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

 Denny Elwell Company

10303 NW 62nd Avenue

10303 NW 62nd Avenue

Denny Elwell Company is offering 2.301 acres of development ground for sale on the northwest corner of NW 62nd Avenue and NW 103rd Street. This development ground is east of Highway 141, has easy access to Interstate 35 and is just south of the new Johnston High School. The site is zoned PUD with allowable C-2 and PC with R-4 available for Second Story Mixed Development. Contact Denny Elwell Companies’ Sales & Leasing department at marketing@dennyelwellcompany.com for more information.

Click here to view a print brochure with more details about the site.

Beaver Business Park Expands


A site plan for a new 15,000 square foot office/warehouse building was approved by Johnston Planning & Zoning Commission at their meeting on June 13, 2016. The facility will be located on NW Beaver Drive adjacent to NW 57th Ave., and the area is zoned M-1 as  Light Industrial District. The project is represented by JEDCO member Mark McMurphy, ABACI Consulting. For more information contact Mark at mark@abaciconsulting.com.

Foxboro Road Extension Meeting

NW 54th & Foxboro new

After hearing concerns from representatives of the Green Meadows West Homeowners Association about the potential effects of building a road extension from Birchwood Crossing to Foxboro Road, City officials hosted an informational meeting on June 7. The meeting agenda included an overview of the history of the project, a presentation from Foth Infrastructure and Environment on the traffic study related to the project, zoning plans for the area and comments from Timber Ridge elementary school staff about safety issues at the NW 54th Ave crossing.

A large number of residents were in attendance to express their concerns – primarily about potential increased traffic on Foxboro. The road extension is an important prerequisite to further commercial development at Birchwood Crossing and for additional housing development northeast of Birchwood and adjacent to Timber Ridge. The alignment with Foxboro Road has already been approved by the City Council.

Plans for this road extension have been in process for many years, and it is time to move forward. The City Council will consider the issue again at a future meeting. In the meantime, Johnston officials have created a web page to provide Johnston residents and business owners with access to documents related to the Foxboro Extension proposal.

To learn more about the history of this proposed road extension see the articles below.
Birchwood Crossing Traffic Study
Birchwood Road Extension Considered
Birchwood Road Extension


Johnston Population Increases 18.4% In Past Five Years


The results of Johnston’s 2016 special census are now official. New numbers reveal that Johnston’s current population is 20,460. That is an 18.4 percent increase since 2010 and a 137 percent increase since 2000.

“The special census results affirm the continued efforts to grow the Johnston community,” noted Phil Dunshee of the Johnston Economic Development Corporation. “A growing workforce is important to a growing economy.” Johnston is currently engaged in a workforce study in partnership with Grimes and Urbandale. Johnston residents are encourage to participate in a telephone survey which will begin soon.

Of all Des Moines metro cities, Johnston ranks at or near the top when it comes to household income, home value and education attainment. Based upon the growth experienced in Johnston, it’s estimated that the City will receive an additional $1.35 million in Road Use Tax funding between 2017 and 2020 when the next decennial Census is conducted.

“The special census shows us that Johnston continues to be one of the fastest growing cities in the state. New residents tell us they chose Johnston because it’s a great place to live and raise a family. We will continue to work hard to maintain a quality of life that is among the best in the nation,” said Mayor Paula Dierenfeld.

“Despite the economic challenges facing our country since 2010, the Census shows that Johnston has continued to thrive by maintaining sustainable growth. This additional revenue will be used to continue the important work of operating and maintaining the City’s extensive street system, including patching, repairs, maintenance and snow removal,” said Community Development Director David Wilwerding.

Click here to learn more about other new demographic data revealed in the special census.

Terra Lake – Donations still being accepted


Johnston received some great news last month that the City had received a $700,000 award from the Community Attraction and Tourism program for the Terra Lake Park project. Community participation and contributions from area businesses and individuals sealed the deal. Thank you!

If you were not among the initial contributors it is not too late to participate. Additional Financial support is needed to ensure that the park has the amenities we all want for this important community asset. Donations are still being accepted at the following levels:

Silver: $1,000 – $4,999
Gold: $5,000 – $9,999
Platinum: $10,000 +

Individuals or organizations donating at any of these levels will receive four tickets to a celebration dinner on July 16, 2016. Additionally, there will be some form of appropriate permanent recognition installed at Terra Lake, and the type of recognition will be commensurate with the Silver, Gold and Platinum levels. In short – the grant has been received but the job is not done.

