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Ankeny tax benefit to lure speculative industrial development


The Ankeny City Council tonight will consider a tax break for the development of speculative industrial buildings.

Ankeny’s economic development department is proposing the Speculative Building Incentive Policy, which, if approved, will provide a 10-year property tax abatement to qualifying projects. In addition to offsetting developers’ carrying costs while seeking tenants to occupy new buildings, tax rebates would also be provided for qualifying expansions of existing buildings.

A shortage of contiguous industrial space in the city has impeded some businesses from locating there, said Tim Moerman, Ankeny’s economic development director. Moerman and Assistant Director Curtis Brown began working on the proposal last November.

“Because of that lack of space, there are businesses that can’t consider us,” Moerman said, adding that the maximum amount of contiguous industrial space in the city currently is 25,000 square feet.

Buildings that are at least 50,000 square feet with a minimum 24-foot ceiling height with the typical size and number of dock doors and drive-in doors for the size and function of the building would be eligible for the incentive.

It would expire in two years following the council’s approval of the policy.

The Economic Development Task Force, a group of 14 Ankeny residents and business managers tapped by the mayor to provide input and feedback to the economic development department, unanimously supports the incentive, Moerman said.

Moerman and Brown say that Ankeny’s location on the Interstate 35 corridor south of Ames attracts a lot of businesses that they don’t want to turn away.

“We want to make sure we have the available space to meet that value,” Moerman said.

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