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.

5645 NW 62nd Street
Johnston, Iowa

5645 NW 62nd

Denny Elwell Company is offering development ground on NW 62nd Street in Johnston. The site is 1.47 acres and is zoned C-2 and R-4. This site is conveniently located just off of Merle Hay Road and 1/2 mile from Interstate 80. Other businesses in the area include Walgreens, Community State Bank, Dairy Queen and Casey’s General Store. For more information on this site please contact Denny Elwell Companies’ Sales & Leasing department at marketing@dennyelwellcompany.com.

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

Birchwood Road Extension Considered

NW 54th & FoxboroIn a community survey completed in 2013, residents indicted that the highest priority for the city is to improve the traffic flow for the community. As the Johnston Community continues to grow the congestion on the existing road systems also increases. Over the years the city has been approached by property owners regarding a road connection from NW 54th avenue to Birchwood Court. The road extension is important for future development in the area.

During their work session on August 3, 2015 the Johnston City Council discussed the road connection. Additional traffic would be created with new developments in the Birchwood area. 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.  The likely alignment of the Birchwood road extension would be with Foxboro Road, creating a four-way intersection . The City Council approved the construction of a public road from NW 54th Avenue to Birchwood Court at their meeting on September 8th.

The Council is now set to consider a resolution for a public hearing to be held on October 5, 2015. The purpose of the hearing would be to consider action to condemn a portion of certain properties which would enable the City to acquire the necessary easements for the road extension.

Click here for more information on the road alignment, and click here for information about the proposed condemnation public hearing.

Comprehensive Plan Change Factors

The Johnston Comprehensive Plan Task Force met three times in recent months to review housing information and trends. Based on the review the Task Force recommended that the Planning and Zoning Commission and the City Council follow several guidelines when amendments to the Johnston 2030 Comprehensive Plan Land Use Map are considered. At their meeting on August 10th the Planning and Zoning Commission endorsed the use of eleven factors to consider when amending the Comprehensive plan, and recommended that the City Council approve a resolution adopting the criteria.

Noting that the criteria are intended to be guidelines and not an all encompassing list of items that may be considered, the Commission approved the following items with respect to the review of future Comprehensive Plan amendments.

  1. Is there a demand in the community for the proposed use?
  2. Current supply/demand, vacancy/occupancy rates, etc.
  3. Short and long term projections for the existing and proposed uses
  4. What benefits would be generated by the proposed use as compared to the existing use? What negative impacts would be caused by the proposed use?
  5. What is the history of the property? Are there impediments to marketing/developing the site pursuant to the existing use that are unique and distinguish the site from other properties in the community? Are there any factors or criteria unique to the site or area under study that would argue for or against the proposed use?
  6. Is there or can adequate land use transitions be provided between existing uses and the proposed use? Can buffers and site design be incorporated to minimize the impact on neighboring property owners? What impact is there to existing development sight lines?
  7. What are the impacts and is there capacity on the property and within the surrounding area to support the proposed use in the following areas:
  8. Roadway network/traffic
  9. Utilities (water, sewer, storm water management)
  10. Services and amenities (typically available to support the proposed use
  11. What are the property tax implications that would result from the proposed change?

For more information on the proposed Comprehensive Plan Change Factors click here. To examine the housing information previously reviewed by the Task Force click here.

Goodwill Industries New Johnston Headquarters


After the American TV and Appliance store on NW 86th Street was left empty in early 2014 many Johnston residents wondered what would happen to the retail space. In December of 2014 Johnston residents learned that Goodwill Industries of Central Iowa would convert the former American TV and Appliance store into their headquarters. Johnston residents will soon notice changes to the building taking place. At a meeting on Monday, August 10th the Planning and Zoning Commission approved the site plans for the conversion of the former building into Goodwill Industries new headquarters. The new space will include 51,929 square feet of office space, 20,047 square feet of retail space, 33,124 square foot of industrial space and 39,855 square feet of warehouse space.

For more details on the Goodwill Industries site plans click here.

Kum & Go Site Plan and Preliminary Plat

Kum&Go Location

In October of 2013 the City Council approved the site plans and preliminary plat for the construction of a new Kum & Go convenience store. At that time they chose to delay the development of the store to revise their plans to reflect a new prototype store model. The new plans and reconstruction of the current Kum & Go store on the corner of NW 86th Street and Birchwood Court was proposed at the Johnston Planning and Zoning Commission meeting held on Monday, July 27. The Commission approved the site plan, preliminary plat and final plat for a 6,167 square foot convenience store which will include retail fuel sales. The current Kum & Go store at 5225 NW 86th Street will be removed to make space for the new store. Parcel A Lot 3 and Lot 6 of Birchwood Crossing Plat 1 would be combined into a single lot to make space for the new building.

The site will continue to use the entrance drives off of Birchwood Court, and the private drive between Kum & Go and Okoboji Bar and Grill. The applicant had proposed a new right-in, right-out access from NW 86th Street. Foth Infrastructure conducted a traffic study as part of the site plan review process in 2013. Foth concluded that the site plans submitted in 2013 would have minimal impacts to northbound traffic in the study area. According to Kum & Go the current site has averaged 1,069 customers per day over the past year. After reconstruction they project that their customers per day will increase to 1,737 in the first year.


