Coppola links country club to major Warren County development
Office buildings, retail shops, more homes planned for Echo Valley
Wednesday, July 16, 2014 12:00 AM
Mike Coppola makes little effort, ever, to hide his enthusiasm. With that in mind, it is little wonder that the attention a home show has brought to his Echo Valley Country Club has him all worked up.
But there is something more in play at Echo Valley than the home show, which showcases the talents of 10 area home builders who have fashioned a mix of luxurious wow and down-to-earth practicality in 11 houses with sales prices of roughly $500,000 to $1 million.
“This is about more than The Ridge,” Coppola said, referring to a hilltop with views of downtown Des Moines where the home show runs every weekend through July.
Coppola’s land covers 1,200 acres that spread out east to west between Fleur Drive and Iowa Highway 28 and north to south from roughly Iowa Highway 5 to Beardsley Street. The golf course runs through sloping hills and wetland bottoms. Mature trees abound, and native grasses and wildflowers complement many stretches of the 27-hole layout, which was designated “2013 Course of the Year” by the Iowa Golf Association.
Awards are nice, but Coppola envisions more than a first-rate private golf course and country club.
With Norwalk rapidly filling in its open spaces and West Des Moines set to build streets, water and sewer infrastructure just to the west of Echo Valley to accommodate a $1 billion Microsoft Corp. data center, Coppola has put his dreams to paper.
Signs posted at the borders of the course tell much of the story.
Coppola plans a residential and commercial build-out that includes estate properties, with lots sized up to two acres, single-family houses and multifamily units.
Much of the development will occur on roughly 700 acres that he has acquired over the years, nearly all of it abutting the course.
The estate plats will be be developed in partnership with Vista Real Estate and Investment Corp., the same Urbandale-based company he partnered with to develop The Ridge.
Coppola Enterprises Inc. will go it alone on some phases of the build-out.
“The vision is and was to be a fully integrated community that is designed to the very highest level, with connectivity to services and recreation,” Coppola said. “We see Echo Valley as inclusive, not exclusive.”
Echo Valley falls under two jurisdictions: Des Moines and Norwalk. Coppola plants to reach an economic development agreement with the city of Des Moines that will provide incentives for some of the development.
Over the next 15 years, Echo Valley could be home to 800 residential dwelllings, 150,000 square feet of retail, plus office buildings.
Coppola figures Echo Valley is well-positioned to take advantage of its location and the demand for housing.
“We are in the heart of the growth area of West Des Moines and Des Moines, between the airport exit and the Highway 28 exit to Norwalk. While much of our land is in the city of Norwalk, we also have great land in Des Moines,” he said. “If you look at an aerial, we are virtually the heart of where all the services will be located in this corridor and only minutes to the Fleur corridor or Jordan Creek area.
“Last but not least, there is a very high demand for move-up housing and people that want to move down into a townhome. Our townhomes virtually sell in a day, and we are in need of more of this product ASAP, which we are working on as we speak.”
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