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.


The city of Johnston is taking steps to become a Home Base Iowa community, where the city and businesses within our city commit to welcome transitioning military members and their families who are leaving military service and becoming Iowans.  Camp Dodge, home to the Iowa National Guard, is located within Johnston and is a significant contributor to the Johnston community.

We invite you to help us become a Home Base Iowa community.  Here is what you can do:

To become a “Home Base Iowa Business”

  • The business pledges to hire a specific number of veterans.
    • This standard may be met by providing a signed letter or other signed written statement to Iowa Workforce Development. Such statement should indicate the number of veterans the company pledges to hire by December 31, 2018. Though any documentation is public record under Iowa law, Home Base Iowa will only promote the fact that the business has pledged, not the number it pledged. Home Base Iowa will promote an aggregate statewide number.
  • The business commits to posting its jobs on the Home Base Iowa website through IowaJobs.
    • This standard may be met by certifying such commitment in a signed letter or other signed written statement provided to Iowa Workforce Development. The business does not need to post jobs exclusively to the Home Base Iowa site.
  • The business becomes a member of Skilled Iowa.
    • This standard may be attained by meeting the existing Skilled Iowa standards, or by demonstrating that the business is already a Skilled Iowa member.
  • Please contact the City of Johnston if your business would like to become a Home Base Iowa Business
  • To become a “Home Base Iowa Community”
  • The community obtains a resolution of support from the appropriate local governing body.
    • The Johnston City Council will take up its resolution on March 2.
  • We are currently seeking donations to include in the incentive package we will offer veterans when they come to Johnston.  Please contact the City of Johnston if your business would like to donate toward Johnston’s incentive package.  Other communities have included hotel stays, gift baskets, passes to fitness centers, the elimination of closing costs, and/or help finding housing.
  • Do you have questions about Home Base Iowa and how to get involved?  Please contact them today at 1-855-942-4692.

More Projects and Properties

Annual Development Forum


April 1, 2015 – 4 PM – 6 PM
DuPont Pioneer – Carver Center

JEDCO members and friends, we invite you to attend the JEDCO Annual Development Forum on Wednesday, April 1, 2015. The event will take place from 4:00 PM – 6 PM at the DuPont Pioneer Carver Center in Johnston. The Development Forum will include an update on Johnston Economic Development activities, a presentation on Development in Johnston, as well as Guest Speaker Major General Timothy Orr. We hope you can join us!


4:00 PM – Forum Welcome and Introductions
4:10 PM – Update on JEDCO Activities
4:20 PM – Comments from Mayor Paula Dierenfeld
4:30 PM – Guest Speaker – Major General Timothy Orr – Iowa Army National Guard
5:00 PM – Presentation on Development in Johnston & Plans for Improvements
– Jim Sanders & Dave Wilwerding
5:30 PM – Adjournment and Networking Reception


Featured Site – 5055 Merle Hay Road

5055 Merle Hay Road

Our Featured Property this month is 5055 Merle Hay Road. Knapp Properties is offering this redevelopment opportunity in the heart of the Merle Hay Gateway Master Plan in Johnston. This investment property has visibility from I-80/35 with access at a lighted intersection of Merle Hay Road. The property features 32.247 acres of land with 17 available for redevelopment. Approximately 10.2 acres are zoned Highway Commercial (C-3) and 22.04 acres are zoned Conservation District (CD). The site offers opportunity for hotel, mixed use, high density housing, or office, with increased park and recreational space. The site has daily traffic counts of 27,000 vehicles per day on Merle Hay Road, and 95,000 vehicles per day on Interstate 80/35. Contact Ben Garrett at (515) 401-7071 or Brian Erickson at (515) 202-5035 for more information, or visit http://www.knappproperties.com/.

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

Featured Project – Chambery Point


If you have passed through Johnston recently it is likely you have noticed the construction of a new building on the corner of 86th street and Chambery Blvd. This project is an exciting new addition to the 86th street corridor and provides a new opportunity for businesses seeking space for lease in Johnston! The building for lease by Stanbrough Realty, is 9,710 square feet and is $19 PSF NNN. The property is 3.58 acres with 118 parking spaces and patio space available. Chambery Point has excellent visibility on the lighted intersection of 86th Street and Chambery Blvd. Neighboring businesses include McDonald’s, Johnston Charter Bank, Dahl’s Food Store, Verizon and State Farm. The much anticipated Gusto Pizza has leased the south 3,150 square feet of the building and will open in approximately 60 days! The building will be complete in the next few weeks. Construction on an East building will follow the completion of this building. The East building will offer 3,900 square feet at $25 PSF NNN. For more information on this property contact Jeff Stanbrough at (515) 202-6649 or at jeff@stanbroughrealty.com.

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


2014 Development Summary

2014 Development Summary
Johnston Economic Development Corporation is looking forward to another year of growth and development in The City of Johnston. We are all excited for a new year, but it is important to take a look at the past year to appreciate the development that has occurred. Dave Wilwerding the Community Development Director for the City of Johnston has prepared a 2014 Development Summary, the summary includes information about population growth, new commercial and residential development as well as information about public infrastructure. Here are a few highlights from the report.