Make a pledge today!

Premier Lending Alliance – Windsor Office Park


Premier Lending Alliance will be constructing a 9,342 square foot Credit Union on Lot 6 in Windsor Office Park north of Thomas Avenue. The Johnston City Council approved the site plan for the project at their meeting on May 16, 2016. The Council also approved an amendment to the Windsor Office Park PUD to accept use of stone in lieu of brick toward satisfaction of the architectural requirements for the building.

Birchwood Road Extension

NW 54th & Foxboro new

For many months the Johnston City Council has been deliberating over plans for connecting Birchwood Court with NW 54th Ave. This road extension is important for future development in the area. Two near-term actions are needed to facilitate the construction of this road connection. First, a determination about where the road will connect with NW 54th Ave. was needed to ensure efficient traffic flow and to provide for the safety of families and children crossing NW 54th to reach Timber Ridge elementary school.  This topic was considered by the Council last fall.  During a work session in August, 2015 the Johnston City Council discussed the road connection. 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, and indicated that one option would be to align the Birchwood road extension with Foxboro Road – creating a four-way intersection. The City Council subsequently approved the construction of a public road from NW 54th Avenue to Birchwood Court at a meeting in September, 2015. The road extension would align with Foxboro Road.

The second needed action was to acquire the necessary right of way for the road, including a property adjacent to the proposed intersection with Foxboro and NW 54th Ave. The City has sought a voluntary easement for this right of way, and has delayed action several times in an effort to secure an agreement with the affected property owners. When those efforts failed, the City properly took initial steps to condemn a portion of certain properties which would enable the City to acquire the necessary easements for the road extension. It is important to note that the City is not seeking to take the property – but to secure the easements necessary to construct the proposed adjacent roadway. On several occasions, after scheduling public hearings for the easement condemnation, City officials delayed action when it appeared that there might be a potential for securing a voluntary easement. But each time the prospect of a cooperative agreement has fallen through.

This has apparently happened again. At their meeting on May 16, 2016 the Council had scheduled a public hearing on the matter. The Council acted to continue the public hearing to a future meeting, and it is anticipated that further efforts will be made to secure a voluntary agreement. In a new development, representatives of the Green Meadows West Homeowners Association appeared before the Council to object to the alignment of the road extension with Foxboro Road. The representatives expressed concern about potential increased traffic on Foxboro.

We believe that this proposed road extension is a necessary prerequisite for further commercial development in Birchwood Crossing. Opportunities for development projects in this area have been lost, because of absence of this road extension. It is time to move forward. To their credit the Johnston City Council has been deliberative, transparent and fair in their efforts to secure a voluntary easement.  They have also been thoughtful about traffic and safety issues with respect to the intersection with NW 54th Ave. and Foxboro. Hopefully, the necessary easements can be secured so that the project can proceed.



Contributors to Terra Park Recognized


On April 13th the Vision Iowa Board awarded the City of Johnston a  $700,000 Community Attraction and Tourism grant for the Terra Park Project on Pioneer Parkway in Johnston. Prior to being awarded the grant it was important for the City of Johnston to demonstrate that they had community support for the project. Businesses and individuals in Johnston and surrounding communities showed their support and contributed an additional $120,000 to the project. Those contributors were asked to attend the Johnston City Council meeting on May 2 to be recognized for supporting the project. Thank you to all of  the businesses and individuals who contributed to this project. Terra Park will be an amazing asset to the Johnston Community.

The City of Johnston recognized the following contributors: Foth Infrastructure and Environment, DuPont Pioneer, John Deere Financial, the Perington family, JEDCO, Iowa DNR, Acura of Johnston, Lithia Volkswagen of Des Moines, Audi of Des Moines, Trostel’s Greenbriar, Charter Bank of Johnston, Iowa Beverage Systems, Veridian Credit, ReMax, Mike Wiskirchen, Phil and Linda Dunshee, Scott and Carol Warren, The Business Brokers, Inc., DLL Finance, Shazaam, Polk County, Vision Iowa, Johnston Chamber of Commerce, MidAmerican Energy, Snyder & Associates, Johnston Running Club, Johnston Rotary Club, Chris Nuss and Prairie Meadows.

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.