The Des Moines City Council gave the green light Monday for development staff to pursue an agreement with Coppola Enterprises Inc. for a commercial and residential development at Echo Valley Country Club.


The vote may have been routine, but at least one possible component of the agreement could be unique. The city hopes to establish a set-aside fund from a portion of the increased property taxes generated by the development to create low- to moderate-income housing in other parts of the city.


Such set-asides are required under the state's urban renewal law, but in Des Moines, the housing typically has been part of a redevelopment project, said Rita Conner of the city's Office of Economic Development.


The fund generated by the Echo Valley development would be used for housing elsewhere in the city.


Coppola Enterprises is planning executive houses, multifamily units and commercial development on about 154 acres south of the Iowa Highway 5 bypass and east of Iowa Highway 28. The property is a high-profile piece of ground that could lead to additional development along the Highway 5 corridor.


Mike Coppola outlined his plans for the area when Echo Valley Country Club hosted the Home Builders of Greater Des Moines' Home Show Expo earlier this month. He plans additional development for Echo Valley land that is within the city of Norwalk. Read more at


The Des Moines agreement would create an urban renewal area where Coppola would pay the initial costs of installing trunk sanitary sewer and water mains and building streets during phases of the development.


The City Council would have to approve a rebate amount to Coppola that would be paid from the tax increment generated by the development.