Northwest Annexation Approved

The City of Johnston is moving forward with plans to annex a 1,461-acre area in the Northwest portion of the city, approved by the state’s City Development Board last week.

The annexation is voluntary, as all landowners have agreed to participate. “In the past year, landowner interest in development has intensified and there have been strong indications the area will begin developing if city services were brought into reach of the properties,” said Johnston Economic Development Manager Adam Plagge.

The annexed portion will include six large undeveloped lots near the Mile Long Bridge and along the east side of Iowa Highway 141, as well as Beaver Creek Golf Course, a U.S. Navy training facility and part of Camp Dodge.

Development on the Move on Birchwood Court

For many years Hubbell Realty Company has worked with the City of Johnston to develop the east and northeast quadrants of Birchwood Crossing Business Park along Birchwood Court just north of Interstate 35/80. Work over the last several years with the City of Johnston and a community steering committee has recently lead to a plan for the area. The plan consists of three different components, including the following, which were all recently approved by the Johnston City Council:

1. Birchwood Crossing Plat 7

  • A subdivision of 17.31 acres into 2 lots for commercial development
  • Extension of Birchwood Court from East to North
  • Located East of 8001 Birchwood Court and North of Interstate 35/80

2. Birchwood Crossing Plat 8 & Wright Fields Plat 1 

  • A subdivision of 14.34 acres which will be divided into 25 single family lots.
  • Area has been proposed for annexation by the City of Johnston
  • Extension of Birchwood Court to NW 54th Avenue
  • Located south of NW 54th Avenue and west of Timber Ridge Elementary

3. Site Plans for 7901 Birchwood Court

  • A 71,074 Square Foot Flex Office/Commercial Building
  • East of current end of Birchwood Court
  • Located east of 8001 Birchwood Court and immediately North of Interstate 35/80

Saylorville Lake Water Control Plan Revisions Proposed

The effectiveness of the water control plan at Saylorville Lake was called into question after this summer’s heavy rainfall. Operated primarily as a multi-purpose reservoir, Saylorville Lake is regulated by a water control plan as a part of the Des Moines River Basin Master Reservoir Regulation Manual. Approved in 2001 and coordinated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the manual the plan outlines operational parameters that define how and when water is stored and released.

Analysis of the current plan during this season’s heavy rainfall illustrated a need for modification, especially as flooding has increased in magnitude and frequency for areas around the Des Moines River. Additionally, increased sedimentation within the reservoir, as well as other reservoirs, is negatively impacting the water storage capacity of these conservation resources.

The feasibility report describes the current plan as well as the considered alternatives, making revision recommendations accordingly in order to more effectively manage water overflow and reduce flooding in Des Moines. While much of the plan will remain the same, the following changes have been proposed:

  • No balancing of flood storage with Lake Red Rock – Removed for elevation levels of 860 feet
  • Reduce releases below maximum release as needed to maintain the gauge at SE 6th Street (Des Moines) below 26.5 feet (2,000 cfs minimum release) – Increased from 24 feet
  • Reduce releases below maximum release as needed to maintain the gauge at 2nd Avenue (Des Moines) below 21.0 feet (2,000 cfs minimum release) – Addition to plan

The purpose of updating the Des Moines River Basin Master Reservoir Regulation Manual is to better mitigate overflow and prevent future issues from flooding.

This information was presented at the August 6, 2018 City Council Meeting and is open for public review and comment until August 17, 2018. Note, the final Des Moines River Basin Master Regulation Manual Feasibility Report with Integrated Environmental Assessment will be released to the public to view in fiscal year 2019.

Public comments be submitted by mail at: Rock Island District, Attn: PM-M, P.O. Box 2004, Rock Island, IL 61204-2004
Public comments be submitted by email at:
Public comments be submitted by by telephone at: (309) 794-5704.

To learn more about the revision process, view the current water plan, subscribe to an email list for updates and notifications, or submit comments electronically, follow the link below:

Preliminary Steps for New Birchwood Development Taken

For many years development opportunities in Birchwood Crossing have been stalled. Birchwood is located on the east side of NW 86th street – adjacent to the Interstate 35-80 interchange. The area is perhaps most known as the location for the AMC theaters and DLL Finance. East of DLL is land ready for development, but nothing has happened. The reason is there is a need for a second road connection to NW 54th Ave. Plans for development of the road have been slowed, because of concerns expressed by individual neighbors and by nearby neighborhoods about traffic on Foxboro Road. Johnston needs to take advantage of this commercial development opportunity, and JEDCO has expressed continuing support for the road extension to NW 54th Ave.

In recent months steps have been taken by the City of Johnston and developers to proceed with plans for the road connection.

