Active Generations plans east-side senior campus

Feb. 11, 2020

Active Generations is planning a big expansion on the east side.

It has purchased 30 acres in the Dawley Farm Village development for a large-scale senior community.

The new Active Generations activity center will provide services similar to the west-side location at 2300 W. 46th St. Services will continue to be offered at that location as well.

“We’ve added onto the parking lot three times, onto the building once, we’re landlocked … and we’ve had good growth, lots of expansion of programs,” CEO Gerald Beninga said.

When the facility opened 22 years ago, Active Generations served about 750 people annually.

“And now we’re serving 15,000,” he said.

“Our mission is to keep people independent, which is not only what we all want but more importantly in some cases it’s what we can afford when we get to be in an older age group.”

While the final concept is still being determined, it will include programming such as adult day services, which is full at the west-side location. And there will be activities for seniors incorporating leisure and recreation. The west-side center offers at least two dozen activities – everything from arts and crafts to hiking and quilting clubs.

The Dawley Farm location “will be similar in programming, although we’ll be more flexible with some of the space because programming changes,” Beninga said.

There also will be an apartment component, he added.

“We will be building and supporting affordable housing as part of our project because the Bergeland Apartments on our campus have had very high occupancy for a long time.”

The apartments will be in addition to a large senior living complex planned for approximately 20 acres of the property. Details on that are being finalized.

The Active Generations project will require fundraising. The plan is to start site preparation and road work this year, followed by a Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce appeals campaign next year and construction in 2022.

This conceptual plan was put together previously and likely will change but gives a sense for how the site could lay out.

In searching for a second site, Active Generations was looking for a location that was easy to access and near stores and restaurants, said Ryan Tysdal of Van Buskirk Cos., who represented the organization.

“For instance, if an adult child is dropping off a parent for adult day services at Active Generations, having shopping and dining options in close proximity was important,” he said.

“With many seniors driving to the Active Generations themselves, it was important for us to find a location in a busy area, but we wanted to avoid having to turn onto a busy street from our site. The design of Foss Avenue along the property will allow people to turn onto a less busy road, then go to a stoplight to turn on to either 10th Street (Arrowhead Parkway) or Highway 100.”

Residents and families using services at the east-side Active Generations will appreciate everything offered around the center, Beninga added.

“The box stores as well as access from 18th Street, Foss Avenue and Highway 100, and the expansion of the bike trails on the property right behind the theater was attractive,” he said.

“And the theaters themselves along with all the other amenities are something the older population visits frequently. It’s just a unique opportunity for us, and having a senior living community next door will be a good partnership.”

The deal took several years to come to fruition. Tysdal noted conversations with the Dawley family first began in mid-2016.

“Sometimes, selling bare land can be the most complex of real estate transactions,” he said.

Beninga agreed it was a long time coming but said it always felt like the right place to locate. Fittingly, Frieda Dawley was a member when Active Generations was still a senior center in downtown Sioux Falls, he said.

Seniors visiting the future east-side Active Generations will enjoy a Dawley family property that has been transformed and also add a lot to development, Tysdal said.

“Senior housing creates a lot of residential density. But in addition to that, it’s a land use that also spurs visitors to the site. All of this is positive for restaurants and retailers on the east side. It will create a lot of activity and ‘daytime population’ in the area.”

The new development will allow for completion of several major roads in the development, providing connectively from north to south and east to west as visitors navigate it.

“We love the fact that we’ll have an amenity for our community, and we know a lot of family members will be coming to visit, and that can strengthen our retailers and hopefully provide some opportunities to have some office buildings or services that cater to seniors,” said Raquel Blount of Lloyd Cos., who represented Dawley Farm Village in putting the deal together.

The senior campus is one of several active land deals at Dawley, she said.

“We currently have three other parcels that we’re either under contract on or we’re in negotiations, so we’re pleased to see the growth in activity,” Blount said.

“With the anticipation of the I-90 interchange, we’ve seen a lot of growth and land being put under contract for housing, which will strengthen the need for commercial parcels, and it will change the traffic pattern. Travelers no longer have to go to I-229 to access retail and business corridors in Sioux Falls. They will be able to come south on Highway 100.”

A new Glo hotel opening in the coming weeks also will help further support activity in the development, she said.

Capital Services is beginning construction on an office building that will bring about 200 employees to the area.

Avera, which has a clinic in the Dawley Farm development, is in the process of rezoning land it has owned since 2010 at 26th Street and Veterans Parkway, but a timeline hasn’t been set for a future project.

“We’re really starting to see the ‘village’ component come together,” Blount said.

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Active Generations plans east-side senior campus

Active Generations is planning a big expansion on the east side.

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