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Helena Industries Seeks Expansion at SE Agribusiness Park in Des Moines, Iowa

Helena Industries, a contract chemical manufacturing company located in the SE Agribusiness Park, plans to acquire 47 acres additional land from the City to expand its chemical manufacturing and centralize warehouse operations in Des Moines, Iowa.

The project is part of an $11 million expansion that would add two 200,000 square foot warehouse buildings and additional facilities, according to the city’s Urban Design Review Board.

According to the Urban Design Review Board staff, Helena has been at its present location since the 1950’s, with a current labor force of 120 full time and 50-120 contract employees annually. Since 2008, Helena has invested approximately $30 million in ongoing improvements in equipment and additional buildings on their campus. They have requested to purchase 47 acres of City-owned property, located directly east of their current campus, to be able to keep and grow their business here.

At its Feb. 27 meeting, Design Board Staff voiced support of the sale of City-owned property to the adjacent property owner for further development of their existing business. The project will need to return with a landscape plan for final Board review, officials noted.

According to information submitted to the city on Feb. 15 by architectural-engineering firm Shive-Hattery’s project manager Michael L Anthony; “Helena Industries is currently working on finalizing the development agreement, rezoning, urban design review board, and site plan review and approval. Helena plans to begin the building design later this month with the plan to start construction in the May/June 2018 time frame. The proposed warehouse is expected to be completed by May 2019.”

Anthony told city officials, “the facility would centralize the warehouse operations on-site rather than transporting finished product to off-site warehouses in both Ankeny and Des Moines. The proposed warehouse will be a pre-engineered metal building matching the look and style of the warehouse Helena built to the west in 2013.”

“Helena Industries is working closely with the City of Des Moines in order to meet their design/use requirements,” he added. “Shive-Hattery will be completing the architectural and engineering design services. Septagon construction is the planned general contractor. Helena has already engaged the public and surrounding businesses through the Good Neighbor Task Force meeting and the rezoning public meeting.”

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