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

5525 Merle Hay Road

Johnston Station is a beautiful 2 story multi-tenant neighborhood center offering retail/restaurants and service on the main level and class A office space on the second level. The center has great visibility on Merle Hay Road and a light at the intersection. Currently 10,149 SF is available.

Click here to learn more.

Local Option Sales Tax

The City of Johnston has joined other Polk County communities requesting a special election for a Local Option Sales and Service Tax. On December 18th the Johnston City Council approved Resolution 17-376 establishing the ballot language for the March 6, 2018 special election on the Local Option Sales and Service Tax. Other Polk County communities that have also approved petitions to conduct an election include Ankeny, Clive, Des Moines, Pleasant Hill, Urbandale and West Des Moines.

Annual Report & Development Summary

The Annual Development Summary of the City of Johnston Community Development Department’s activities offers a summary of the development that occurred in 2017, and identifies trends we might expect into 2018 and beyond. Below are a few highlights from the report.

  • In 2017, $99,184,725 in total new valuation was permitted in the City of Johnston.
  • In 2017 the City of Johnston issued 14 new commercial permits with a valuation of $27,881,704 and 20 commercial remodel permits with an investment of $2,759,411. This ranks as the fifth best year!
  • Single family permit issuance in the City of Johnston in 2017 was down, but there were 155 new lots platted in 2017. This is more lots than any year since 2007! Single family residential should be strong in 2018!

Click here to review the full report.

Save the Date: JEDCO Annual Meeting

Annual Meeting new

 January 18, 2018 – 4:30 PM

Stoney Creek Hotel

Join us for the 2018 JEDCO Annual Meeting on January 18, 2018 at Stoney Creek Hotel. The Annual Meeting features JEDCO Updates, nominations of JEDCO Board Members and a networking reception. Please join us for an update on JEDCO activities in 2017 and to network with other JEDCO members and friends. We look forward to another great year in 2018!

RSVP to lgreenman@growjohnston.com or at 515-564-6547.

Progress Continues on Brio of Johnston

Brio of Johnston drone

 Construction continues for Brio of Johnston a WesleyLife Community which will be located near the corner of NW 86th Street and NW 70th Avenue at 6901 Peckham Street in Johnston. When complete the facility will include flexible financing for 54 independent living apartments, and room for residents in assisted living, memory support and in skilled nursing and long-term care.

The design of the facility will follow a modern farmhouse design using Iowa-grown and Iowa- manufactured products. The facility will also include amenities such as a state-of-the-art fitness center, onsite physical therapy, walking paths, a healing garden and a pet play area. The facility is expected to open in the fall of 2018! Click here for more information.

Local Option Sales and Services Tax To Be Considered







The City of Johnston may be joining other Polk County communities in requesting a special election on March 6, 2018 for a Local Option Sales and Services Tax (LOSST). A sales tax election may be initiated by motions from the governing bodies of communities which collectively represent at least 50% of the population of the county. A simple majority of  the voters in the combined contiguous cities must approve the tax before any of the cities can collect it.

At their work session on December 4, the Johnston City Council discussed the issue, the required timelines and possible ballot language. The deadline to submit a resolution to request a March 6, 2018 special election is December 12, 2017. The council will discuss the language at a meeting on December 12th and if there is agreement on the language, a separate resolution adopting the ballot language could be included in the December 18 City Council meeting agenda. The Council has reviewed ballot language that was used by several communities in the successful Sales Tax vote in Dallas County held on November 7, 2017.

Several Polk County communities are have already approved petitions to conduct an election.

  • Ankeny – approved a resolution at their December 4th meeting
  • Clive – will conduct a special meeting on December 11th to consider a resolution
  • Des Moines – approved a resolution at their December 4th meeting.
  • Pleasant Hill – approved a resolution at their November 28th meeting.
  • Urbandale – approved a resolution at their December 5th meeting.
  • West Des Moines – approved a resolution at their November 27th meeting.

Based on information provided by the State of Iowa the estimated amount of annual sales tax funding (based on FY16 projections) for Johnston is $2,576,420 (3.19% of the total collections in Polk County). If 50% of the sales tax funding is used for property tax reduction, it would reduce the property tax levy by $1.02.

Johnston Council Begins North Area Annexation Review

At their work session on December 4, 2017 the Johnston City Council began consideration of a plan for annexing areas north of the current City limits and along Saylorville Drive. The City has received an annexation petition from seven property owners representing approximately 537 acres. Property held by Camp Dodge would be included in the plan, along with property recently acquired by the U.S. Navy.

In the scenario presented in Figure 2, the proposed annexation would include all of the colored properties and be 100% voluntary, excluding government property which does not require consent. Download the complete staff report here.

City staff is expected to proceed with further study including infrastructure engineering, easement planning, environmental reviews, and an update to the City’s Comprehensive Plan. Infrastructure installation (sewer and water) will likely be deferred until a high-quality project has been identified. It is also expected that City development policies will be structured to encourage swift development through a combination of incentives such as utility connection fee escalators.

This is not a new or unexpected development. Since 1998, the area along Saylorville Drive to the north/east of Highway 141 has been identified as a future growth area for the City in the Johnston Comprehensive Plan. There are 714 developable acres in the area including Beaver Creek Golf Course and Hoyt Tree Farm. An additional 700 serviceable acres have been identified in the area north of Saylorville Dr, making about 1400 total acres potentially available for development.

Figure 2

Bricktowne Development Agreement Considered

A proposed development agreement for the Bricktowne housing development is being considered by the City of Johnston. The Bricktowne development is a 21 acre site on Merle Hay Road directly south of Johnson Brothers. The proposed project would consist of 408 apartment units, the majority of which being one bedroom units. Amenities include detached garages, a clubhouse, outdoor pool, activities building, dog park, pet station, nature trail and large central courtyard. The buildings would be 100% brick with a slate roof. Three colors of brick will be utilized to give the appearance of a rowhouse style development.

The proposed Development Agreement includes three areas of city participation.

The transfer of 15,805 sq. ft. of excess Right of Way. The Developer intends to use the property for a portion of their resident dog park and to complete a secondary access through their property.

A rebate of 70% of the Bricktowne property’s tax increment for five years conditioned upon several requirements including constructing a unique architectural facade, and meeting the construction timelines for each phase of the project – a minimum one building shall be completed each year for six years with the first complete by December 31st 2019.

A forgivable Loan in the amount of $30,000 to support the Developer’s acquisition and demolition of the two properties that were not part of the original land acquisition – 6411 and 6435 59th Court.

JEDCO has supported the use of these incentive to encourage a diversity of housing and to build population which will support further commercial development in the Merle Hay Road south corridor.