Dollars and Sense: Building Publicly Desired Amenities

For only $180, get a full year of unrestricted access to APA's extensive learning library. Kickstart your journey by subscribing to Passport, then take the next step by enrolling in the courses that pique your interest.

Sign in for Options

Certification Maintenance

CM | 0.75

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand how to navigate and pay for a complex, municipal-led redevelopment and public-private partnership.
  • Use the design of public amenities, public art, and City Hall to further project goals that are not possible in a strictly market-driven project.
  • Learn successful implementation tactics, including targeted public investment, incentives, land assembly, and design guidelines that can catalyze private investment and sustain success.

Course Details

Johnston, Iowa, is a growing Des Moines suburb with more than 25,000 residents. Johnston has everything it needs except a town center focal point and public gathering space for locals and visitors. With the market only delivering traditional strip-retail developments, and after years of careful planning and significant city-led investment, the Johnston town center and its public space, "The Yard," opened in August 2021.

Presenters describe how the community-supported town center was planned, designed, developed, and implemented. The town center includes numerous public amenities; a state-of-the-art, multi-purpose City Hall; public art; and active open space that engages citizens through all seasons. These aspects prompted a shift from sole reliance on ROI to providing new amenities desired by residents and making room for seven new multi-tenant buildings that house a hotel, retail, restaurants, and entertainment.

Hear insider insights on navigating a complex, municipal-led, public-private partnership; addressing the challenges of infill redevelopment; and building and opening a town center during a global recession and pandemic.