  • It is estimated that as of January 1, 2015 that the population of the City of Johnston is 20,000, an increase of approximately 2,700 residents.
  • In 2014, seven new commercial permits were issued totaling an assessed valuation of $14,638,500; additionally, 26 commercial remodel permits were issued totaling an investment of $3,749,013.

For information about development activities planned for 2015, please plan to attend the annual Johnston Economic Development Forum on April 1, 2015.  More information about this event will be posted soon!

2014 Development Summary


Featured Property – Johnston Station

Johnston Station – 5525 Merle Hay Road – Retail/Restaurant/Service
DSC_9742 (2)_small
Our featured property this month is 5525 Merle Hay Road. Neighboring businesses include HR Green, Panera Bread, Bank Iowa, Snap Fitness, Great Clips and much more! The opportunity is located at the intersection of Merle Hay Road and Pioneer Parkway. Contact Denny Elwell Companies’ Sales & Leasing department at marketing@dennyelwellcompany.com for more information!

Click here to view a print brochure with more detailed information about the property.

We will be featuring a property regularly to provide developers and businesses with the latest information about properties available in Johnston. If you are a JEDCO member, and would like the opportunity to be featured please send us your updated project and property information. We will also be using the information to update the Location One Information System.




Camp Dodge – COI Leadership Event

COI Nov 21 2014 025_small picture

The Iowa Army National Guard and the Iowa Employer Support of the Guard and Reserves (ESGR) will team up with Johnston Economic Development and the Johnston Chamber to host community leaders during a Center of Influence event held at Camp Dodge in Johnston. The event will take place on Tuesday, March 3, 2015 from 7:30 A.M. to 1:30 P.M.

A Center of Influence program gives community leaders the opportunity to learn more about the Army National Guards mission as a State emergency asset and federal missions. Community leaders that participate in this event will have an understanding of the training capabilities available on Camp Dodge. In addition participants will have the opportunity to experience military simulation training and tour state of the art training facilities also located on Camp Dodge. The agenda includes a flight in an Army National Guard Helicopter and several different simulation trainings. Don’t miss your opportunity to be a part of this one of a kind event!

To register for this event please complete the registration form using the link below. Space is limited.
COI Camp Dodge March 3 2015

If you have questions about the event e-mail kgehringer@growjohnston.com or call 515-564-6547.

NEW! Johnston Development Guide

JEDCO and the City of Johnston have been collaborating on the creation of a NEW Economic Development Guide. The publication will be used to promote economic development and growth in the Johnston community. It has also been designed to be a resource for developers and brokers as they market Johnston sites and buildings. The NEW Johnston Economic Development Guide will be unveiled at the upcoming JEDCO Annual Meeting on January 15, 2015 at 4:30 p.m. at the Stoney Creek Hotel in Johnston. Copies of the guide will be made available to developers and JEDCO members to incorporate with their respective marketing materials. Please RSVP to join us for the Annual Meeting and the unveiling of the guide!


JEDCO Annual Meeting


Networking at the 2014 Annual Meeting

JEDCO members and friends are invited to the JEDCO Annual Meeting scheduled for Thursday, January 15, 2015 at the Stoney Creek Hotel. There will be an informal reception at 4:30 P.M., and a short business meeting at 5:00 P.M. which will be followed by the unveiling of the new Johnston Economic Development Guide. The networking reception will continue after the formal program has concluded. Please join us as we take a few moments to reflect back on the previous year and look forward to a new year of growth and opportunity.

Annual Meeting Agenda
4:30 P.M. Reception
5:00 P.M. Business Meeting
5:15 P.M. Development Guide Release
5:45 P.M. Networking


2014 Battelle Report Released

Battelle Report Summary

On December 18, 2014 Representatives from the Iowa Partnership for Economic Progress (IPEP) along with Governor Terry Branstad, joined to release the findings of the 2014 Battelle Report. Battelle is the world’s largest nonprofit independent research and development organization. Over the past 18 months, researchers from Battelle have worked with the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) and regional economic development organizations around the state to conduct the study. The report provides elected officials, policymakers, economic developers and business leaders with a future strategic direction for economic development in Iowa. The report makes a comparison between Iowa’s current economic position in comparison to the nation and benchmarked states.

To download the full report click the link below.

Cadence Apartments Proposed

CadenceA new apartment project has been proposed for the Merle Hay Road redevelopment area north of NW 62nd Ave.  A site plan presented by Hubbell Realty Company shows that up to 90 apartment units would be created in Phase 1 of the project. The plan has been advanced by both the Johnston Planning & Zoning Commission and the Johnston City Council in recent meetings.

In other action final plats for Adam Ridge Plat 8 (apartments and clubhouse) and for West Prairie Townhomes Plat 2 have been approved.  More information about these projects has been posted in the Grow Johnston Library under Housing Projects.