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.

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

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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

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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

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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.

 RSVP at
https://johnstondevelopmentforum.eventbrite.com

A New View of the Gateway

At the JEDCO Annual Meeting, Adam Plagge, the City of Johnston Economic Development Manager, presented new videos which provide a closer look at the Merle Hay Road Gateway area. The first video model shows a look at the gateway area from the Interstate. This video show how planned tree clearing and landscaping could open up visibility to the site. The second video takes a closer look as you enter the Gateway area on Merle Hay Road north of I-35/80. This is another great tool to help prospective developers envision the future look of the area.
Click here to view the video model showing the view from I-35/80

Click here to view the video model showing the entrance to the Gateway area.

State of the City

On Thursday, January 26th the Johnston Chamber of Commerce held their Annual State of the City Luncheon at Hilton Garden Inn. The luncheon included updates from the Johnston Community School District, The City of Johnston and JEDCO. Phil Dunshee the Executive Director of Johnston Economic Development Corporation provided a recap of activities in 2016 and insights about development to come in 2017. In addition he included insights about development opinions expressed in the Community Needs Assessment report recently published by Johnston Community Education and the Johnston Partnership. Phil ended his presentation by encouraging all parties in the room to work together, find solutions, have mutual respect and trust, have integrity, work as a team, be involved and engaged and work for the mutual benefit of one another. To view JEDCO’s presentation from the State of the City luncheon, visit the resources section of the Grow Johnston Web Site.    

JEDCO Board Tours Cadence

 

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On January 17th the JEDCO Board of Directors ventured out from their normal meeting location at the JEDCO office and visited the new Cadence Apartments. The Cadence Apartments are an urban-style Hubbell Realty project located on the North end of Merle Hay Road in Johnston. Board members had the opportunity to tour the new facility and view the variety of floors plans and amenities Cadence has to offer. Cadence is currently leasing one, two and three-bedroom apartments. Click here for more information about Cadence!  

SEH Expands to Central Iowa, Feeling at Home in Johnston

A large, regional consulting firm is now calling Johnston home. Short Elliot Hendrickson Inc. (SEH) opened their newest office in Johnston in July, 2016. The Johnston location is the second SEH office in Iowa, adding to their longstanding north Iowa presence in Mason City. SEH is a civil engineering, architecture, and planning firm with more than 800 professional staff in 31 offices across the Upper Midwest. Current staff in the Johnston office include:

Perry Gjersvik, PE Waster/wastewater engineer and office Manager

Ross Harris, AICP Transportation Planner

Mike Lyon, PE Transportation Engineer

Lucas Casey Business Development Manager

The local team has more than 60 years of experience working with metro area communities, developers, and contractors. They are excited for the opportunity to launch SEH’s expanded Iowa presence from Johnston. The new SEH office is located at 5414 NW 88th Street, Suite 140. You can reach the team by phone at 515-608-6000, or find more information about SEH online at: www.sehinc.com.

Johnston Community Development – 2016 Annual Report

Sustained growth and redevelopment was the community development theme for Johnston in 2016. More than $60 million in new valuation was permitted over the course of the year. An expanded Annual City of Johnston Development Summary report is now available and provides a detailed summary of new permits issued, construction projects and insights into what to expect for 2017. Several important economic development projects were kicked off in the 4th Quarter of 2016. Stay tuned to for more updates on city development news.

New Ways to Grow Johnston

The Johnston Community Development department recently unveiled several new and useful tools to facilitate development in Johnston. As a developer you might benefit from the following features of some new web pages.

  • Quick access to the current zoning regulations
  • A keyword search of the regulations
  • Zoning maps with land use lookup features
  • An online library of Johnston development forms, studies and plans
  • Online calculators for buffers, parking and more

These resources are available at http://online.encodeplus.com/regs/johnston-ia/ through a system published by Kendig Keast Collaborative, a Texas-based community planning consulting company.

Administrative Professional

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Enterprise Iowa/MidAmerica, which provides management services for JEDCO and the Johnston Chamber has posted a new position. The position is an Administrative Professional. See the position description for more information.

Individuals who are interested in the position should forward a cover letter and resume to Enterprise Iowa, 8711 Windsor Parkway, Suite 2, Johnston, IA 50131. Applicants may also submit information via e-mail to pdunshee@enterpriseiowa.com.