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

Birchwood Crossing Business Park

8101 Birchwood Ct Suite D.  

JLL_Birchwood Crossing Business Park

JLL is offering space available for lease in Birchwood Crossing Business Park. The space is approximately 5,100 SF and is $8.50 PSF NNN. Operating expenses are available upon request. The space features include a nicely finished office space, drive- in access for deliveries, fully sprinkled building, exterior signage is available. The building is adjacent to a water feature with walking trails and there are multiple retail stores nearby. For more information on this property contact Justin Lossner at Justin.lossner@am..jll.com or Heath Bullock at heath.bullock@am.jll.com.

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

2016 Economic Development Bus Tour


Wednesday, October 12, 2016 – 3:00 – 5:00 PM
Crescent Chase I – Office Building
8850 NW 62nd Ave – Johnston

Join JEDCO and GCED for their annual Economic Development Bus Tour. This year the Johnston tour will include a look at the Terra Lake Park Project and a tour of the new Johnston High School project. The Grimes tour will highlight several projects and areas of development in the Grimes community. The tour begins at 3 PM at the Crescent Chase office building in Johnston and will be followed by an informal networking reception at 5 PM.

Limited seating is available. Click here to register.



Recreation Amenities For Apartments

Recreational Activities

The Neighborhood Development Corporation has presented a report to the City of Johnston concerning the availability of outdoor recreational amenities for residents of apartments and townhomes. The impetus apparently stemmed from reports that such developments had a higher volume of calls for service to Johnston police. Of interest to developers is the discussion about future “recreational amenity requirements” for multi-residential developments in Section 4 of the report.

The report includes a case study of Sultan, Washington. The community of 4,700 residents has established minimum requirements to be set aside for recreation in a development. Developments are then required to establish certain types of amenities based on certain criteria. The report goes on to make recommendations for standards in Johnston (see section 4.4 of the report).

The full report is posted  here, and the report concludes by suggesting that it be used as the basis for a dialogue with stakeholders. Developers are encouraged to review the report, and to provide comments to Council members and staff.

Merle Hay Road Gateway Tree Clearing Project







On August 1, 2016 the Johnston City Council approved plans to complete designs and to manage the procurement of services to implement landscape improvements in the Beaver Creek/Merle Hay Road Gateway area. The changes are intended to improve visibility to the area from I-35/80 and to enhance the attractiveness of the area for future development. The work will be continue to be performed by JEDCO member Foth Infrastructure and Environment.

Simpson Property Rezoning Request

NW 86th Street & NW 70th Avenue Disclosure Map 021115

On July 15, 2016, WesleyLife announced plans to construct a $29.5 million Senior Living Community in Johnston. Plans call for the facility to be located southwest of the intersection of NW 86th street and NW 70th Ave. The property is held by JEDCO member Simpson Enterprises.

At their meeting on August 1, 2016, the Johnston City Council considered a request for an official amendment to the Johnston 2030 Comprehensive Plan’s future land use map, and a zoning map amendment. The request was submitted by Jeff Simpson, and with the Council’s action, the changes will be advanced to  the Planning and Zoning Commission for review and recommendation. This is an exciting development for the NW 70th Ave. corridor, and we look forward to the next steps in the process.


Welcome Adam Plagge!


On behalf of the members of the Johnston Economic Development Corporation we wish to welcome Adam Plagge to the Johnston Community. At their meeting on Monday, August 1, 2016 the Johnston City Council approved the appointment of Adam to the position of Economic Development Manager.

Adam’s appointment represents the latest step forward by the City of Johnston to create a new economic development plan. JEDCO looks forward to working with Adam as he helps create the City economic development program of work including a business retention and expansion activity. Adam comes to Johnston via Fairfield, where he has most recently served as the Executive Director of the Fairfield Economic Development Association.


Elite Glass & Metal To Locate In Johnston

EliteGlassThe Johnston City Council has taken action to approve a development agreement with Elite Glass & Metal to assist with the construction of a 15,000 square foot building at 4945 NW 57th Ave in Beaver Business Park. The agreement would provide TIF assistance in the form of a forgivable loan in an amount up to $70,350.00. Please join us in welcoming Elite Glass & Metal to the Johnston community!

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.