The Johnston City Council and staff continue to move forward with plans for the development of the Johnston Town Center. Things are happening on several fronts, and each component is important to the success of the overall project. With a few exceptions, the property acquisition phase is complete and a critical mass of land has been assembled. The concept plan has been through several phases of development, and plans for the location of City Hall have essentially been settled (see the latest master plan illustration). Communication about plans for removing and replacing trees and other landscaping features is underway. Design planning for the intersection of Merle Hay Road and NW 62nd Avenue is also in progress.

The Council has now approved the third and final reading of a new zoning overly for the development, which includes a set of design guidelines. The guidelines clearly illustrate the desire of the Council to make this development a high-quality destination. The permitted uses in the design guidelines give a good indication of the types of development which is desired including restaurants, specialty retail, micro-breweries, upper level apartments coupled with retail establishments or professional offices at ground level or a “boutique” hotel with up to 80 guest rooms.

Design plans for City Hall also continue to progress, addressing both the interior office layout and the exterior design. Most recently the Council was focusing their attention on the design of the new Council Chambers – providing feedback to the design team about their desire for the room to serve multiple functions and not serve only as a space for people to observe the proceedings. Expect to see further changes in design before construction begins.

The next significant step in the proceedings which will lead to actual site preparation and construction will be a public hearing to be held on October 21 concerning any additional development proposals which may be received from other developers, including any plans for the disposition of the property such as a lease-purchase arrangement. For more information about alternative development proposals and the October 21 public hearing, select the link below for Resolution 19-240 which was adopted by the City Council on September 16, 2019. A groundbreaking ceremony is tentatively scheduled for October 22, 2019.

The target date for constructing and occupying the new City Hall continues to be fiscal year 2021 (or as early as December, 2020). Developers interested in learning more about how to be a part of the Town Center project can contact Hansen Real Estate Services, or Johnston Economic Development Manager Adam Plagge for more information.