Hurd Real Estate has bought 33.5 acres at Northeast Alice's Road and Hickman Road in Waukee. The intersection is among the busiest in the burgeoning Dallas County community. Map provided by Hurd Real Estate. 

Nearly 35 acres of farm ground at Northeast Alice’s Road and Hickman Road in Waukee was sold this month to Hurd Real Estate for $6 million, records with the Dallas County recorder show.

Hurd Real Estate, a West Des Moines-based commercial real estate development and investment firm, is marketing the parcel for retail, medical or office use, its lease brochure shows.

Waukee, the ninth-fastest growing suburb in the U.S., is "definitely is where everything is moving," said Richard Hurd, the company’s president. "That’s where the greatest population growth is."

The intersection of Alice's Road and Hickman is one of the busiest in Waukee, traffic counts show. About 40,000 vehicles daily travel through the intersection, data compiled by Hurd Real Estate shows.

Waukee is familiar to Hurd. His firm is developing 36 acres at 1300 S.E. Kettlestone Blvd. where a Fleet Farm is under construction. Hurd Real Estate is also developing 12 acres on the southwest corner of Hickman and Alice’s roads which currently includes an Aldi grocery store, IHOP restaurant, Starbucks, Autozone and Tommy’s Express Car Wash. A UnityPoint clinic is also planned in the development, which is called Waukee Marketplace.

Hurd Real Estate’s purchase of the 33.5 acres from Wright Tree Service Inc. comes as concerns mount that a recession is on the horizon and as retailers are increasingly abandoning brick and mortar stores because of consumers' growing preference to make purchases online. 

Five years ago, Hurd Real Estate was developing projects for big box retailers such as Lowe’s and Dick’s Sporting Goods, said Richie Hurd, the firm’s vice president. Now many of the firm’s tenants are businesses that provide a service such as freshly brewed coffee, medicines and auto repairs, Richie Hurd said.

"Our approach is to look for internet-resistant retailers [whose customers] want or need to come in person to buy their products," Richard Hurd said. "Most of what we do is based around people’s needs rather than their wants. It’s food, it’s fuel, it’s pharmacy. It’s those types of users we focus on rather than things people may just desire but don’t have to have."

Hurd said his company has been through three recessions, the most recent in 2008. 

"You just have to hunker down and wait it out," he said.

Richie Hurd said the company has a long-term strategy for the property it buys.

For instance, one of Hurd’s limited liability companies owns about 6 acres near 320 S. Jordan Creek Parkway in West Des Moines that it bought as part of a package a year or so before the 2008 recession. The land wasn’t developed until 2012, Richie Hurd said.

"We think about long term rather than the next five years," he said. "After we bought that ground, the recession hit, so it took a little bit longer to develop but it ended up being a great project."

Dick’s Sporting Goods, Nordstrom Rack and Home Goods are among the retailers now located in the center.

Tenants haven’t yet been lined up for the Warrior Marketplace development in Waukee, Richie Hurd said. 

"We don’t have a definitive plan yet, but it’s coming along," Richard Hurd said. "It takes national retailers a long time to make a decision.

"It just is a process."