A new 40-acre entertainment district is coming to Waukee.


The Waukee City Council voted to approve the district, “The Quarter,” on Nov. 4. The new district, which will be located along the west side of Grand Prairie Parkway, will be the first of its kind for both Waukee and the state of Iowa. The Quarter plans to accommodate an entertainment and event venue, shopping, restaurants and an office space. Development is currently being led by Iowa businessman Daniel Pettit with funding for the project headed by the local investment firm Pan & Piper.


“There is nothing quite like this in Iowa right now. We wanted to bring a venue that could be a destination type location. An event space that could have something for everyone. A place that could entertain people of all ages,” Allen Stoye of Pan & Piper said. “We feel very confident that when we start making announcements of future tenants, this is going to be something special.”


The current design for The Quarter comes after the development team visited entertainment districts in Austin, Las Vegas and Orlando in search of aspects that would work well in the Des Moines Metro area. The new district plans to host a minimum of 75 events a year, while bringing in multiple hotels and and office park with an additional 9,540 square foot gathering space that can accommodate dinners, corporate events and weddings.


“The Quarter project, as it has been described to us, would be a development that would create a place for Waukee residents to go and provide numerous entertainment options unique to Waukee and the surrounding area,” Waukee Community and Economic Development Director Dan Dutcher said.


Matthew Jennings of Pan & Piper also said that the city’s growth is “the 9th fastest in America.” That, coupled with the local culture and easy access off the interstate, makes Waukee an optimal location for such a unique development.


“Waukee was a great place for a development like this. With Grand Prairie parkway having great access and Waukee looking for hospitality, we were eager to make this happen,” Jennings said.


Completion of The Quarter could also potentially provide the city with opportunities to grow development throughout the local area. It could not only aid in attracting more people to the city but also help provide services and products that people will want.


“We believe this project will be a regional draw and will spur additional development in the Kettlestone area,” Dutcher said. “Bringing people to Waukee and providing services and uses that people will want to use is another reason this project is of interest to the city. Our belief is that this project will spur additional development that will meet the objectives of the Kettlestone master plan.”


The Quarter is currently expected to be completed in 2021, with more tenants anticipated to be released towards the end of the year.


“We’re pretty happy and pleased with the 40-acre development. It’s going to be unique to Waukee, and I’m proud of the fact that Waukee attracts a unique quality of life type of venue,” Waukee Mayor William Peard said. “There’s going to be nothing like it in the state of Iowa. We think that’s adding on to the quality of life in Waukee and the state of the art community that it is.”