AREA Projects.

Featured Projects.

Community Impact.

Business Expansions.


CyTown is a unique, year-round destination to be built in the heart of the Iowa State Center — between Jack Trice Stadium and Hilton Coliseum — that will enrich Central Iowa for generations to come.

The project is planned to include a medical facility and a mix of retail, office space and 20 luxury suites. It will also feature a plaza and amphitheater.

It is expected that 75% of the funds needed for the $200 million project will come from land monetization opportunities with the remaining balance coming from fundraising and proceeds from leasing 20 CYTown Suites.

The Iowa Board of Regents approved the university’s request to make improvements to the parking lots between Jack Trice Stadium and the Iowa State Center, which is slated to begin in January. The $25 million project will include new paving and lighting systems, and installation of a utility infrastructure necessary to support future site development. 

The Linc

The Linc, a $150 million investment project along Lincoln Way between Clark Avenue and Kellogg Avenue, anticipates gaining traction later this spring with construction beginning yet this year. The planned project includes a hotel, shopping, and restaurants, with Phase 2 adding apartments.

First proposed in 2019, The Linc is moving forward after years of collaboration between the City of Ames, Hunziker & Associates of Ames, and private developer Christensen Development of Des Moines. In October 2022, the Ames City Council voted unanimously to move forward with the concept for the proposed development, with additional approvals required in the coming months.

“A transformational project of this scale requires years of collaboration between public and private sectors,” said Chuck Winkleblack of Hunziker & Associates. “It requires vision and a willingness to commit. With considerable work yet to do, we are fortunate to have wonderful partners working alongside us to help make this happen.

”The planning is not yet done for The Linc, but each step provides a clearer vision of what it will eventually become. As agreements are finalized and signed, more information will be released regarding which companies are committed to the project, including hoteliers, restaurants, and retail outlets. Underground utility construction is anticipated to take place in the latter part of 2023.

Fitch Family Indoor Aquatic Center

The Fitch Family Indoor Aquatic Center will break ground in spring 2024, bringing to Ames a facility that will meet the indoor swimming needs of the community. The new 38,900 square foot facility will be located on Lincoln Way, west of Grand Avenue, across from the Iowa Department of Transportation headquarters, built on the property of the old St. Cecilia Church and School. 

Fundraising for the project began in 2021 and was led, in part, by AREA President & CEO Dan Culhane. “When we started talking about this project to prospective donors, the response was tremendous,” said Culhane. “The business and community leaders were quick to support this project because they all knew that it was an amenity that our community needs not only for today, but for our future growth.”

In February 2023, the Ames City Council thanked the 42 donors who gave a total of $10.4 million for the project. Rich and Mary Fitch, who own Furman Realty in Ames, and their family gave $3 million toward the project. 

The facility’s base bid was estimated at just under $28.4 million. The city has $20.5 million set aside for the construction, which has been estimated to cost just under $20.3 million. A handful of multi-purpose rooms and a walking area were added to the blueprints for an additional $1.5 million, bringing estimates to the $32 million mark. In December 2023, the project was awarded a $500,000 Community Attraction and Tourism (CAT) Grant from the Iowa Economic Development Authority. 

Construction for the aquatic center will start in the spring of 2024, with the official opening expected for 2025. Demolition of the existing buildings on the property is already underway. Construction will continue through October 2025 with the grand opening taking place in November 2025. 

Boys & Girls Clubs

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Story County is currently investing in a $7 million expansion and modernize project at their current location. 

The project will add 7,500 square feet to the south of their existing building, as well as provide needed updates throughout the building. “The project will address critical updates to the HVAC, lighting, fire, and security systems,” said CEO Ryan Santi. “It will also enhance kitchen and classroom space, and ultimately allow the organization to serve more kids.”

The Ames club has been a staple in the community since 1963. Their current facility was built in 1998 and is ready for a remodel. The Boys & Girls Clubs offers a range of services to youth throughout the year. In 2022, they provided over 11,000 meals to students, many of whom regularly experience food insecurity. They also provide a friendly and supportive environment to kids. Last year, they served nearly 800 students through community outreach programs. 

