicles per day on Interstate 80/35. The property is near a light controlled intersection and is adjacent to a City of Johnston recreation trail. There is an opportunity for hotel, mixed use, high density housing, or office, with increased park and recreational space.

Click here to view a print brochure with more information on the site.


Audi Des Moines Awarded Magna Society Elite Award



Audi Des Moines was recently awarded the 2015 Audi Magna Society Elite Award, putting it in the Top 12 out of 285 Audi dealerships in the country. This year, Audi of America honored 93 top-performing dealerships in the U.S. with the Magna Society Awards, a distinction for dealers who achieved excellent performance in 2015.

To earn Magna Society recognition, dealers must demonstrate an exceptional level of customer service as well as strong business performance. Out of the 93 honored dealerships, 12 were distinguished as 2015 Audi Magna Society Elite, a special honor for superior achievements. The award was created by Audi to identify and recognize dealerships that go above and beyond business objectives and sales targets, and cultivate staff that properly represents the Audi brand and culture.

In addition to that, Audi of America recently placed first among all other automotive brands in the 2016 J.D. Power Customer Service Index.


Laborshed Project

Iowa Workforce Development

The Johnston Economic Development Corporation will be working with Iowa Workforce Development’s Regional Research Bureau to complete a Laborshed employment study for the City of Johnston. This study, which is being done in cooperation with the communities of Grimes and Urbandale, will examine the labor force from which area employers draw their employees, and is based upon commuting patterns into the area. The study will assist existing and potential businesses to better understand the size and characteristics of the area’s labor force regardless of political boundaries.

IMPORTANT NOTE: We encourage everyone in our area to participate in the upcoming research activities. As noted below, a survey letter will be distributed to area businesses, and a telephone survey will soon be underway. Please encourage your neighbors and employees to participate if they receive a letter or a survey telephone call. Thank you for your assistance.

The Laborshed boundary is based on the place of residence of individuals commuting into our area for employment. For the success of this study, Iowa Workforce Development we will be sending letters to employers in the City of Johnston asking that they provide aggregate counts of their employees’ residential ZIP codes. This reporting will give us an understanding of where each community’s workforce resides.

Once that Laborshed area is determined, a confidential household telephone survey will be conducted in those identified areas. The questions will cover topics such as: employment status, current and desired wages, current and desired benefits, education level, and type of occupation. Survey results will be applied to demographic data to determine the size of our area labor force as well as various labor force characteristics. Iowa Workforce Development will not be asking survey takers any identifiable information such as: name, social security number, or date of birth.

The results for each county and regional Laborshed analysis can be found at https://www.iowaworkforcedevelopment.gov/laborshed-studies. If you have any questions about the Laborshed workforce project, please contact Katie Lippold at 515-281-3035 or Johnston Economic Development at 515-564-6547. Thank you for your support and participation.

Vision Iowa Grant Awarded!

Terra Lake

Today the Vision Iowa/Community Attraction and Tourism Board awarded the City of Johnston a $700,000.00 Vision Iowa Grant for the Terra Lake Park project. The Iowa Economic Development authority posted the official announcement on their web site:

“April 13, 2016 (Iowa City) – The Vision Iowa Board awarded $800,000 in Community Attraction and Tourism (CAT) grants to a park project in Johnston and an aquatic center in Correctionville. The grants were approved by the Vision Iowa Board at today’s meeting in Iowa City.

The following projects were approved for grants from the Community Attraction and Tourism (CAT) Fund:

Terra Lake Improvement, Johnston
Total Project Cost: $4,403,750
Amount Requested: $728,564
Amount Awarded: $700,000
Award Contingencies: Completion of fundraising within 30 days

Project Description: This project includes the construction of an open-air amphitheater, a picnic shelter large enough to accommodate groups of 150 people with attached restrooms, a lakefront shelter, fishing pier and multi-use play area. Existing parking lots will be enlarged, improvements will be made to trails and sidewalks and new landscaping will be added throughout Terra Park”

Terra Lake Park will be the new home to many future community events including Green Days, and it will be a beautiful addition to the Johnston Community. Thank you to the members of the Johnston Chamber of Commerce and the Johnston Economic Development Corporation who stepped up and made pledges for the project. This grant would not have been possible without the strong community support that was demonstrated to the Vision Iowa Board.

Click here to learn more about the Terra Lake Park project.

