Sioux Steel interviews potential developers for future of company's Downtown Sioux Falls site
The executives of Sioux Steel are currently interviewing potential developers to help redevelop the site of the company in Downtown Sioux Falls. The company announced in mid-March they were moving operations out of Downtown Sioux Falls at East 6th Street and 1st Avenue, which is one block east of Phillips Avenue. That opens up about 11 acres of space on the north end of downtown to be redeveloped.
Sioux Steel is a family-owned business in its 4th generation of the Rysdon family. The company is celebrating 100 years of being in business in 2018, and the family decided it's time to move out of Downtown Sioux Falls after being the only industrial company left there.
It's unknown where the operations will go next, but Hugh Dodson, who is the corporate development director for the company, said the family wants to stay in the Sioux Falls area. They want to see the redevelopment of their site in downtown become a legacy of the city with the best interest of the city and state in mind when being developed.
The family has taken an opportunity and gathered input from the public starting a couple of weeks after the announcement of leaving that site. Then, a survey was put out to the public of what they would like to see on that site. On Tuesday, the results were announced at another public input meeting. Dodson said many people are looking for a mixed-use area of housing, restaurants, shops, and a gathering place. Many people want to see something that can be used throughout the year. One thing Sioux Steel keeps hearing is that many people want the company's sign to stay and be preserved.
Right now, the company is interviewing four or five developers trying to find someone with experience, who can take on a site of that size and who has a broad knowledge of developing. The goal is to have someone hired by the middle of September. Then, Dodson said hopefully, a groundbreaking will happen in the spring of 2019 and construction will be done about 18 months to 24 months after that. Construction will start on the north end of the site, which is about three to four acres of land, because that's being unused right now by the company.
Erica Beck, who is the chief of staff for Mayor Paul TenHaken's office, said this site being redeveloped is a unique opportunity because not many cities get the chance to redevelop a site of this size in their downtown. She said it will likely become a tourist destination, which is a positive impact on the city.
Beck said this opportunity has also given the city a chance to invest publicly. The city is currently working on designing a River Greenway in that area to make it become more of a destination for more tourism in the area.