The Boys & Girls Clubs had $3 million at the launch of their campaign, thanks to a $2.7 million grant from the State of Iowa, and their own contribution of $300,000 that was taken from cash reserves. Through a generous donation from the Burke family and other private donations, they have already raised $4.55 million, two-thirds of their goal, as of October 2023. The public campaign began this fall and was led by Johnston, Santi, and Board President Tyler Farner. 

They broke ground on the expansion project in Spring 2024.


Dairy products maker Daisy Brand plans to expand in Iowa by building a $626 million factory in Boone, initially bringing 106 jobs and eventually as many as 255 jobs to the area, according to an April 19 government press release. The 750,000-square-foot facility will open due to “demand for the company’s products,” which include its famous sour cream and cottage cheese. The company did not respond to a comment on the timeline. The dairy plant will receive support from the state government for the project, including $7 million in direct financial assistance as well as tax benefits from the Iowa Economic Development Authority board.

Community Impact Projects.

Nevada Field House

The City of Nevada chose Roseland, Mackey, Harris Architects PC (RMH) as the provider of architectural services for the Nevada Field House project, located at 1625 Fawcett Parkway. The project is currently in the design phase. The pre-engineered steel building is designed to be used as a Field House/Park & Rec Offices at the SCORE Recreation/Athletic Complex. The facility will be a multipurpose sports and activity venue for youth and adult recreation. Below are some schematics of the facility along with a video fly through of the proposed facility. 


Iowa Arboretum & Gardens Treehouse Village

In May 2023, the Iowa Arboretum & Gardens, located in Madrid, Iowa, began its first transformational project in 23 years with the start of Treehouse Village. The project will feature multiple treehouse experiences and an all-inclusive treehouse playground for children of all ages and abilities, including those with special needs. 

Treehouse Village will include elevated and ground level treehouse experiences. The treehouse play area is the main feature of this project with its ramps, wheelchair-accessible swing, slides & hammock swing, ground-level zip line, hammock netting, and other fun activities. Treehouse Village opened in Spring 2024. 

Steven L. Schainker Plaza

Steven L. Schainker Plaza, scheduled to open in summer 2024, is intended to be an amenity and attraction to Downtown for a wide range of ages, people, and activities. This community gathering space will include a mix of elements designed to enhance the Downtown experience, such as interactive water features, native landscaped green space, public art, shade structures, open gathering areas, food truck spaces, benches, restrooms, and winter ice skating. With the focus on public art, small gatherings, interactive features, and activities, the plaza will complement Downtown businesses and other public spaces including Bandshell Park and Tom Evans Plaza.

Huxley Splash Pad

In April 2021, Kreg Tool made a very large donation with the planned purpose for Huxley to build a Splash Pad.  Since that time the Parks and Recreation Board, along with Huxley City Council, have been working through possible sites for the splash pad as well as whether we should build a recirculating splash pad or a flow-through splash pad. The Enhance Iowa Board awarded a $100,000 Community Attraction and Tourism (CAT) grant to the City of Huxley for their proposed splash pad. The $840,000 project includes the construction of a new free-access splash pad at Nord Kalsem Park.

Bella Commercial Anthem Project

A $120 million, 120-acre mixed-used development has the fast-growing Huxley community buzzing with opportunity.

The project will be constructed on the south edge of town, hoping to bring future housing, jobs and business opportunities to the community of roughly 4,800 people.

The site is located on the west side of U.S. Highway 69 and will be divided into three 40-acre parcels. Chris Gardner, owner of Bella Commercial and lead developer, said the project will include a mix of senior living, industrial development, apartments and retail opportunities.

Roads have been poured in the northernmost portion of the development, while utility installation is underway for the two southern parcels. Gardner said Bella Commerical will pour the remaining road in the spring.

Business Expansion Projects.

Wyffels Hybrids

The new facility, located on approximately 150 acres near Interstate 35 and Highway 30, will ensure that Wyffels’ growing customer base continues to enjoy industry leading products and support throughout the growing season. The first phase of construction includes a new warehouse and distribution center to bring seed closer to customers in Iowa, southern South Dakota and southern Minnesota. Wyffels fully expects that future expansion will include seed corn production capabilities, enhanced research and corn breeding functions, agronomic demonstration opportunities, as well as meeting and training resources for employees and customers.

