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

6412 Northglenn Drive

6412 Northglenn Drive

CBRE | Hubbell Commercial has a lot available for sale in Johnston, located near Hyperion Country Club, Camp Dodge, The Johnston Public Library and the Johnston Historical Museum. The site is 1.73 acres and is located near several main thoroughfares including NW 70th Avenue and Merle Hay Road. Click here to view the property brochure. Contact Riley Hogan at riley.hogan@cbre-hubbell.com for more information.

Amber Ridge Housing Zoning – Updated

Zoning Change Approved





The Johnston City Council held a public hearing on June 19, 2017 concerning a proposed amendment to the Amber Ridge PUD zoning ordinance. The change would allow for R-4 high density residential housing in the area. The proposal was previously declined by the Johnston Planning & Zoning Commission. Notwithstanding the expressed concerns of some neighboring residents, the Council seemed satisfied with the required density, parking availability, and likely storm water management requirements. A motion to approve the zoning change on first reading was passed with the restriction that the development be limited to two story townhomes.

The change would would preserve the property immediately adjacent to NW 62nd Ave. for both retail and office uses. Forty-two town homes are planned for the south portion of the property. View the June 19, 2017 staff report, and the original staff report for more information.

MHR Redevelopment Plan Advances







The Johnston City Council and Planning & Zoning Commission met in joint session on May 22, 2017 to consider the input received about the various concept plans for the area. See the previous article for more information about the alternative plans.

In summary, based on the input received the “Town Center” concept was the overwhelming favorite. Those who provided input in the planning process also expressed a desire that the future development include restaurants and public space for the farmers market and other activities, and a trail connection. Commercial retail uses were also desired. Support for maintaining City Hall as an “anchor” for development was also mentioned.

The population in the market area (3 mile radius) is estimated to be almost 40,000, or about 15,000 households – 75% of which are owner occupied. Consultants shared data which suggests that the location would be attractive to retailers and other commercial interests including: average household income = $105,000; and 50% with a college degree.

The next phases of the planning process will include the development of design guidelines, cost estimates for infrastructure, property acquisition, and the construction of public amenities. In the future there may be a request for proposals for developing the site. It was noted that the development phases could cover a period of up to 15 years.

It is not too late to provide input about the plan. Send comments to Adam Plagge, Johnston Economic Development Manager.


New Daycare Facility Proposed








A 7,000 square foot daycare facility has been proposed for the intersection of NW 100th Street and NW 62nd Ave. The location is just south of the Casey’s General Store. Site plans for the facility were considered and approved by the Johnston Planning & Zoning Commission at their meeting on May 30, 2017. The site plan will now be advanced to the Johnston City Council for consideration.

Proposed Bricktowne Apartments – Update

At their Council session on May 15, 2017, the Johnston City Council approved a site plan and preliminary plat for the development of 384 one and two bedroom apartments at 6454 Merle Hay Road and adjacent properties in Johnston. A companion parkland dedication development agreement was not approved, but may be considered at a future meeting. View the most recent site plan documents here. The location is generally south of the Johnson Brothers facility. The development includes five three-story brick apartment complexes to be developed over the next six years. The first phase would be completed in December of 2018.

The price range for the apartments is expected to be between $850 -$1050 and would target young professionals. Based on a projected assessed value of $42.6 million, a TIF rebate of up to $2.6 million could be provided to the developer over five years. For more information about this project, download the previously published staff report here.

Vintage Cooperatives – Update




The Johnston City Council granted final approval for a request to amend the Comprehensive Plan for land use and the official zoning map in Windsor Office Park to permit the development of medium and higher density residential units in the northwest section of the area. The development – proposed by Ewing Land Development Services – would create a new senior residential cooperative.

Other residential projects for the area have previously been considered. Three things distinguish this project proposal from its predecessors.

  1. The project plans for lower density bi-attached or town home units adjacent to the residences located to the west – apparently providing for a more acceptable integration with the neighborhood.
  2. The project places the higher density senior living facility to the eastern portion of the project – bounded by NW 90th street. The eastern portion of Windsor Office Park would remain unchanged with on focus on commercial uses.
  3. The project is structured as a cooperative – meaning that residents would purchase shares in the development in lieu of purchasing the properties directly. The concept has been used with success in other areas of the greater Des Moines region.

