New $250 Mil Multi-Use Development Planned for Grimes

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CYdTracked

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Mar 23, 2006
13,396
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Grimes, IA
I also live in this area and am concerned about traffic on Highway 44 once all that retail opens. I'm hoping Grimes/Iowa has a plan to widen it.
I've wondered this myself, the main drag through Grimes has me a little worried there may not be enough room to widen it to a full 4 lanes without infringing on a lot of front lawns and business parking in some of the more narrow parts of it. It basically is 4 lanes up to McDonalds/Kum & Go on the east side of 44 then built out on the West side of town there is enough room to widen to 4 lanes heading west out of town too. They haven't opened up that new road going north into that development yet but it looks like it goes from 2 lanes to 1 just north of the stop light which I don't get with that kind of plan for that area why they just didn't do 4 lanes from the start.

Grimes needs to widen James street going south out of town to where they just widened it to 4 lanes at the new R&R realty buildings but have a feeling the delay there is the money it is going to cost to acquire a few miles of farm land they would have to purchase through eminent domain to make that happen. I know just that less than a mile stretch they widened a couple years ago was pricy because they were trying to get it for $750k an acre and the owners wanted $1 mil an acre. I watched a replay of a special meeting the council had to have about that project with the city attorneys and they were basically told that by the time they were to challenge the assessment on the land they wanted to acquire and all the legal fees and delays and such they would incur while that was going on they may as well just pay them what they are asking because after all the time and money spent to negotiate it down they would still not net enough saving to make it worth the effort. I take James to and from work most of the time because my kid's daycare is on that road just before it hits Hickman so I don't use 141 a lot. James has gotten better since the last widening project that put in permanent stop light at the R&R complex but as the town grows it is going to need a 2nd major road south out of town and that is the most logical and currently most used road that is going to need to go to 4 lanes next.
 
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Tailg8er

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Feb 25, 2011
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Johnston
I live in so far NW Johnston that it's basically Grimes, very happy to have all that <10 mins from our house.
 

dosry5

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Nov 28, 2006
6,277
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Johnston
Yeah traffic could be more of a pain then it already is. I find myself using the 100th St exit more and more then dealing with 141.

That reduction from 2 lanes to 1 lane befor e K&G is already a pain.
I get off at 100th at all the time to come home to Grimes. Where it narrows from 4 lanes down to 2 (1 each direction) suuuucks. It becomes a **** move contest with people racing to cut each other off.....
 

Jnecker4cy

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Aug 18, 2006
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Ankeny, IA
I guess I disagree on this depending on some facts. Are these not a city park? I know I have had some friends who have just wanted to do some pickup type stuff and we kept getting kicked out of city park fields. I get it if they had it reserved and stuff but they just didn’t want us around. Did a private group pay for it? If so I guess that’s understandable. Otherwise it should be open for people to use.
Ankeny Prairie Ridge Sports Complex is a City owned complex with Soccer, Sofball, Baseball and Football/Lacrosse fields. None of which are really open for public use. There are a few the public can rent but the Ankeny Little League, Ankeny Sofball, Iowa Rush Soccer Club, Ankeny Junior Football and Ankeny LaCrosse all pay big money to basically use for there home fields. I belive Iowa Rush Soccer pays Something in the 75k plus range per year for use of the soccer fields all the other clubs pay similar. The major upkeep/every day maintenance is done by Ankeny Parks and Rec. They are all really nice fields.
 

Urbandale2013

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Jan 28, 2018
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I've wondered this myself, the main drag through Grimes has me a little worried there may not be enough room to widen it to a full 4 lanes without infringing on a lot of front lawns and business parking in some of the more narrow parts of it. It basically is 4 lanes up to McDonalds/Kum & Go on the east side of 44 then built out on the West side of town there is enough room to widen to 4 lanes heading west out of town too. They haven't opened up that new road going north into that development yet but it looks like it goes from 2 lanes to 1 just north of the stop light which I don't get with that kind of plan for that area why they just didn't do 4 lanes from the start.

