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



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


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.

JEDCO Annual Meeting

January 19, 2017 – 4:30 PM
Stoney Creek Hotel

Annual Meeting3

Join us for the JEDCO Annual Meeting on January 19, 2017 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 2016 and to network with other JEDCO members and friends. We look forward to another great year in 2017!

RSVP to kgehringer@growjohnston.com.

Plaza on 86th Plans Initiated








Steps toward rezoning the area on the SW portion of NW 54th Ave. and NW 86th Street are being taken by the Johnston City Council. A request to modify the zoning map for 5.5 acres to allow Community Retail Commercial district uses along with R-4, High Density Residential District uses was referred to the Planning and Zoning Commission by the Council at their meeting on October 3, 2016.

Learn more about this project from JEDCO member NAI Optimum.


Windsor Office Park Gains Momentum










UPDATEOn October 3, 2016 the Johnston City Council approved plans for the Dance Vision and Rainbow Rascals projects.

The Johnston Planning and Zoning Commission considered two new projects for Windsor Office Park at their meeting on September 26, 2016. One is a proposed child care facility presented under the name Rainbow Rascals Child Care. 814 Development LLC has proposed a 11,992 square foot child care facility with 17,241 square feet of outdoor playground area and a future 2,500 square foot retail building. The property is located on the northwest corner of Thomas Avenue and NW 86th Street.

The other project is a proposed 12,162 square foot dance studio presented under the title Dance Vision. The project was presented by Elsie John Properties, LLC and the site is located at 8711 Thomas Avenue in the Windsor Office Park

Taken together with the Premier Lending Alliance project advanced earlier in 2016, activity in the Windsor Office PUD has picked up noticeably. Both of the new projects were advanced by the Commission.