ANKENY, Iowa -- Des Moines’ loss will be Ankeny’s gain.
The Baker Group is heading north to Ankeny, an investment of about $22 million.
“It’s right on the interchange. It's in close proximity to the entire metro. It's in Ankeny, and it's close to all the amenities and services that are provided to the entire Des Moines metro,” said Derek Lord, economic development director for the City of Ankeny.
The full-service contractor that specializes in commercial projects will relocate about 480 office, service, and manufacturing jobs from Des Moines to the new facility.
The company has also committed to creating additional jobs.
"Provide some incentives to the Baker Group, and in exchange for that, the development agreement requires the creation of 100 new full-time jobs over the next five years,” said David Jones, Ankeny’s city manager.
City staff negotiated a development agreement with Baker Group for six and a half years, 100% tax increment financing rebate.
Chairman and CEO BJ Baker called the move to the new facility a “logical step in the company's long-term desire to support its clients in their pursuit of high-quality products and services. The expanded office space will move our central Iowa contracting teams together under one roof to improve efficiency."
“Ankeny gets a lot of attention for residential growth, but what a lot of people don’t realize is just last year we saw record commercial growth, and this year looks to be on pace or even better than last year,” said Lord.
“We’re particularly excited about this area of Corporate Woods. The foundation was laid many years ago with the interchange there, and this project will, I believe, catapult the Corporate Woods area forward with some additional projects over the coming years,” Jones said.
That's what Mary Kay Morris is hoping for, too, who is located next door at the Hampton Inn and Suites.
“I can see we would be getting a lot of corporate business, travel and hopefully get some meetings spaces out of it too,” Morris said. “Once the bigger companies start coming in, we’re hoping that they’ll start building on the other side over there to where we can maybe get some restaurants over here.”
Des Moines Mayor Frank Cownie says the city has worked with BJ Baker throughout the years and has had a good relationship with him. The mayor's glad the Baker Group is staying in central Iowa, and he said he understands it's a business decision to move to Ankeny and he wishes the company well.
This new facility will replace one of Baker Group’s two Des Moines locations. Baker Group will continue to utilize their facility at 4224 Hubbell Ave.