Ryan Companies US Inc. bought 169 acres in Bondurant recently. The site is where a 780,000-square-foot warehouse/distribution/fulfillment center is planned. Google map.

Ryan Companies US Inc. paid 14 Bondurant landowners more than $6.7 million for 169 acres on the site where the mysterious Project Bluejay will be located, online Polk County Recorder's Office records show.

Speculation is that Amazon.com is building a fulfillment center on the site located east of U.S. Highway 65 and north of Northeast 62nd Avenue. 

City officials have declined to comment, saying they’ve signed nondisclosure agreements. Officials with the Minneapolis-based Ryan Companies, which has offices in Des Moines and is overseeing the Bondurant project, also declined to comment.

However, according to the company’s website, Ryan built an Amazon fulfillment center in Shakopee, Minn., in 2016, delivering the project ahead of schedule.

According to Polk County records, Ryan bought the 169 acres from the following landowners: Susan Ugulini, Michael Ugulini, Jeffrey Frakes, Joshua Frakes, Mindy Frakes, Ladene Eshelman, Audrey Eshelman, Annette Justice, Gary Justice, Alicia Adkins, Jeff Adkins and the Douglas Eshelman Revocable Trust, the Herman Fortner Family Trust and the Herman Smith Fortner Family Trust. The transactions were recorded on Oct. 16.

Ryan paid nearly $40,000 an acre for the land, more than three times what the average price of agricultural land is selling for in Polk County, according to the Polk County Assessor's Office. Ag land in eastern Polk County has been sold for an average $10,280 per acre; ag land in the western half of the county, $9,6664 per acre, records show.

The Bondurant City Council in September approved a site plan for the $250 million project that includes a five-story, 780,000-square-foot warehouse/distribution/fulfillment center and more than 2,000 parking spaces. The project is expected to create at least 1,000 jobs, most of which will pay $15 an hour.

In October, the Iowa Department of Transportation Commission approved a RISE (Revitalize Iowa’s Sound Economy) grant of up 60% of the eligible costs to make improvements to 32nd Street S.W. and Grant Street S. The estimated cost of the improvements is more than $12 million.

The city of Bondurant issued a grading permit this month and work on the site has begun.
State and city documents indicate construction will be completed by July 2021.

A rendering of the planned five-story fulfillment center planned in Bondurant. Rendering by Ryan Companies US Inc.