Pivot Bio

In January 2024, Pivot Bio held a ribbon cutting event that marked the official opening of their new state-of-the-art facility in the heart of the Iowa State University Research Park. The 36,000 square foot building will be home to hands-on demonstrations, technical training, and personalized support with their customer service team. Pivot Bio provides farmers with a reliable source of nitrogen for their corn, wheat, sorghum, and other small grain crops. 

Alliant Energy Innovative

Iowa State University Research Park (ISURP) and Alliant Energy announce a new multi-tenant collaboration space to be built at ISURP this summer.

The Alliant Energy Agriculture Innovation Lab will provide more than 85,000 square feet for ISU’s College of Agriculture and Life Science’s Digital Ag Innovation team as well as agriculture-based business tenants to access technology, research, development and each other for innovation opportunities primarily focused on digital and precision agriculture.

“This project is the latest in our long-standing partnership with Alliant Energy,” said Rick Sanders, president, Iowa State University Research Park. “Our mutual goal, to invest and innovate in the agriculture industry, will take a significant step forward in this collaborative new building. It will afford us the opportunity to create an epicenter of agricultural innovation here in the Midwest.”

The Alliant Energy Agriculture Innovation Lab is expected to be completed by the fall of 2024. It will pair collaborative office and agricultural workshop space to allow for a unique and innovative work environment in Central Iowa. Over 70% of the building will feature high bay and lab space. The ISU digital and precision agriculture program will leverage this new space to grow and become a world leader in ag tech innovation.

Mid-States Companies

Mid-States Companies manufacturers grain material handling systems, structural support metal fabrication for towers, catwalks, and balconies. In 2023, Mid-States Companies announced plans and began construction on a new corporate headquarters and expansion of their manufacturing area. The project will result in the creation of new jobs and support the company’s projected growth over the next 5-10 years in Nevada.

MMB was founded by Kevin and Shelley Vier in 2002 and MMF was founded in 2011. Both companies are family-owned and operated, working together on many projects. Through the years both companies have experienced steady growth. MMB has become the #1 Brock grain bin dealer in Iowa and #3 worldwide.  MMB also operates a fleet of cranes from 50 ton to 245 ton.  MMF has become one of the premier new suppliers of grain handling equipment in the Midwest.

MMF plans to expand on the property to the east of its current operations at 1280 South B Avenue. This new shop will be 34,000 sq.ft. of manufacturing space, more than doubling its current operational size. The shop will have state of the art manufacturing equipment and welders. The company plans on expanding production output and hiring more employees to meet the growth of the company. Likewise, MMB will also expand to meet the needs of its customers which span across the Midwest to the west coast.

Danfoss Power Solutions

Danfoss Power Solutions, the largest employer in Story County, is undergoing an expansion project that will provide space for engineers to do work on innovative solutions with a focus on sustainability. Known internally as Americas Application Development Center (ADC), the area will focus on research and development and will be available to current and potential customers to experience Danfoss solutions on demonstration vehicles. After a $5 million investment to develop the test track, this project is focused on increasing the work area. The 8,700-square-foot addition will more than double the ADC’s existing shop space with three additional work bays, a vehicle wash bay, and more. 


3M announced in 2023 their plan to expand its production facility in Ames. A longstanding, quality corporate citizen in the market since 1970, having expanded the facility numerous times over the years, they formally announced in August a $13 million expansion and the increase of another twenty-five meaningful employment opportunities.

3M employs about 375 people in Ames. Its current facility is about 320,000 square feet. The facility began as a distribution center when it opened in 1970 and has grown into a major part of the company’s abrasives division

North Dayton Industrial Park

The North Dayton Industrial Park is a 73-acre subdivision located on Dayton Avenue between the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Animal Disease Center to the east and Izaak Walton League Park to the west. Development of the land began in April 2022 with the installation of infrastructure needed for the park, including water, sewer, and road work. Today, private construction is being developed on two lots, while further development is committed to fill the remaining lots.

Ames Surgery Center is currently under construction, a joint collaboration between Mary Greeley Medical Center, McFarland Clinic, and McFarland Clinic Surgeon investors. The new facility is scheduled to be open for first cases in August 2024 and will include elective procedures and same-day outpatient surgeries. Specialties include Gastroenterology, General Surgery, Gynecology, Ophthalmology, Orthopedics, Otolaryngology, Podiatry, and Urology.