Grimes needs to widen James street going south out of town to where they just widened it to 4 lanes at the new R&R realty buildings but have a feeling the delay there is the money it is going to cost to acquire a few miles of farm land they would have to purchase through eminent domain to make that happen. I know just that less than a mile stretch they widened a couple years ago was pricy because they were trying to get it for $750k an acre and the owners wanted $1 mil an acre. I watched a replay of a special meeting the council had to have about that project with the city attorneys and they were basically told that by the time they were to challenge the assessment on the land they wanted to acquire and all the legal fees and delays and such they would incur while that was going on they may as well just pay them what they are asking because after all the time and money spent to negotiate it down they would still not net enough saving to make it worth the effort. I take James to and from work most of the time because my kid's daycare is on that road just before it hits Hickman so I don't use 141 a lot. James has gotten better since the last widening project that put in permanent stop light at the R&R complex but as the town grows it is going to need a 2nd major road south out of town and that is the most logical and currently most used road that is going to need to go to 4 lanes next.
Not sure what you are really talking about with your numbers. Land is not that expensive. Farm land is like $7,500. Even if you want to drastically increase that you are no where near your numbers.
 

dmclone

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Oct 20, 2006
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I've lived 20 years in Johnston. Why in the hell can't we get something cool. Maybe a brewery? A good/new grocery store? All we get are bigger and bigger apartment buildings.
 

coolerifyoudid

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Feb 8, 2013
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I guess I disagree on this depending on some facts. Are these not a city park? I know I have had some friends who have just wanted to do some pickup type stuff and we kept getting kicked out of city park fields. I get it if they had it reserved and stuff but they just didn’t want us around. Did a private group pay for it? If so I guess that’s understandable. Otherwise it should be open for people to use.
I doubt it would be classified as a city park, but I'm not certain of how everything is being funded and financially substained. If it operates on a profit basis, I can't imagine it's being sustained via taxes. I'm sure someone on here knows waaaay more than me when it comes to the legal side of things.

But if it was open to the public, I guarantee that organized teams are gonna capitalize on the free space and monopolize it. Quality practice space is hard to find and it would be a free for all. It would be like the worst version of going to a general admission event where 2 people try to save 2 rows for their friends that are "on the way"
 

harimad

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Jul 28, 2016
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Cool. Weird timing though...
Not really. The Big Scholarship industrial complex hasn’t slowed down during the pandemic. My daughter’s softball team has played every weekend this fall, although it’s coming to a screeching halt for us as one of the girls just tested positive. Two more have tested positive since then.

Regardless, the tournaments will keep on keeping on.
 

VeloClone

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Jan 19, 2010
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Brooklyn Park, MN
They must not know about the National Sports Center (NSC) in Blaine, MN which is 600 + acre. https://www.nscsports.org/

It does look like it will have more fields than the NSC. I am guessing the golf course at the NSC takes up a lot of acres.
Yes, artificial turf is the difference. However it isn't even close to more fields than NSC. This is 50 acres of fields; 13 full size fields.

Here is NSC:

I highly doubt if the 600 acres at NSC includes the golf course. Note that the majority of the golf course doesn't even appear on the NSC map.

1-49 are full sized fields (grass on peat). I'm not including the 60-62 and the MNUFC logoed fields as I'm not sure how much they are available since they are the Loon's practice fields - both grass and artificial turf. I know my daughter has had a game on one of the stadium fields (artificial turf) before. Most of the 50's and 60's fields are larger youth fields - not full sized. But 56 is also a full sized field.

So by my count that is 37 full sized fields plus large youth fields compared to a total of 13 full sized fields at Grimes. They only get to 50 youth fields when they divide up each of the large fields into 4 small fields apiece.
 
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isucy86

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Apr 13, 2006
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Not sure what you are really talking about with your numbers. Land is not that expensive. Farm land is like $7,500. Even if you want to drastically increase that you are no where near your numbers.
Land for commercial development around Des Moines metro is priced significantly higher than farm land. The valuation could easily be valued at $75-100k per acre.
 
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NWICY

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Sep 2, 2012
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As much as people don't like it, they need to stick to their guns on that. It's a sizeable investment that needs to be protected. You'd like to think that people would treat it well, but some people are just ********.

