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Downtown Sioux Falls visionaries dream big to create a bright future

Published: Aug. 4, 2021 at 6:13 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - If you’ve enjoyed the growth and beautification in downtown Sioux Falls, the city planners, developers, and business owners agree: there are more good things to come.

Mayor Paul TenHaken describes the investment planned for the city core.

“We’re gonna see hundreds of millions of dollars in public and private investment in downtown we haven’t seen this level of commitment to building into spending into economic development in any part of this city ever,” said TenHaken.

This type of progress benefits the entire region.

“That heartbeat of a city is so important because if your core is strong your city is strong,” said TenHaken. “And so that’s why we continue to double down on our investments and the opportunities that we’re putting into downtown because it spurs other economic development other growth around the entirety of the community.”

Commercial realtor and volunteer Rone Nelson has a lot of optimism for the future.

“It’s fun when we’re getting little names of districts, you know, within our downtown,” said Nelson. “At this point you know kind of undefined you know because it’s still raw clay, you know, waiting to be molded.”

Two large developments have just been announced. President and CEO of Downtown Sioux Falls Inc. Joe Batcheller says it continues the goal of creating places to live, work, and play.

“We have the Steel District, which is where Sioux steel is located,” said Batcheller. “We have Cherapa two three and four, and these are former brownfield sites which used to be industrial types of businesses that were there.”

Cherapa 2, 3, and 4 are planned along the east side of the Big Sioux River. One of the signature pieces of the Cherapa addition according to Businessman and Developer Jim Scherschligt, is the two-story interconnect, to be used as a conference center by day, and event venue by night.

“It’s suspended at three stories overlooking the River Greenway overlooking the amphitheater and the courtyard,” said Scherschligt.

The Sioux Steel development will make new areas of the Big Sioux River to enjoy, according to Lloyd Company President and CEO Chris Thorkelson.

“And so you’re opening up, for sure, 10 To 15 acres that are now accessible, to the river for the general public,” said Thorkelson. “It’s at the point where it’s the cascading of the falls of Sioux Falls, that’s where it starts.”

City Planner Jeff Eckhoff describes the complexities of developing downtown with the existing infrastructure underground.

“Downtown you have to work with what you have, where the utilities are,” said Eckhoff. “There are easements, there are the railroad tracks, all these things are in place.”

From the small business owners to the major developments, all rely on one thing.

“But ultimately they need the support of the community to come into downtown to support it,” said Thorkelson. “To go out to dine, to go shopping, to live, to work. Those kinds of things.”

These visionaries believe the future is bright for downtown.

“We get the cut that ribbon and say ‘hey, Sioux Falls!’ This is our future. Now we get to enjoy,” said Scherschligt.

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