The Tomorrow Plan

The Tomorrow Plan

At their meeting on July 20, the Johnston City Council received information from the Des Moines Area Metropolitan Planning Organization about the Tomorrow Plan. The Tomorrow Plan TODAY is an annual publication which includes plans for the sustainable development of the Greater Des Moines Region over the next 40 years. The plan was adopted by the region in 2013 to serve as a voluntary guide for best practices. With the support of the Metropolitan Planning Organization this plan is being implemented by individuals, community organizations and local governments.

The goals of the Tomorrow Plan include creating a resilient regional economy, improving the region’s health and access to the outdoors, furthering the health and well-being of all residents in the region and Increasing regional cooperation and efficiency at all levels. The Tomorrow Plan has 75 projects in their long range plan, five of those projects are in Johnston. Projects in the City of Johnston include widening a section of NW 62nd Avenue, NW 54th Avenue, and NW 70th Avenue. Other projects include asphalt overlay on Merle Hay Road from I-35/80 to NW 62nd and Reconstruction of NW 62nd, from NW Beaver Drive to NW 62nd Avenue. For more information on the 2015 Tomorrow Plan including plans for the City of Johnston, view the presentations using the links below.

The Tomorrow Plan 2015

The Tomorrow Plan Today 2015 Edition


NW 60th Trail Options Discussed

Trail option 3

During a worksession held prior to the July 20th City Council meeting, the Johnston City Council along with Johnston residents discussed options for trail locations on NW 60th Avenue.  The City of Johnston presented three different trail options to evaluate, each providing some advantages and disadvantages. Although many residents had concerns about the trail running close to their home, residents and City officials seemed to come to a consensus on Trail option Number 3.

Option number 3 would leave the existing bike trail on the north side of NW 60th Avenue and would add additional crossing signs along with raised pedestrian area between east and westbound traffic. To make this plan a reality the city will need to acquire 10 feet of property from both the north and south sides of NW 60th Avenue. Construction on NW 60th Avenue is expected to begin next year.



The Gardens Apartments Plat 1 – Final Plat

The Gardens Apartments

The development of Apartment projects near Merle Hay Road continues with the approval of the Final Plat for The Gardens Apartments Plat 1. At their meeting on July 13, the Planning and Zoning Commission approved a site plan for the construction of 72 apartment units over 5.93 acres located east of Merle Hay Road and North of NW 57th Avenue.

Lot one of the property has access to NW 57th Avenue and a signalized access to Merle Hay Road. Lot two of the property has access to NW 57th Avenue and a secondary access to the signalized intersection at Merle Hay Road.

Click the link below for more details on this project!

Zoning Map Amendment – NW 100th & NW 70th


At their meeting on July 13 the Planning and Zoning Commission approved an amendment to the Official Zoning Map for 4.48 acres from R-1, Single Family Residential District to C-1, Neighborhood Commercial District. The rezoning was requested by a property owner at 6995 NW 100th Street. The property is located at the southeast corner of NW 100th Street and NW 70th Avenue.

The Council initiated a rezoning of the property in 2011 from R-1 to C-2. However, the request was denied. The Commission recommended at that time that the applicant pursue a more restrictive commercial zoning.

Recent developments along the NW 100th Street corridor (such as the construction of the new Johnston High School) and proposed improvements to NW 100th and NW 70th Avenue gave the Commission cause to reconsider the rezoning request.

To view more information on this zoning amendment view the link below.

Interchange Justification Report for Rider Corner

Interchange Justification report

A draft Interchange Justification Report for I-35/I-80 and Iowa Highway 141 (Rider Corner) is now available for review. Future plans for the Rider Corner interchange are of interest to the citizens of Johnston, Grimes and Urbandale. The interchange plans include the addition of an interchange at Northwest 100th Street.

The Iowa DOT has worked with HR Green, a Johnston based company and JEDCO Member to complete environmental documentation and the Interchange Justification Report for the Rider Corner projects. The Iowa DOT held a public meeting in May to receive public comment on the proposed alternatives. The Interchange Justification Report identifies Alternative 2 as the preferred option for the project. According to the DOT this alternative best met the operational goals for the 2040 forecasted traffic and provided additional safety benefits to the system.

Alternative 2 includes adding a flyover ramp from northbound I-35/80 to northbound Iowa 141, removing the loop ramps at the I-35/I-80 and Iowa 141 interchange, and adding a half diamond interchange at Meredith Drive. In addition a full diamond interchange would be included at Northwest 100th Street. These Interstate improvements must be approved by the Federal Highway Administration. We will provide you with more information on this project as it becomes available.

To review a draft copy of the Interchange Justification Report visit the Iowa DOT web site.

Johnston Commons Brownstones 3


The number of townhomes in Johnston continues to grow. The Planning and Zoning Commission approved the Preliminary Plat and Site Plan for Johnston Commons Brownstones 3 at their meeting on July 13. Prior to this year the land was zoned C-2, Community Retail Commercial District. In January of 2015 the PUD was amended to allow for C-2, Community Retail Commercial District  and R-4, Multi-Family Residential use.

The project will subdivide 1.93 acres into 19 multi-family townhomes and an outlot. The property is located south of NW 70th Avenue, and west of Northglenn Drive. The Johnston City Council is scheduled to review the plans at their meeting on July 20, 2015.

For more information on this project view the link below.