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Why Develop in Johnston?

Johnston is where we thrive every day.  It's where families pack the football stadium on fall Friday nights. It's where they gather in the spring to beautify our parks and trails. Every December, Santa Claus pulls up in a fire truck for Holidays In Johnston.  Each May, residents wait patiently for the popular Farmers' Market to open just outside city hall. In summer, they fill the grassy area near the library for Green Days, a community celebration that's been a staple in town since 1996.

Solidly behind every gathering is Johnston's successful business community.  Two blue-chip companies, John Deere Financial and DuPont Pioneer, have their world headquarters located in the heart of the city.  The number of small businesses here continues to grow, powered by a strong and active chamber of commerce.

Check out this drone's view of our community.


A thriving community doesn't sit still. Johnston is on the cusp of a retail renaissance.  Residents overwhelmingly tell us they want more places to dine, shop and explore.  Developers who choose to invest here will discover a strong economy has their back.  Of all Des Moines metro cities, Johnston ranks at the top when it comes to household income, home value and education attainment.  During the recent recession, home values actually grew here as they plummeted all over the country. Thanks to good leadership, Johnston has an AA+ bond rating and the fourth lowest city tax rate in the Des Moines metro.

A recent study by Iowa State University shows Camp Dodge, the Iowa National Guard Headquarters located in Johnston, is a significant economic contributor.  It shows Camp Dodge's nearly 400,000 visitors in 2013 spent more than $35.3 million in local hotels, restaurants and retail shops.  Click here to read the study.

What continues to attract development here no doubt has to do with the quality of life our residents enjoy. A 2015 community survey showed 92 percent of residents are satisfied or very satisfied with the quality of life here. That's 19 percent above the national average.  That survey shows we rank above the national average in 43 of 45 areas, including quality of city services, feelings of safety, cleanliness of city streets, value of city services, quality of fire and police protection, and overall image of the city.  The highly sought after Johnston Community School District is among the best in the nation.

We're building on this strong foundation with major improvements throughout the city.  In 2014, we broke ground on a $5.4 million improvement to Terra Park, planned a $1.6 million face lift to Crown Point Community Center, and opened the $11.4 million Public Safety Building.  A $74.6 million high school is currently under construction on the city's west side.  A new city logo and branding campaign have sharpened our focus and highlighted the best of everything we have to offer.

Johnston is strong, and buoyed by a solid Des Moines metro.  Policom Corporation recently ranked the Des Moines metro as the number one metro for economic strength in the U.S.  The accolades keep pouring in:  Best Cities for Jobs, Top Ten Places with the Most Job Opportunities per Capita, Best Cities for Raising a Family, and so on.

In Johnston we have the luxury of being close to downtown and even closer to nature. We have strong schools, good jobs, 35+ miles of trails, responsive government, friendly neighbors and wide open green spaces.  "I think it's the openness of Johnston.  You feel like you can breathe here," one resident recently said about living here. We feel the best of Johnston is and always has been the solid relationships behind the smart growth.  We invite you to come be a part of this Thriving Community.