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.