  • A citizen’s working group has discussed potential road alignments for the connection of Birchwood Ct. and NW 54th Ave., concluding that the preferred scenario would be a road connection to NW 54th Avenue that is offset from Foxboro. A report from the working group was presented to the City Council on July 17, 2018.
  • Snyder & Associates has been engaged to prepare a report and explore “road diet” options for controlling traffic on NW 54th Ave. in the area which includes the Foxboro intersection, the proposed access from Birchwood, the entrance to Lew Clarkson Park and Timber Ridge Elementary.
  • The City Council has taken action to accept a petition for voluntary annexation from property owners who would be involved with or affected by the development. The annexation proposal was referred to the Planning & Zoning Commission on August 6, 2018.
  • Hubbell Commercial has expressed a desire to construct two commercial tech-flex buildings east of the existing commercial buildings along the north side of Birchwood Ct. This portion of the property is currently zoned PUD, which allows for Community Retail Commercial, Professional Commerce Park, and limited C-3 uses. Development of this property could begin upon completion of the site-plan approval process.
  • The City of Johnston has taken steps to amend the urban renewal area plan which would enable the City to allocate tax increment financing resources to assist with the development of the road connect and related infrastructure.

All of this sets the stage for development activity in the Birchwood area. A report prepared by City of Johnston staff provides a good overview of these developments. Download the report here.

Beaver Creek Water Trail Plan Advances



The City of Johnston is moving forward with efforts to create a water trail access point on Beaver Creek on 70th Ave. The City Council recently approved an agreement with ISG to to provide full design and construction administration services for the parking lot, trail, and cast-in-place launch project along NW 70th Avenue. The firm has previously been involved with the preliminary design and engineering of the entire Beaver Creek Water Trail.  Download the agreement with ISG for more information about the scope of work.


For more information about the Beaver Creek water trail project, view the Des Moines Area Metropolitan Planning Organization report: “A vision For Beaver Creek“.

Adam Ridge Retail Plans Advance

A retail companion to the latest developments in the Adam Ridge will be considered by the City of Johnston. Site Plans and a Preliminary Plat for Adam Ridge Commercial Plat 1 have been presented to the City. The property is located south of NW 62nd Avenue and east of NW 103rd Street.

The plan would subdivide a 5 acre area for the development of an 8,394 square foot retail/restaurant building. The new building would be located just west of the Casey’s which is positioned on the SW corner of the NW 62nd Avenue and NW 100th Street intersection.

NW Beaver Office Park – Final Plat Approved








The Johnston City Council recently approved a final plat for NW Beaver Office Park. The property is located north of Johnston Drive and east of NW Beaver Drive including 5561, 5455, and 5359 NW Beaver Drive. The plan is to subdivide the 25 acres east of NW Beaver Drive into 6 lots, enabling further development of the five lots immediately adjacent to NW Beaver Dr. (east). More information is provided in the Johnston staff report.




Adam Ridge Plat 9 Subdivision Approved

Adam Ridge Plat 9 Subdivision Approved

A final plat for Adam Ridge Plat 9 was recently approved by the Johnston Planning and Zoning Commission. The property is north of NW 61st Avenue and between NW 100th and NW 103rd Streets. Jerry’s Homes, Inc. plans to subdivide about 10 acres of the Amber Ridge PUD into 42 townhome lots and one outlot for future commercial development. This property was rezoned in the fall of 2017 to allow townhome uses on the property. The preliminary plat and site plan were approved by the Johnston City Council in November, 2017.


Shoppes at Roughwood – Site Plans Approved


Site plans and a final plat for the Shoppes at Roughwood have been approved by the Johnston Planning and Zoning Commission. A layout has been presented for up to eight bays of retail/restaurant space totaling 16,400 SF over 2.82 Acres. The site is located at the southwest corner of NW 86th Street and NW 54th Avenue.

This long-awaited development is set to proceed subject to the approval of the City Council. Action is expected at the Council Meeting on July 16, 2018.

As a part of the site plan and PUD, NW 53rd Place will be closed with this first phase of development. View the City staff report for more information.

Iowa Law Enforcement Academy to Receive Rehab

Iowa Law Enforcement Academy Johnston Iowa location

The Iowa Law Enforcement Academy, located on Camp Dodge in Johnston, trains more than 11,000 law enforcement personnel each year. Over the past several years the air quality and issues with mold levels inside the facility have been a source of concern. In addition, issues with the plumbing and HVAC system continue to cause problems. In recent years leaders of the ILEA have started to look for alternate locations for the facility.

In an effort to keep the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy in Johnston, Representative Jake Highfill and Senator Brad Zaun have worked to ensure that this facility will remain a part of the Johnston Community.

In the RIFF (Rebuild Iowa Infrastructure Fund) fund, the state appropriated $1.4 million for Fiscal Year 2019 and $10.8 million for FY 2020 to rehab the building.

New 100th Street Interchange to Provide New Access to Johnston

100th Street Access in Johnston Iowa

Construction is ahead of schedule for the full diamond interchange off of I-35/80 at 100th Street. The interchange is expected to be complete at the end of July. Although the new interchange is in the City of Urbandale, it will provide a new point of access to the Johnston Community.