Wilkie Addition Preliminary Plat

Wilkie Addition








The Johnston City Council is considering a preliminary plat for the creation of 27 single family residential lots in the Wilkie Addition.  The property is located at the intersection of NW 64th Place and NW 51st street. Capital City Development, LLC advanced the plan to the City, and the plan had been previously been approved by the Planning and Zoning Commission with conditions.

Action on the proposed plat has been tabled to provide City staff and the developer with additional time to address concerns about storm water management and infrastructure for other future developments in the area.

View the preliminary plat here.


2016 Development Forum Recap

Forum Audiance2
Guest Speaker Andrew Traeger of John Deere Financial presents during the Development Forum

JEDCO and the City of Johnston held the Annual Economic Development Forum on March 31st at the DuPont Pioneer Carver Center. Each year the forum features a guest speaker and updates from the City of Johnston. This year the forum included two special guest speakers, Andrew Traeger of John Deere Financial and Tracey Willits of DuPont Pioneer. Mr. Traeger provided forum participants with insight into the role of John Deere Financial with the global strategy for John Deere equipment sales, and he shared his perspective about the impact that JDF and employees have on the Johnston community. Ms. Willits shared information about the status of the DOW DuPont merger, and about the potential future growth prospects when the new agricultural enterprise reformation is complete.

The forum also featured updates from the City of Johnston on the many road improvement projects occurring throughout the community, the Terra Lake Park project, and the Merle Hay Road Redevelopment plan. The formal program was followed by a networking reception. Thank you to everyone who attended the forum. We appreciate your contributions to development in Johnston. If you were unable to attend the forum you can download materials from the event below.

Click here to download the forum presentation slide deck.

Click here for information on the DOW-DuPont merger. Note the Investor Presentation dated March 1, 2016, and the Merger Fact Sheet dated March 2, 2016.

New, Improved, Housing Project Proposed For Windsor Parkway


Hubbell Realty has presented a new plan for developing a multi family housing project for the northwest portion of the Windsor PUD area. The proposed changes would provide for lower density multi-family housing in the area adjacent to single family homes on Windsor Parkway and NW 92nd Court. Higher density multi-family housing would be located to the east between NW 90 Street and Thomas Ave. (See the companion illustration which depicts the proposed transition of the housing density.)

The new plan appears to address some of the concerns raised about previous housing plans proposed for the area. The housing adjacent to the single family homes on NW 92nd Court would have a lower density, and the housing would not be apartments. Lower density, owner occupied units on the western portion of the development would seem to be a better fit for the neighborhood.

Commercial development in the western portion of Windsor Office Park have not materialized in more than a decade, and the consideration of other alternatives compatible with the area seem to be appropriate. The proposal is in the early stages, and meetings with adjacent property owners are being planned. Additionally, Council action to amend the PUD and the Comprehensive Land Use plan will require several steps. More information will be posted here when it becomes available.

Download the staff report describing the proposed plan Windsor PUD Housing Plan.

Cadence Project To Final Phase

CadenceAt their meeting on Monday, March 21, 2016 the Johnston City Council took action to approve Plat 2 for Cadence Apartments. The Hubbell team can now move forward with the next set of units to complete the project.

The project combined several existing lots to allow for the development of the 92 unit apartment complex. Work is also underway to construct an extension of NW 63rd Place between NW 59th Court and Merle Hay Road between Created in Johnston and the new apartment complex. The extension is scheduled to be completed in July, 2016.

Congratulations to the Hubbell team for the swift progress on this important project.

Download the Plat 2 documentation Cadence Plat2.


A Unique Opportunity – Terra Lake Park

Terra Lake



To Members of the Johnston Chamber of Commerce and the Johnston Economic Development Corporation. Our City is in the process of creating a 200 acre regional park that will benefit Johnston residents and families, our businesses and our employees, and we have a rare opportunity to leverage a significant grant from the State of Iowa Community Attraction and Tourism program. We need your help.

In April a State committee will be considering the City’s application for assistance in an amount exceeding $700,000.00. In order to access these funds, it is important that we demonstrate that our community supports this project. While there is already a significant public investment being made by the taxpayers of Johnston, community support means more than an investment by the City of Johnston. It means that the State is looking for evidence of financial support from throughout the community including Johnston businesses. Recently, the Johnston Chamber of Commerce Executive Committee took steps to pledge $10,000.00 to support the project. The Johnston Economic Development Board of Directors has also pledged $5,000.00. But more donations from multiple parties are needed to show broad-based support for this project.

