Strong Outlook for Iowa Development and Construction


​Upbeat with good opportunities across a range of sectors is how I’d describe the outlook for Iowa. Residential, including student housing, is the strongest sector with industrial, retail and institutional also gaining momentum in 2014.

Stable growth in the population and economy in Des Moines and across all of Iowa is leading to more apartment demand, particularly in downtown Des Moines.  The city is very development friendly and has multiple economic development incentive tools to encourage downtown residential projects.  Recent apartment developments in Des Moines have primarily focused on historic renovations and income-restricted projects, leaving an unmet demand for new, market-rate apartments.

On the industrial front, Des Moines has a very low vacancy rate and very few buildings that can accommodate tenants over 50,000 square feet.  This low level of supply, coupled with Des Moines’ convenient location at the crossroads of Interstates 35 and 80, make development opportunities attractive for new industrial space.

Across the state, construction and development resources will be stretched thin for everyone due to very high activity. Large construction projects including two major fertilizer plants over $3 billion; large data centers for Facebook, Google and Microsoft and flood recovery in eastern Iowa will require a lot of resources. All of this is on top of the normal level of construction activity that is picking up across all sectors due to the improving economy.

In the past, we’ve completed complex projects in Iowa for notable clients including Hewlett-Packard, TPI Composites, Luther College and the Iowa Army National Guard.