GRIMES, Iowa — A simple drive northwest of Des Moines along Highway 141 in Grimes and it’s not hard to miss. “There is a lot of iron moving up in Grimes, a lot of earth moving,” said Tim Day, who serves as director of Real Estate Development at Hope Development and Realty.
Hope is busy constructing a 200-acre sports and entertainment district that will be the largest private-owned multi-sport turf facility in the Midwest to the tune of $250 million.
“It is unbelievable. Our excitement is boiling over inside to be honest. I think the metro has been crying out for a facility like this,” said John Sheridan, the executive director of Sporting Iowa. The youth soccer development organization will be based out of the new Grimes-plex. “The amount of tournaments that get rained out or canceled due to not having the right facilities or the right turf is incredible for us,” said Sheridan.
With 13 fully-lit and full-sized soccer fields, 50 youth fields, up to 26 baseball fields and 13 football fields all turfed, the opportunity to grow youth athletics in the metro is unprecedented in Iowa. Sheridan said, “Just being that hub that we can put Des Moines on the regional map and then the national map.”
The land is northwest of Highway 141 and E. 1st Street. It is already owned by Hope Development’s owner Reza Kargarzadeh. The entertainment side of the district intends to construct hotels, restaurants, retail and entertainment venues. “We are hoping it’s going to have an economic impact on Des Moines metro area with hotels and jobs,” Sheridan said.
The city of Grimes has agreed to provide economic development tax increment payments for 15 years up to $25 million. This new “field of dreams” coming to central Iowa plans to bring in out-of-state families at an astounding rate. Day said, “About 1.5 million visitors a year just to the sporting events. That’s a lot of families, a lot of kiddos playing soccer and baseball and meals being eaten.”
In a year filled with athletic and entertainment cancelations, Sheridan says the news puts a spotlight of positivity on the metro community. “To see this one get over the line is groundbreaking for Iowa,” said Sheridan.
Construction in the area is already underway with a completion date expected in the fall of 2021. Hope Development and Realty plans to donate the sports complex to the city of Grimes after year ten.