One of the Des Moines metro’s fastest-growing cities is in line for yet another massive new shopping and entertainment complex.
Waukee Towne Center is planned for an undeveloped site south of Hickman Road and west of Southeast Alice’s Road.
The Waukee City Council voted Monday night to approve the first reading of an ordinance to rezone the 48-acre parcel to allow its development for commercial use.
The complex would be located across Hickman Road from Hy-Vee and south of an existing complex anchored by an ALDI store.
Listed as a development of Burlington-based Pierson Commercial, owned by Mike Pierson, the project would include a 300,000-square-foot shopping and retail center with room for additional entertainment businesses
According to city documents, other amenities could include an amphitheater, walking trails, playground, sculptures and a skating rink. A large stormwater retention pond would be located on the southwest corner of the lot.
The main entrance would be from Southeast Laurel Street, and the property would include a 30-foot-wide landscape buffer along the west and southwest sides, where the property borders a residential neighborhood.
Community Development Director Andy Kass said the application for the center was submitted in April and a meeting with nearby residents was held in May.
The site was purchased in December for $12.5 million, Kass said. He added that the developers have said that if they secure a commitment from an anchor tenant by late summer or early fall, site work could begin next year.
“Our residents have had a desire for a very long time to have more retail options in our community so this is an exciting project,” Kass said.
Waukee’s Planning and Zoning Commission recommended rezoning July 26.
Pierson Commercial has other projects listed in Ames, Burlington and Pleasant Hill. It’s an arm of a larger company that is also involved in residential development.
If the Waukee Towne Center continues to move forward, it will be the second large-scale development coming to the Des Moines suburb. KeeTown Loop, an entertainment and retail district to be located along Grand Prairie Parkway north of Ashworth Road, will include two hotels, a 100-unit apartment complex and a 3,000-seat concert venue operated by Live Nation Entertainment.
Construction of the $100 million project is expected to start in the fall.
Waukee in 2021 shattered its record for new construction. A rural crossroads just 30 years ago, the city grew nearly 60% from 2010 to 2020 and is projected to reach a population of 35,000 by 2030.