Des Moines University President Angela Walker Franklin, in June, announced the university's plans to build a new campus in West Des Moines. Business Record file photo

Des Moines University paid W&G McKinney Farms LLC nearly $8.5 million for 88 acres in West Des Moines where the medical school’s future campus will be located, land transaction records filed with Dallas County show.

The sale price of $95,830 per acre is the highest recorded in Dallas County in the past three years for transactions of 50 or more acres, Dallas County assessor records show. Since January, Dallas County has had eight land transactions for $90,000 an acre or more, records show.

Officials with Des Moines University in June announced plans to relocate its campus from 3200 Grand Ave. to the northwest corner of Jordan Creek Parkway and Grand Avenue in West Des Moines.

The university has been located at the 24.3-acre Des Moines site since 1972.

According to Lynne Twedt, West Des Moines’ development services director, city officials had a preliminary meeting in September with a consulting firm that is preparing a master plan for the university. However, city officials have not seen any renderings or been provided any details about the university’s plans, she said.

Construction of the new campus is expected to begin in 2020, officials have said. The new campus is expected to be completed and ready for students by 2023 when the university celebrates its 125th anniversary.

Des Moines University plans to maintain and operate the DMU Clinic in Des Moines but will sell the remainder of the campus buildings in Des Moines, officials have said.

The campus, valued at $78.7 million, includes an 11-story building with classrooms and offices built in 1989, Polk County assessor records show. Also included on the campus is an auditorium, a 300-space parking garage and an education center built in 2005. The property is tax exempt.

Dallas County transactions
The following are the three highest per-acre land transactions in Dallas County in 2019, according to information provided by the assessor:

$189,633 per acre - Wright Tree Service to Hurd Land Co. in July. Location: 31.6 acres at 2870 W Ave., Waukee. Total price: $6 million.

$126,324 per acre 
- Signature Development of Iowa LLC to Waukee Commons LLC in August. Location: 11.2 acres north of Ventura Drive, Waukee. Total price: $1.4 million.

$116,232 per acre 
- Linda Robel Trust to Wendover Land LLC in March. Location: 24.5 acres near Wendover Road in West Des Moines. Total price: $2.85 million.