Merle Hay Gateway

The City of Johnston approved a redevelopment plan that has set the stage for what should be a dramatic transformation to the front door of the city, giving the working and residential communities a lot to look forward to. For professionals seeking an ideal location for retail, restaurants and entertainment options, the Merle Hay Road Gateway has ample opportunity.

Located just north of I- 35/80, this area truly serves as the gateway to Johnston’s thriving community, regional trail connections and Saylorville Lake. With nearly 100,000 vehicles passing by daily on the interstate and nearly 31,900 vehicles passing by daily on Merle Hay Road, the location is ideal for retail shops and restaurants.

Acres Available

Traffic Counts

Outdoor Recreation

City Incentives

Redevelopment Plan

Since the master plan was approved back in 2013, the Merle Hay Road Gateway has been an area of focus for the Johnston community. The City of Johnston is eager to move forward with redevelopment of the area, which is why expanded incentives are available for qualified redevelopment projects to a 10 year rebate of 75% of incremental taxes. 

Water Trails

Johnston has been a leader for the Des Moines Area Metropolitan Planning Organization’s Water Trails and Greenways master plan. The first access point to Beaver Creek is now open at NW 86th Street and 70th Avenue in Johnston. Two additional access points are planned, one near Terra Park scheduled for construction in 2020 and the last near the gateway area, scheduled for construction in 2021.

Tax Incentives

The City of Johnston utilizes Tax Increment Financing to support commercial growth within the community. Several incentive options are available to qualified businesses and additional incentives are available along two key corridors on Merle Hay Road.
For additional information on available incentives please contact Economic Development Manager Adam Plagge.  

Merle Hay Road Gateway

Merle Hay Rd Adjacent to I-35/80

  • 50 developable acres from I-35/80 to NW 55th Street
  • Nearly 100,00 vehicles per day on I-35/80
  • 31,900 vehicles per day on Merle Hay Road
  • 10-year incentives offered
  • Immediate connection to trails