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.
Potential changes to Windsor Office Park zoning which would allow for multi-family residential uses are being discussed. A plan to allow up to 24 housing units per acre on Lots 12-15 has been advanced by Windsor Officer Park, LC. Johnston officials will be reviewing the concept in the coming weeks.
The Johnston City Council will also be considering parameters for the use of tax increment financing to assist redevelopment efforts for qualified housing projects. Current City policy allows for the use of TIF resources to redevelop areas appropriate for the elimination of blight for the purpose of stimulating private investment in residential development.
Hubbell Realty Company has advanced plans for expanding Johnston Commons Brownstones, subdividing 3.3 acres into thirty-one (31) townhome lots and one outlot. The property is located south of NW 70th Avenue and west of Northglenn Drive.
An amended Site Plan and Preliminary Plat for West Prairie Townhomes has also been submitted for review. The amendment would allow for some larger units and a number of single family detached units throughout the development. The total number of units would be reduced from 63 to 55. The property is located east of NW 96th Street and north of NW 54th Ave.
Both plans were approved by the Johnston Planning & Zoning Commission at their meeting on 9/29/14. Additional information about each project has been posted in the Grow Johnston Library under Housing Projects.
Information about plans for updating communications efforts to reflect the benefits of living and working in Johnston were recently shared with the Johnston City Council. Representatives of Red Dot Advertising and Design, a West Des Moines company, presented the results of a planning and focus group process.
Several “brand pillars” were presented including a few related to economic development communications. For example, Johnston is:
– A green community that balances metro and rural
– Safe, happy neighborhoods nestled in lush green spaces
– Recognized schools that nurture and support a highly educated community
– A thriving and supportive business community
Several updated logo designs have been presented for preliminary discussion. The illustration above is one of several design options developed. Important Note: the image is an example only. It is presented as grayscale, and is a photo of a projected image of a color rendering. No action has been taken by the Council.
Visitors to City Hall will notice that the Johnston City Council Chambers has a fresh coat of paint and numerous canvas prints of Johnston icons. Pictured above are Planning and Zoning Commission members Stuart Spencer, Jay Petersma (Chair), and Kathy Anderson.
The Johnston Planning & Zoning Commission is scheduled to review plats for two housing projects at their meeting on September 8, 2014. A final plat for the Highland Summit project in NW Johnston and an associated Petition and Waiver agreement will be considered.
Also on the agenda is a review of a plan to plat 2 lots for development on NW 78th Ave. (Beaver Creek Ventures Plat 1). More information about each project can be found in the Grow Johnston Housing Projects library.
A project approved in 2013 is now beginning to take shape, and it provides an opportunity to reflect on the value of investments which continue to be made in the Johnston community. The City Council will hold a public hearing on September 15, 2014 to consider a development agreement with DuPont Pioneer. The total investment is estimated to be more than $28 million, and taxable valuation is expected to increase by more than $14 million.
The project includes a combination of new construction and renovation, and represents 105 new jobs. Approval for the project had previously been given by the Iowa Economic Development Authority and the City of Johnston in 2013, but the project now comes back to the Council in the form of a development agreement which would provide up to $2.2 million in Tax Increment Financing (TIF) assistance. Long term benefits to the community are significant and come in the form of construction jobs, increased overall tax base for the city, schools and county, and further growth of very high quality jobs. A summary of the project and the public hearing resolution has been posted here. It includes an interesting map which illustrates the numerous company projects in recent years. Thank you DuPont Pioneer for continuing to invest in Johnston!
The Johnston City Council discussed several housing projects at their meeting on Tuesday, September 2, 2014.
Construction plans for Crosshaven Plats 4 and 5 were approved.
The amendment to the West Park PUD for the proposed West Prairie Townhome development received final approval.
There was consensus to move forward with a modest expansion of the East Central TIF district. This could allow for a proposed R&R redevelopment project to receive TIF assistance – if the project meets criteria to be established by the Council.
The City of Johnston has selected Business Publications (Business Record) for the publication of a new community Economic Development Guide.
The proposed publication is intended to help showcase areas of the city to attract new retail, restaurants, convention hotel, luxury townhomes and/or or an office park. The Merle Hay Gateway area is expected to be one of the areas featured. In conjunction with the preparation of a new development guide, the City is exploring options for a new logo. More information about this discussion should be available in late August or early September.