Oct 28, 2022 - Business

Copeland Trucking to move after facing Des Moines fines

A photo of Copeland Trucking

Copeland Trucking's current Des Moines operations center is at 1202 Thomas Beck Rd. Photo: Jason Clayworth/Axios

Copeland Trucking will relocate its Des Moines operations center to near downtown under an agreement approved by the city council this week.

Why it matters: The company employees dozens of metro residents and provides service to some of the largest manufacturers and food processors in the Midwest, including Tyson Foods and Pella Windows & Doors.

  • It is being displaced from its spot near Gray's Lake because of rezoning.

Catch up fast: Copeland Trucking moved its DSM operations three years ago. It had previously been across the street in the same building as Confluence Brewing.

  • The property was zoned as an industrial area but is now part of the city's Gray's Lake redevelopment plan.
  • Copeland's 2019 move caused the business to lose its grandfathered zoning status.

Driving the news: DSM is selling three parcels of undeveloped city-owned property in the Central Place Industrial Park to Copeland for the relocation.

  • The $315,000 sale includes almost five acres that are adjacent to the DSM River, just north of E. University Avenue.
  • The city also agreed to credit Copeland $75,000 off the price to help pay for soil remediation that's necessary prior to construction.

Details: Two buildings with a total of about 23,000 square feet are planned over two phases.

  • The first is essentially a shed with a stone façade and multiple bays for trucks, Charlie Hoag, a manager for the company, told the council Monday.
  • It will be constructed in Wisconsin and trucked to DSM for assembly.

Of note: Copeland must be out of its current spot by Jan. 1 or face the possibility of hundreds of thousands of dollars in retroactive $750 daily fines for violating city zoning.

  • Some council members voiced support in extending the timeline if necessary.

The intrigue: Hoag told the council that he was initially "salty" about the move but now loves the plan because the company gets "a wonderful spot."

  • He said — and he was being sincere — that the city's zoning staffers have been "a joy to work with."
A photo of vacant land in Des Moines.
This area at 1321 Vermont St. will be the Copeland Trucking’s new Des Moines operations site. It’s also the answer to yesterday’s “Where’s Jason” question. Michael Morain of DSM won yesterday’s contest.

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