The fight for space during the spring and fall is gonna be something to watch. My daughter's coach has told me some of the difficulties he's had to go through. Our club split off from another club due to some conflicting personalities. Since then, the original club (the larger more established one) is basically making it hell for us to secure locations. He event went as far as booking a field that he doesn't even use to prevent our coach from using it. That's some expensive spite.
Evidently there is way too much money in youth sports if that club's budget is high enough they can spend that kind of money. I'd be ticked if I was a parent on that club.
 
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CYdTracked

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Mar 23, 2006
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Grimes, IA
Not sure what you are really talking about with your numbers. Land is not that expensive. Farm land is like $7,500. Even if you want to drastically increase that you are no where near your numbers.
I'd have to see if the meeting is still out on the site somewhere and check the numbers but pretty sure the numbers I quoted was what they discussed. Maybe that was total purchase price and I misheard it but even then they didnt acquire more than a few acrea probably. They dont pay farm land prices when they forcefully acquire land for road projects plus some if the land in that area was rezoned for commercial or industrial for the developments in the area too.

I could very well be wrong too but I'm pretty certain they didnt pay 7500 an acre for the land they acquired for that project
 

CycloneDaddy

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Sep 24, 2006
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Johnston
I've lived 20 years in Johnston. Why in the hell can't we get something cool. Maybe a brewery? A good/new grocery store? All we get are bigger and bigger apartment buildings.
Hopefully the new city center they are building will have some cool stuff in it. Also someone is building an indoor sports complex off the interstate/Merle Hay.
 

JP4CY

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Dec 19, 2008
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Evidently there is way too much money in youth sports if that club's budget is high enough they can spend that kind of money. I'd be ticked if I was a parent on that club.
Yeah if a club pays 75k a year for a field? Wow.
 

Urbandale2013

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Jan 28, 2018
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Urbandale
I'd have to see if the meeting is still out on the site somewhere and check the numbers but pretty sure the numbers I quoted was what they discussed. Maybe that was total purchase price and I misheard it but even then they didnt acquire more than a few acrea probably. They dont pay farm land prices when they forcefully acquire land for road projects plus some if the land in that area was rezoned for commercial or industrial for the developments in the area too.

I could very well be wrong too but I'm pretty certain they didnt pay 7500 an acre for the land they acquired for that project
I mean I’m not expecting that to be the actual amount but you are talking over 100x the farm land value. It’s got to be between those price points. There was just land sold for $3,000,000 total for 13.4 acres. That is like $225,000 an acre for ready to be developed land. If they paid $1,000,000 per acre they got robbed.
 

c.y.c.l.o.n.e.s

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Feb 21, 2007
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Grimes needs to widen James street going south out of town to where they just widened it to 4 lanes at the new R&R realty buildings but have a feeling the delay there is the money it is going to cost to acquire a few miles of farm land they would have to purchase through eminent domain to make that happen
I remember when they tore up James Street 5-10 years ago. I thought it was great because they were finally going to make it 4 lanes or at least install a turn lane. Instead they moved the whole thing 20 feet to the west, left it just as narrow as it ever was and then put in a bike path. That was a real head scratcher for me.
 

CYdTracked

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Mar 23, 2006
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Grimes, IA
I mean I’m not expecting that to be the actual amount but you are talking over 100x the farm land value. It’s got to be between those price points. There was just land sold for $3,000,000 total for 13.4 acres. That is like $225,000 an acre for ready to be developed land. If they paid $1,000,000 per acre they got robbed.
OK I think I found it tonight. https://www.grimesiowa.gov/OurCommunity/WATCHCityCouncilMeetings.aspx Go down to the Special Meeting on March 16, 2018 video. I am off by a zero on what I thought it cost them. The city wanted to buy the property at $75,000 an acre and the owners countered at $105,000 an acre. There is another meeting somewhere around that time when they approved the project that one of the property owners brought up the last project that went through that area where they paved the gravel road and the city told them it would be great because there would be no dust and their response to that was they only use the road twice a year to plant and harvest so they could care less about the dust.

As someone that grew up in rural Iowa I completely get why farmers are so protective when people want to take their land to build something. Many of those farmers families owned that land over multiple generations so there is sentimental value and emotions attached to it. One part of me also knows that everything is for sale at the right price and if you happen to own land that is in high demand if you can get a great price for it take the money and either retire or go buy up some land elsewhere for significantly less than what you just sold yours for.
 
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