Click here to view an aerial video from the City of Urbandale that shows the progress on the interchange.

Preparations for Town Center Project Proceed

The City of Johnston continues to move forward on the Johnston Town Center Project. As the City prepares to review proposals from developers, the process of acquiring property and preparing the property for development is proceeding.

The acquisition of several new pieces of property is currently in progress. The sites are expected to be added to list of aggregated properties in the Town Center area. This includes properties at 5505 NW 62nd Avenue,5600 NW 63rd Place and  5605 NW 62nd Avenue. As illustrated above, this “super block” will soon be ready for redevelopment.

The City of Johnston will move the project along one step further as they are expected be engaged in the demolition of several properties. With these actions, developers can see tangible evidence that the City is ready for the next steps. Stay tuned for continued updates on the Town Center project.

Johnston Iowa Town Center Project

Walkability Study

Man walking on sidewalk in Johnston Iowa

The City of Johnston is working with Snyder and Associates to conduct a community-wide Walkability Study that will address overall connectivity of the sidewalks, trails, neighborhoods, schools, parks and businesses in Johnston.

The City is actively soliciting public input to help identify areas of opportunities and areas of concern. Visit the Walkability Study Map Social Page and submit comments by June 18, 2018 so that data can be incorporated and addressed in the study.

Click here to learn more.

NW 70th Avenue Construction Update: Phase II

Phase II of Construction has Begun

NW 70th Avenue between Peckham Street and NW 86th Street has been closed since April 16.

Pavement has been removed, and grading of the roadbed has begun.

The channel grading on the south side of NW 70th Avenue has been completed, along with the installation of twin 60-inch pipes that will be under the south leg of the roundabout at Peckham Street.

Water main installation west of Peckham Street has been completed. Water main and storm sewer installation east of Peckham Street is underway.

Click here to learn more.

Johnston Town Center Update

RFQ Deadline For Johnston Town Center Extended

The Johnston City Council has extended the deadline for responses to the Johnston Town Center RFQ to 1 PM on Friday, June 15th.

This extension is partially related to action in the Iowa legislature regarding the authority of cities to develop projects using a lease purchase financing mechanism. Legislation awaiting the Governor’s signature would clarify the authority to use this method for projects such as the Town Center. If enacted, the City of Johnston’s Town Center project and the proposed Lease-Purchase arrangement for a City Hall could proceed. The City may also simply wished to provide developers with more time to respond. Developers are encouraged to take advantage of the extension for preparing a response to the RFQ.

Land Acquisition Update: The City of Johnston has acquired or received signed purchase agreements for all properties within the 18.5-acre Town Center area apart from 5707 & 5645 NW 62nd Ave. and 5630, 5626 and 5650 NW 63rd PL.

Lease-Purchase Note: With the lease-purchase financing model the developer’s financial commitment for construction of a new City Hall would conclude upon satisfactory completion of the building. The developer would not be required to retain ownership.

For more information contact the City of Johnston Economic Development Department at 515-727-7774 or email Adam Plagge at

Dental Studios of Iowa – Update








The Johnston City Council recently considered and approved the site plan for the project titled Dental Studios of Iowa. Updated documents include a preliminary floor plan for the new facility. Watch for more information about West Park!

Site Plans for Dental Studios of Iowa Approved

The new 100th Street interchange off of I-35/80 has been creating a lot buzz for the southwest corner of the Johnston community. Located near 100th Street and NW 54th Avenue is the West Park Office Building and West Park Office Plaza, both which provide a great opportunity for future development in Johnston.

At their April 30th meeting the Planning and Zoning Commission approved the proposed site plans for a 3,900 square foot building that would house a dental office. The operating title presented to the Commission was Dental Studios of Iowa. The property, located at 5495 NW 100th street in the West Park Office Plaza. is currently owned by All Pointes Development LC / Knapp Properties according to documents published by the City of Johnston and the Polk County Assessor.

A business entity search on the Secretary of State web site shows that three companies with a variant on the name Dental Studio of Iowa/Central Iowa/Johnston have registered in 2018.

NAI Optimum is now Cushman & Wakefield

Iowa Commercial Advisors (previously NAI Optimum) has entered into an agreement with Cushman & Wakefield, a global leader in commercial real estate services. Leadership within Cushman & Wakefield Iowa Commercial Advisors will continue with Kurt Mumm as President and Christopher Stafford as Senior Vice President. The headquarters will be in West Des Moines.

Learn more here.

Space Available Near Upcoming Interchange

This beautiful office building is located in the Northwest quadrant of 100th Street and NW 54th Avenue in Johnston. The building features modern construction and open concept finishes throughout the interior and exterior of the building. A new full diamond interchange will be completed in 2018 – providing direct access to 100th Street from I-80/35.

View property flyer here.