I'm expecting this to be pretty big, especially if it will draw people from throughout the metro.
DMRyan wrote:I'm guessing that we'll have a version of "Ankeny Town Center" with this one.
My point is that, other than for Denny Arthur's Styxx, there isn't much for night life in Ankeny.
God knows that if I wasn't married with children, I wouldn't be living in Ankeny.
dogbo wrote:Ankeny Husker Freak (AHF) writes:My point is that, other than for Denny Arthur's Styxx, there isn't much for night life in Ankeny.
Where this Styxx located? Is it new?God knows that if I wasn't married with children, I wouldn't be living in Ankeny.
Good answer AHF! I was having trouble with your street cred due to your choice of locale (and that's not even taking into consideration the Husker thing!! ) but with the wife/kids I can understand & forgive you.
God knows that if I wasn't married with children, I wouldn't be living in Ankeny.
Ankeny Plans 'Prairie Trail' Development
Ankeny, June 2nd, 2005- The mayor of Ankeny and city manager say it's a major development project for the city.
In a deal worth more than $23 million dollars, Ankeny is trying to buy a thousand acres of land to turn into neighborhoods, entertainment venues, business districts and recreational areas. The city plans to call the development Prairie Trail.
The land on the south edge of Ankeny belongs to Iowa State University and includes a dairy research farm. City leaders say Prairie Trail will be a destination for shopping, restaurants, music and entertainment.
Ankeny's city council is expected to approve this offer at tonight's meeting. ISU has tentatively agreed to the deal, but the regents still need to approve Ankeny's offer. It's on the agenda for the June 13th and 14th meeting.
Ankeny announces plans for research farm site
The city of Ankeny announced this morning that it plans to purchase about 1,031 acres of land inside its city limits from Iowa State University for $23.6 million to create Prairie Trail, a new "lifestyle center" with housing, arts and entertainment, recreation and business districts.
Carl Metzger, Ankeny's city manager, said the city's offer is pending approval of the Iowa Board of Regents, which will vote on the issue at its next meeting June 13-14. ISU is selling the land, which includes its dairy research farm, to cover the cost of a new farm closer to the university's Ames campus.
Ankeny has hired William J. Ludwig & Associates to develop a land-use plan for the large parcel. The city plans to partner with a master developer to coordinate the project, and will begin issuing requests for proposals Monday and make its final decision by mid-July. The master developer will assume the responsibility for making payments to ISU, with the first one due Sept. 1.
The Prairie Trail development will be completed in several phases, as ISU plans to continue to use about half of the land for its dairy farm for about two more years, Metzger said.
Lost Planet wrote:God knows that if I wasn't married with children, I wouldn't be living in Ankeny.
Why does having kids absolutely require you to live in the suburbs in Des Moines, especially if it's not where you really want to be? Believe it or not, there are some nice neighborhoods and schools in DSM proper. It's not like Des Moines has the same density and congestion as Chicago proper.
Developer tapped for Ankeny subdivision
By DAVID ELBERT and MELANIE LAGESCHULTE
REGISTER STAFF WRITERS
July 20, 2005
The city of Ankeny has selected Dennis Albaugh to develop the 1,031-acre Iowa State University research farm in an unusual financing deal that could lead to a new civic center and other cultural venues.
A new city hall may even be possible under the public-private financing arrangement offered by Albaugh for developing the area, City Manager Carl Metzger said Tuesday. The new subdivision, called Prairie Trail, would be located in Ankeny's core and could increase the city's estimated 33,000 population by about 7,000 in the next decade.
The Ankeny City Council selected Albaugh, a native of Ankeny, over developer Denny Elwell of West Des Moines on Monday.
The council's decision gives Albaugh the right to buy the farm from ISU for $23.6 million and to develop it according to a plan previously approved by the city.
"We estimate it will take 10 to 15 years for this project to develop and build out," Metzger said.
