Topgolf has announced plans to build one of its popular year-round driving ranges and restaurants in West Des Moines, a first in Iowa.
The company intends to build a facility with 72 climate-controlled hitting bays and a “chef-driven” restaurant and bar on the northwest corner of Mills Civic and Jordan Creek avenues, according to a news release. .
The 12-acre site is south of Hy-Vee Fast & Fresh and east of IMT Insurance, said Richard Hurd, founder and president of Hurd Real Estate, which owns the land.
Topgolf chief development officer Chris Callaway said in the press release that he and other Topgolf executives are “thrilled to join the Des Moines community and look forward to welcoming our new players to Topgolf in the near future.” .
“Our focus is to create more ways for people to play golf in fun and unique ways, and the Des Moines area is the perfect place to start our growth within the state,” he said.
When will Topgolf come to the Des Moines Metro?
Hurd said a timeline for construction has not yet been set. A site plan and other items need approval from the City of West Des Moines before work can begin.
“There is a lot of work to be done before this project begins,” said Hurd.
Topgolf, founded in 2000, has grown into a global company, with offices in 80 locations. In the Midwest. they are in larger markets like Kansas City, Missouri, Omaha, Nebraska and Minneapolis.
The Des Moines metro area, population 700,000, has long been thought not big enough to support the branded chain, but Hurd said his company specializes in bringing first-of-its-kind retailers to the area. such as REI, The Container Store and Nordstrom Rack.
“We specialize in pointing out the reasons why certain retailers should locate in our community,” he said. “So we managed to convince them that the market is big enough and ready for this product.”
Planning for Topgolf began in 2019, long before the announcements of plans for smaller golf venues throughout the year. Suite Shots, also in West Des Moines, about three miles south of the Topgolf site, and Bombers, in Johnston, Hurd said.
Both plan to use Toptracer Range software, the same proprietary system used by sports-entertainment company Topgolf that handles functions ranging from performance measurements to bay assignments.
Bombers developers have already begun work, clearing land for their facility on the east side of Merle Hay Road north of Interstate 35/80. Initial plans called for a four-story, 45,000-square-foot venue with 60 climate-controlled batting bays, a full-service restaurant and multiple themed bars. But with financing in place, Bombers is now looking to modify its plans, said one of the developers, Allen Stoye, a director at investment firm Pan & Piper.
While it’s still looking to incorporate some climate-controlled batting bays, the company is exploring adding games like bowling and pickleball, he said.
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A hotel is still part of the plan, and there may be entertainment options for families coming to tournaments at the Ignit recreation complex, which is under construction on Merle Hay Road.
With a five-year lease on the Toptracer Range system, “There’s nothing to say we can’t have a range with real Topgolf technology for people to hit balls with,” Stoye said. “We’re going to create an entertainment district here that we think will work very well.”
He said Bombers was in negotiations with Topgolf to move the facility to Johnston, but that the company would have required the removal of more trees on the site, which Stoye said he was unwilling to do.
“We provided what we thought was a very fair option for a location that is right on the interstate where most of the Topgolf is,” he said.
Suite Shots recently got approval from West Des Moines for its 50,000-square-foot facility south of Grand Avenue and west of Interstate 35. Plans also call for a nearby hotel, four office buildings, and sit-down and quick-service restaurants. .
The West Des Moines City Council approved the project’s rezoning, despite some neighbors’ concerns about noise and aesthetics. Since then, neighbors have filed a lawsuit seeking a court order to stop the project.
Developer Paul Cownie could not be reached for comment.
Topgolf “isn’t worried about these other projects,” Hurd said. “They do what they do. I don’t think they shy away from the competition.”
Topgolf CEO Artie Starrs in an interview Wednesday with Yahoo! Finance, said the company is in expansion mode, despite signs of a cooling economy, and plans to open 11 new US locations this year, “but we’re certainly monitoring inflation on a weekly and daily basis.”
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Kim Norvell covers the growth and development of the Registry. Contact her at [email protected] or 515-284-8259. Follow her on Twitter @KimNorvellDMR.