View the updated Ordinate and Preliminary Plat for the project here.

MHR Redevelopment Concepts – Input Desired – Updated






The City of Johnston continues to seek input about new plans for the area of NW 62nd Avenue and Merle Hay Road. Tentatively called “Johnston Town Center” — this area has the exciting potential to host retail, office space, restaurants and residential growth. It’s also connected to Johnston’s extensive 35-mile trail system. If you missed the April 18 public meeting at City Hall, you can still submit comments about the draft designs that were presented. View the information included in the comment card below and return the completed form to Adam Plagge, Johnston Economic Development Manager.

Many Johnston residents may feel that the City of Johnston does not have a central place or town center for residents to gather. Does this concept plan hit the mark? Other concepts being developed have a “Market” focus and a “Main Street” focus. Approximately 30 acres make up the entire project which includes the northeast and southwest corners of this intersection. Review the March 30, 2107 staff report here.

Beaver Driver Warehouse Proposed








A 4,500 square foot warehouse has been proposed on NW 55th Ave. by the Frampton family. The site currently includes another warehouse building on the northern boundary of the site. The Johnston Planning and Zoning Commission approved the site plan, which now advances to the City Council for action. View the staff report for more information.


New Interchange Comments Requested

The Iowa DOT held a public meeting on Thursday, March 9 at the Giovannetti Community Shelter in Urbandale to receive comments about the design of the proposed new interchange at I80/35 and HWY 141. Iowa DOT Staff, and JEDCO member HR Green were present to discuss the proposed improvements in Polk County. You can view simulation videos here.

Pictured above is DOT official Scott Dockstader visiting with a participant in the meeting.The public meeting had an open format allowing the public and Iowa DOT staff to discuss the project informally. Click here for more information. Comments are being accepted through March 20, 2017.

Annual Development Forum

Forum Audiance2

Thursday, March 30, 2017 – 3:30 – 5:30 PM

JEDCO Update
City of Johnston Update
Brent Willett – Cultivation Corridor
Bethany Wilcoxon – Capital Crossroads

Formal Presentations – 3:30 –  5:30 PM
Networking Reception to Follow

Meet Our Keynote Speakers

Brent Willett
Cultivation Corridor


Brent Willett, CEcD is Executive Director of the Cultivation Corridor, a public-private regional economic development and innovation acceleration organization focused on growing Central Iowa’s agriculture and bioscience sectors, and attracting investment, jobs and talent to the state.

Prior to his role at the Cultivation Corridor, Willett served as President & CEO of the North Iowa Corridor Economic Development Corporation, a regional economic development group in North Central Iowa headquartered in Mason City, Iowa.  Preceding his role at the North Iowa Corridor, Willett was Executive Director of the Fairfield Economic Development Association and Fairfield Area Chamber of Commerce in Fairfield, Iowa.

Willett currently serves on the Leadership Iowa Board of Governors; Iowa Chamber Alliance Board of Directors; Iowa State University CIRAS Advisory Board; University of Northern Iowa Institute for Decision Making Advisory Board; and in advisory positions with several organizations.

A native of Davenport, Iowa, Willett, his wife Emily and their daughter live in Ankeny, Iowa.

Bethany Wilcoxon
Capital Crossroads

Bethany038 (002)

As Capital Crossroads Director, Bethany Wilcoxon oversees implementation of the regional vision strategy. She spent several years serving Iowa Great Places, a grant program of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, and then leading the development of The Tomorrow Plan, a $3.1 million regional initiative to advance sustainability in Greater Des Moines.  Her accomplishments include the Business Record’s Forty Under 40 (2016), Leadership Iowa (Class of 2015-2016), Global Shapers Des Moines Founding Curator (2015), ISU STATEment Maker (2012), Next American Vanguard (2010), and Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute (Class of 2011-2012).

Outside of her professional work, Bethany serves on the Great Outdoors Foundation Board and the Jester Park Nature Center Capital Campaign Team, and is the US Green Building Council ADVANCE Ambassador for the State of Iowa. She has led Des Moines’ Urban Ambassadors as President, served on the Board of the Drake Neighborhood Association, and has volunteered for Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (2014 Woman of the Year Candidate), Big Brothers Big Sisters, ULI Iowa, the Des Moines Symphony, and the Des Moines Metro Opera.

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