The selection of a developer came seven weeks after Ankeny signed a deal with ISU giving the city the right to select a developer for the property, which is on the southern edge of Ankeny between Des Moines Area Community College and the John Deere plant.
Albaugh's development proposal calls for him to commit $3 million upfront to civic projects, but his ultimate contribution could add several million dollars more to that total. No one is sure what the final sum will be because there are too many unknowns at this point, Metzger said.
Under the unusual agreement, Albaugh will essentially underwrite the public improvements needed to develop the area. For every $1 the city spends to build streets, sewers and water lines, Albaugh will pay the city $1.25, Metzger said.
The arrangement is expected to speed development in the area while allowing the city to avoid long-term financing for streets and other improvements, according to an analysis by Dennis Bockenstedt, city finance officer.
Officials, including representatives of DMACC, have talked for some time about the need to build a civic auditorium to replace a 4,000-square-foot facility built in the 1970s, Metzger said.
Albaugh's plan will allow the city to build the auditorium and possibly other arts and entertainment venues in the Prairie Trail project more quickly than would otherwise happen, Metzger said.
A new library and city hall in Prairie Trail are possibilities down the road, the city manager said.
Details of the development agreement, including limits on how much Albaugh might contribute, will be put together in coming weeks, the manager said.
The city's plan for Prairie Trail was developed by landscape architect William Ludwig. It divides the 1,031 ares roughly equally among residential, commercial and civic uses.
Prairie Trail Zoning Requirements Breaking New Ground in Ankeny
Prairie Trail, the newest master-planned community on the drawing board
for Ankeny, will bring an eclectic mix of amenities requiring some new
zoning definitions from city officials.
To better accommodate the unique nature of Prairie Trail, two new zoning
classifications are being considered as additions to the current list
permitted in the city of Ankeny. These two new classifications are:
- Mixed Use-Plaza District
- Art District Overlay
Mixed Use-Plaza District will allow for entertainment uses and various
kinds of business properties in one area. It also would permit homes, such
as apartments or condominiums, on the upper floors of buildings. The
concept would provide a strong sense of place while making it easy for
residents and visitors to walk from location to location.
Art District Overlay will be used to ensure areas that differ from each
other, such as commercial and civic sites, blend together and emphasize
cultural ideas. This classification could include making space for public
and private art and requiring various buildings to have similar
The Prairie Trail development will be located at the 1,031-acre former
Iowa State University research farm and will provide unique lifestyle
opportunities for all Ankeny residents in the next decade.
Prairie Trail plans move forward in Ankeny
As part of the proposal, developers will give up to $25 million to a civic trust fund.
By MELANIE LAGESCHULTE
REGISTER STAFF WRITER
September 9, 2005
Expected agreements between Ankeny officials and a local developer could net the city up to an additional $5 million for civic projects.
City leaders are finalizing documents to guide developer Denny Albaugh's purchase of the Iowa State University research farm, which is generally north and west of Des Moines Area Community College in Ankeny. The closing date for the sale is expected to be Sept. 20, officials said.
As part of the proposal, known as Prairie Trail, developers will contribute up to $25 million to a civic trust fund to pay for new city facilities and public spaces around Ankeny.
These developer payments would be based on the first $20 million Ankeny officials could spend to build streets, utility systems and other support projects in Prairie Trail.
Ankeny City Council members and city staff discussed the documents during a Sept. 1 work session in advance of approving the papers' wording at Tuesday's council meeting. Much discussion will come in the future, said Ankeny City Manager Carl Metzger, about what types of public facilities could be built with civic trust fund money.
"It seems like the match there would be arts and culture," Metzger said at the work session, about the kind of sites civic trust fund money could pay for within Prairie Trail. In addition, up to one-fourth of the money in the trust could be used to pay for civic facilities in other parts of Ankeny.
Ankeny and Iowa State officials made a deal in June for the school to sell the land for $23.6 million to a developer city leaders would choose. Albaugh's company, DRA Properties, will act as general contractor and be responsible for making sure the city's guidelines are followed.
