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Taco John’s retreats from West Des Moines site


Following more than a month of deliberations, Taco John’s of Iowa has decided not to pursue the development of a restaurant in West Des Moines.

The company had been considering a site at the intersection of Fourth Street and Grand Avenue to replace an existing store a few lots to the east. But the city’s reluctance to indefinitely relinquish a right of way, which may eventually be needed for the addition of a turning lane, will not suit Taco John’s plans.

The city’s proposed compromise, to cede the easement for at least 20 years, went unheeded at last month’s City Council meeting.

“They wanted to control the ground long-term rather than having an easement for that area,” said Bill Wright, Taco John’s representative with Terrus Real Estate Group.

At some point, when the easement expires, control of the land could be transferred back to the city, an agreement “the buyer was not willing to enter into,” Wright said.

The city, on the other hand, is not comfortable deeding the land to the developer, risking the prospect of having to buy it back later at a higher price with taxpayers’ money.

Wright said though there is no current discussion of an alternative location, that doesn’t mean other options aren’t being considered.

“We are always looking at other sites,” he said.

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