West Des Moines is geographically located directly west of Des Moines is part of Polk, Dallas and Warren Counties. It has a population of approximately 56,609, making it the second largest city in the Des Moines Metro. In West Des Moines there are approximately 23,549 households with an average household size of 2.32 and a median household income of $63,978. The top employers in West Des Moines include Wells Fargo, Aviva, FBL Financial Group and Hy-Vee.
Entertainment and shopping go hand in hand with the City of West Des Moines. Shopping includes, but is not limited to:
Valley Junction, which offers a historical perspective on West Des Moines storefronts, which is perfect for neighborhood shopping and is full of wonderfully unique stores.
Jordan Creek Town Center, which offers upscale fashion and retail. Also on the grounds is a 3.5 acre lake, a hotel, a state of the art movie theater and a boardwalk leading to some of the most popular restaurants in the metro.
Valley West Mall, with its main retail attractions being Younkers, Von Maur, and J.C. Penney has been the most popular place for shopping in the Des Moines Metro since the mid-1970’s. The mall was renovated in 2003.
West Des Moines entertainment includes, but is not limited to:
West Glen Town Center, with its numerous bars and restaurants. This is the place to be for late night fun. Included is a comedy club, night clubs, a sports bar, a dueling piano bar and numerous restaurants.
Des Moines Golf and Country Club, which has two, 18-hole, Pete Dye designed championship golf courses, an Olympic size swimming pool along with a large wading pool and some of the best dining in the Des Moines Metro.
Glen Oaks Country Club, which offers an 18-hole, championship golf course that was designed by Tom Fazio. It is home to the Principal Charity Classic and features bent grass tees, fescue grass, greens and fairways with blue grass roughs. The clubhouse is one of the most beautiful in the Midwest and has exceptional dining.
West Des Moines offers a variety highly respected, highly performing K-12 educational opportunities. The City of West Des Moines has The City of West Des Moines Community Schools and four private schools, including: Dowling Catholic High School (9-12), Sacred Heart School (K-8), St. Francis of Assisi School (K-8) and Iowa Christian Academy (K-12). Parts of West Des Moines fall into surrounding school districts. Residents of West Des Moines that live west of S 60th Street are in the Waukee Community School District, residents that live in the Warren County part of West Des Moines are in the Norwalk Community School District and residents that live in the Madison County part of West Des Moines are in the Van Meter Community School District.
West Des Moines has received numerous awards and recognitions, including:
- City Government Most Conducive to Business. The City of West Moines has won this recognition every year since it was first awarded in 1998, awarded by the Business Standard
- Des Moines - West Des Moines metro have the highest real incomes, according to US News and World Report in their June 2011 issue, ranking #1 on the list of Cities with the Highest Real Incomes
- Des Moines - West Des Moines as the 6th Strongest Metropolitan Area for Economic Strength in May 2011 by POLICOM
- POLICOM named Des Moines - West Des Moines as the 2nd Best City for Small Business in the Midwest
- Men's Journal ranked the Des Moines - West Des Moines metro as the #18 Coolest Places to Live in America in March 2011
- Farmer's Insurance named Des Moines - West Des Moines as the 2nd Most Secure City in the US with a Population of 500,000 or More
- PayScale.com and Forbes identified the Des Moines - West Des Moines metro area as a place Where Americans are Getting Richer in November 2010
- BestPlaces.net searched America for the Top 10 cities to move to and named Des Moines - West Des Moines as the 6th Rated City in their October 2010 listing
- The Denver Business Journal rated Des Moines - West Des Moines #3 on their 2010 listing of the Healthiest and Safest Metro in the Nation
- The Brookings Institution identified the Des Moines - West Des Moines metro as the #2 Ranked Metro in the Nation for Economic Recovery in June 2010
- Des Moines - West Des Moines ranked as the #1 Place to Raise a Family in Forbes, May 2010 issue
- In May 2010, Kiplinger's ranked the Des Moines - West Des Moines metro as the #7 Best Cities for the Next Decade identifying the area as fertile ground for new jobs
- Forbesidentified Des Moines - West Des Moines as the #1 Best Place for Business and Careers in April 2010
- In December 2010, MarketWatch ranked the Des Moines - West Des Moines metro as the #4 Best City in the Nation for Doing Business
- The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being 2010 Indexranked the Des Moines -West Des Moines metro as the #3 Healthiest and Safest Metro in the Nation.
Building permit fees in West Des Moines vary. For single family, new construction the fee can be from approximately $550-$2,500, depending on value of the improvement. On top of that, there is a $14 sidewalk fee, a $58 sewer tap fee, a $41 occupancy permit, a $106/year erosion inspection fee and a $700 water main connection fee.
For development purposes, city streets require curb and gutter, however width and thickness depends on the street classification, which can be referenced in the Des Moines Metro Design Standards. Certain areas of town are in a water connection fee district. The cost is charged as a fee/acre. The southern part of West Des Moines is approximately $4,500/acre and the western part of West Des Moines is approximately $1,600/acre. These fees are outside of the cost that the developer has to design their own water main. Inspection of the water main is approximately $1.50/lineal foot. Fees may go up yearly.
West Des Moines does not offer tax abatement or tax increment financing on residential building or development, however there is an opportunity for industrial tax abatement on value added to industrial real estate through a five year sliding scale with the first year being a 75% rebate of the tax increment revenues of the agreed upon improvements, the second year being 60%, the third year being 45%, the fourth year being 30% and the fifth year being 15%. Currently, West Des Moines is trying to grow in five targeted industries: financial services and insurance; life science; advanced manufacturing and logistics; information technology; and retail & hospitality. Recently, West Des Moines has successfully added Aviva, Microsoft, Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods to their community.
For more information on West Des Moines, please visit www.WDM.Iowa.Gov.