Ankeny officials said it is likely Albaugh will eventually sell sections of the roughly 1,000-acre parcel to other developers.
The Prairie Trail civic trust fund program could be expanded or renegotiated, Metzger said, over the years and as other developers could become involved. "The door will be open to amendments, revisions," he said.
To start the civic fund, Metzger said, DRA Properties officials will give the city $3 million when developers close on the farm. That advance will be earmarked as city officials' return on their first $12 million of investments in Prairie Trail streets, utilities and other improvements, he said.
After the city spends $12 million, officials said, each future improvement project will cause the developer to pay back $1.25 for every $1 the city spends.
Factors such as land donations and environmental cleanup, however, will determine exactly how much cash developers eventually contribute to the civic trust fund.
In addition to regular land dedications for parks and other such sites, the developer is expected to give city officials at least another 10 acres of land. The market value of those extra acres will be counted as credit toward the developer's civic trust fund payments.
Officials have said $3 million of Albaugh's $23.6 million purchase price will be set aside for environmental cleanup. The Des Moines Ordnance Plant was located on the site during World War II.
Any additional cleanup costs between $3 and $6.5 million, according to documents, will also be taken as credit toward the developer's maximum $25 million pledge to the civic trust fund.
Ankeny officials will continue to own a small section of the area that includes a sewer lagoon and landfill, and will pay for any environmental cleanup needed there.
Farm lease planned
Albaugh is expected to take ownership of the entire Iowa State University research farm on Sept. 20, Ankeny officials said, instead of acquiring the land in three yearly installments as was initially offered. Metzger said developers believe acquiring the entire farm at one time will make it easier to do environmental cleanup of the land.
The change in plans, said City Attorney Amy Beattie, means school officials will lease a portion of the property from Albaugh until the school's dairy farm can eventually move to a site near Ames.
That lease, Beattie said, is expected to run through December 2007 and provide a chance to extend the school's presence on the land if needed. "Although everyone is hopeful the dairy operation will be removed by that time," Beattie said.
The farm's continued presence for a few years will not prevent development work from starting on the property. It could take 15 years to fill in the large property with homes, businesses, schools and cultural sites, officials said. Prairie Trail could increase Ankeny's population of about 33,000 by roughly 7,000 during the next decade.
Later this fall, Ankeny officials expect to start a search for planners who can create detailed ideas for how Prairie Trail could be divided for homes, businesses and public sites. General plans were made last year.
Because Prairie Trail is so large, Metzger said, it is expected to take a year for planners to create more detailed layouts for the property. He said it is possible a firm from outside Iowa with experience planning such large-scale developments could be assisted by a local company in the planning process.
The cost of the detailed plan, Metzger said, will be paid for from the advance Albaugh will deposit in the civic trust fund when he closes on the property.
Beattie said City Council members will also be asked to start work on urban renewal development paperwork for Prairie Trail. Those documents will set up development rules for the land and will allow for many expected amendments over the years as work on Prairie Trail progresses.
"This is just the tip of the iceberg," Beattie said.
Prairie Trail Newsletter
Master Planning Process
Master planning for Prairie Trail kicked off in January, led by the Urban Design Associates team, DRA Properties staff and City of Ankeny staff. Two days of in-depth discussions identified the interests, visions and concerns of DRA Properties and the City of Ankeny in the development of Prairie Trail. The Urban Design Associates team toured the area to get a clear understanding of the local and regional environment surrounding the Prairie Trail development.
The information-gathering portion of the master planning process also began in January. A report on the physical character of the site included a boundary survey, information on the topography of adjacent roadways, utility surveys, wetland delineation and drainage area maps. The information will be used as part of a base map for the project. Nilles and Associates and Wenk Associates are also incorporating the site information for civil engineering and storm water management uses.
Market analysis for retail and commercial business was initiated by Economics Research Group, and a residential market analysis was initiated by Zimmerman Volk and Associates. The market research information will be used for making future investment decisions for Prairie Trail.