We know that our members are frequently asked for donations to support many worthy charitable causes and community organizations. Events like the Chamber’s Educator Appreciation ceremony, and Johnston Green Days are just around the corner. We certainly hope you will continue to support these activities and many other worthy groups.

But this is a one-time, unique opportunity that also deserves our support. A financial pledge for later this year or for 2017 will count toward the goal of donations and it will show our community support. Now is the time to respond in whatever way or amount you can.

Best regards,

Allen Graham
Allan Graham – Chamber President

Tim Heldt JEDCO President

Click here to download a donation form 

Gifts and pledges may be made at different levels.  Appropriate recognition is being planned for each level. There is a celebration dinner being planned for July 16, 2016. Be sure to mark your calendars.

To make a donation or pledge, or to get more information, please contact John Schmitz, Parks and Recreation Director at 727-8091, or jschmitz@cityofjohnston.com


Johnston Development Forum

March 31, 2016
3:30 – 6:30 PM
DuPont Pioneer Carver Center

Featured Forum Speakers

Andrew Traeger
Andrew Traeger
Senior Vice President and Finance Director
John Deere Financial

Tracy Willits1
Tracy Willits
Global Communications Director
DuPont Pioneer

We invite JEDCO Members and friends to attend the Johnston Annual Development Forum on Thursday, March 31, 2016. The Forum will take place from 3:30 to 5:30 PM at the DuPont Pioneer Carver Center in Johnston. The forum will include an update on development activities in the City of Johnston, and will feature a presentation from our Keynote Speaker Andrew Traeger, Senior Vice President and Finance Director for John Deere Financial.

Tracy Willits, Global Communications Director for DuPont Pioneer will also provide an update on DuPont Pioneer and the pending merger with DOW.

After the program  – stay for the networking reception!

Please RSVP to kgehringer@growjohnston.com or 515-564-6547 by March 25th.

IEDA & City Council Approve Awards for DuPont Global Business Center

DOW-DuPontOn Friday, February 19th DuPont Pioneer announced that Johnston, Iowa would serve as location for a Global Business Center focused on agriculture research. The Iowa Economic Development Authority and the Johnston City Council took swift action to approve financial assistance awards in support of the project.

IEDA Board Action

In a statement released in conjunction with the IEDA Board action, the Department describe the award and expectations for DOW DuPont. “Today’s board action on DuPont Pioneer’s Global Business Center in Johnston not only secures this excellent corporate citizen’s presence in our state, but also retains knowledge workers that support countless jobs downstream,” said IEDA director Debi Durham.  “This is about maintaining and fortifying Iowa’s pre-eminent position in the ag-biosciences space, and I am pleased that we are playing an integral role in Dow DuPont’s future success in our great state.”

‘DuPont Pioneer was approved for incentives for a Global Business Center project that is expected to result from the recently announced merger between Dow and DuPont. The newly created agriculture company will maintain a strong research, production and business operation that will retain 250 to 500 employees at a qualifying wage of $26.72 at its Johnston location. The company was awarded direct financial assistance of up to $2 million, as well as research activities tax credits, via HQJ [High Quality Jobs Program]. The project will have a capital investment of at least $500,000.’


The Johnston City Council held a special meeting and approved a resolution supporting the IEDA action. The Council then approved a local match in the approximate amount of $1,000,000 in property tax rebates over a five-year period.

The Polk County Board of Supervisors may also be considering action soon to provide financial assistance for the project.

Two important takeaways from the days events.

1. There was a great team effort to encourage DOW DuPont to recognize the advantages of Iowa as the perfect location for a Global Business Center focused on agricultural research. This includes the efforts of the Governor, IEDA, the City of Johnston, Polk County and the Greater Des Moines Partnership to name a few. The importance of key assets in the region such as Iowa State, DMACC and other agribusiness leaders such as the Cultivation Corridor can’t be overlooked. And perhaps most important of all – the key corporate leadership at Pioneer who have made Pioneer the success that it is. All of those things contributed to what was – after all – a decision made by the new DOW DuPont.

2. Despite the early media reports that Iowa “lost” the corporate headquarters competition – make no mistake – this is a WIN for Johnston and Iowa. Think of it – the opportunity to grow the new GLOBAL Business Center for agriculture research right here in Johnston. To be sure the near term road may be bumpy, and it is important to have empathy for anyone affected by the company and job restructuring that is taking place. But the long-term prospects created by this merger seem to be very favorable.

For more detailed information about the approved resolutions review the attached documents below.

DOW DuPont Media Release

Johnston Resolution

Johnston Memorandum of Understanding