Construction is expected to begin early this year on a $24 million residential development that will include 129 townhouse rental units on nearly 19 acres immediately south of Waukee’s Centennial Park.

Hubbell Realty Co.’s Centennial Crossing will include 24 buildings, each with up to seven townhome units, ranging in size from 1,277 to 1,503 square feet, according to city documents. Each unit will also have a two-stall garage. In addition, each unit will be located on its own platted lot, which will allow Hubbell to sell the units in the future, according to city documents.

The development, located south of Southeast University Avenue and west of Southeast L.A. Grant Parkway, is one of several in Waukee that includes the rental of townhouses.

“After researching the market, we found a high need for rental homes, not only in this area, but in the housing market in general,” Kris Saddoris, Hubbell’s vice president of multifamily development, said in a prepared statement. “These homes will be spacious enough for a growing family, but easy enough to maintain for someone looking to downsize and rid themselves of home maintenance.” 

Brad Deets, Waukee’s development services director, told the Business Record that other similar developments in Waukee have been successful. “Relative to demand, we really leave that up to the developers to decide based upon the market,” Deets wrote in an email.

Monthly leases for the two- and three-bedroom units will begin at $1,695.

One neighbor, who lives in Hubbell’s adjacent Glynn Village, in an email to the city complained that the rental units would decrease the property values of her owner-occupied townhome.

“Renters, in general, do not have the same pride of ownership,” wrote Kristen Forret, whose townhome on Southeast Booth Avenue backs up to Centennial Crossing. “I know Hubbell has said their target [renters] are professionals and empty-nesters but there is not a guarantee that is [who] will be attracted.”

Most of the two-story, owner-occupied townhouses in Glynn Village were built in 2009 and this year were valued at nearly $190,000 each, Dallas County assessor records show. 

Deets told the Business Record that city officials haven’t seen “any specific examples that this type of development would lower adjacent property values.”

Forret also raised concerns that proposed two-story townhomes in Centennial Crossing would block views of the nearby Centennial Park. Hubbell moved the two-story units to the center of Centennial Crossing from the perimeter where they originally had been located. 

Hubbell plans on developing a trail along a green area that separates plat one and plat two in Centennial Crossing, according to city documents. Hubbell also plans on planting prairie grass in the green area and a bridge across the drainage way. 

In a news release, Hubbell said that it hopes the trail will eventually connect to Centennial Park via a tunnel under Southeast University Avenue.

Centennial Crossing will also have an on-site clubhouse and pool to which residents will have access. 

Waukee’s planning and zoning commission in November approved site plans for the development; the City Council approved them in December.

Hubbell expects to start construction of Centennial Crossing early this year. The development will be built in two phases with completion anticipated in late 2022.

ICYMI: Apple delaying construction of its Waukee data center

Apple Inc. is delaying construction of its $1.3 billion data center in Waukee, with completion now slated for 2027, seven years past when the massive project was originally scheduled to be completed, according to a letter filed with the Iowa Economic Development Authority.

The project is being delayed because of the “additional time needed to design and construct” the data center, Terry Ryan, senior tax director for Apple, wrote in a Dec. 12 letter to the state. Construction is now expected to be completed by Aug. 31, 2027, rather than 2020, as the company had stated in its 2017 announcement about the project.

The 400,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art data center is planned on about 2,000 acres near the intersection of Hickman Road and S Avenue in Waukee. Apple said the center would create the equivalent of 50 full-time jobs. The construction is expected to create more than 550 construction and operations jobs in the Des Moines area, Apple said in its initial news release.

In 2017, Iowa’s Economic Development Authority awarded the tech giant $19.65 million in tax incentives. The state agency’s board last month, without comment, approved extension of the project’s completion date.