A review was conducted of the architectural themes of houses, buildings and neighborhoods in central Iowa. Design features for Prairie Trail will incorporate some of the themes identified in that review. A traffic analysis for Prairie Trail will be conducted by Glatting Jackson in February.
Welcome to the monthly Prairie Trail newsletter! The objective of this newsletter is to keep you informed about Prairie Trail with relevant information and insights.
Prairie Trail is a significant development for Ankeny and for Central Iowa, and our goal is to communicate with our stakeholders and partners on a regular basis.
Conservation Design in Prairie Trail
Storm water management may not be the first thing you think about over your morning coffee, but Ankeny city leaders and staff think about it often. They know it is vital in order to continuously make Ankeny a better place to live. If managed correctly, storm water runoff can be turned into a neighborhood and community asset to be enjoyed each day of the year.
The City of Ankeny participates in Central IowaÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s Growing Green Communities initiative, which addresses the impact of storm water runoff in the region. One of the annual goals of the City Council is to implement storm water management practices in the development of Ankeny. Using conservation design techniques, City planners hope to turn the common negative impacts of storm water runoff into positive development attributes.
Conservation design, also referred to as low-impact development, uses several site design and planning techniques that retain the water on site and allow the water to infiltrate the ground. The agreement between the City and DRA Properties for the development of Prairie Trail requires that the principles of ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œconservation designÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â be incorporated into the storm water management system.
In many developments there are roads, parking lots, rooftops and compacted turf areas that do not allow the rain water to infiltrate the ground. The runoff may be detained, but eventually it goes through the storm water system and into a waterway. Often this results in silt and debris flowing into the waterways following a rainstorm.
One of the techniques used to capture runoff from roadways and parking lots is the construction of bioretention cells. This feature is a shallow depression that includes a drain tile bedded in gravel, with a soil and compost mix above the gravel, and native shrubs and trees planted on the surface. The bioretention cells take the storm water runoff from roadways and parking lots and retain it while it is filtered through the plants and soils in the bioretention cell. The water eventually seeps into the groundwater or into a drain tile that feeds a waterway or a pond.
The storm water runoff of residential neighborhoods is managed through the use of bioswales as an alternative to storm sewers. Bioswales use the same techniques as bioretention cells by creating subsurface and plant life filtration systems. The storm water from the yards of neighborhoods is directed to the series of bioswales and filtered into the groundwater.
Individual property owners can use conservation design to manage storm water runoff on their property through the use of rain gardens and landscaping with native plants. Rain gardens are small perennial gardens that use native vegetation to filter runoff from roofs, driveways and patios. The rain gardens are strategically placed on residential lots to capture the runoff before it gets into a storm sewer system. The planting of native plants on residential lots serves to retain the rain water for use by the plants. An informational video on how to build a rain garden will be broadcast on Ankeny cable channel 7 beginning in March 2006.
The storm water runoff that is captured by the features described above will be part of a larger storm water management system in Prairie Trail. The larger system will use a series of ponds and green corridors to tie all of the individual storm water management features together. The ponds will be placed throughout the development and will be recharged by the groundwater from the individual storm water management features. The ponds will have their own level of aquatic life that is enhanced by the constant recharging of groundwater.
The green corridors in Prairie Trail will have native plantings and will connect the ponds to the neighborhoods. A new ecosystem will develop in and around the ponds, the green corridors and the individual storm water management features. The ecosystem will include fish and aquatic life in the ponds and butterflies, bumble bees and birds along the corridors and in the neighborhoods. The ponds and green corridors in Prairie Trail will enhance the environment and provide countless opportunities for residents and visitors to enjoy the peace of being near water and plant life.
The use of conservation design principles in Prairie Trail will take the difficult challenge of managing storm water and transform it into an asset that can be enjoyed by all the people of Ankeny for years to come.
For more information, please visit the Prairie Trail Web site.
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