As Ellis Road expands, development prospects widen

April 2, 2018

When Faith Baptist Church needed more space, some simple math led to a solution.

“We plotted the addresses of our members and regular attendees, and most of us are spread across the south side of Sioux Falls, and we have a good quarter of our people who live on the west side, so it made sense,” said Jayson Wittrup, the church’s pastor.

The original location at 57th Street and Minnesota Avenue is at capacity, and homes around it prohibit expansion, so a new commercial center at 26th Street and Ellis Road became the right fit for a 6,300-square-foot second location.

“We tried to think about expansion in other ways. Instead of creating one large facility, maybe we would expand by spreading ourselves out, and the more we talked about it, the more people got excited about that idea.”

There’s a growing amount of excitement around the potential that Ellis Road presents for development. A city road project that just started will reconstruct Ellis Road from 12th to 41st streets and expand it from a two-lane road to a four-lane urban street with a median and turn lanes at select intersections.

The city estimates about 6,000 vehicles travel the road daily. When the project is done in late fall, multiple new businesses will be open and others could be planning to come to the area.

New development

Faith Baptist Church hopes to be operational in its new space by September. A main worship center will accommodate 200 people, with one service to start but capacity for more.

“They’re starting to frame in some of the walls, so it’s off and running,” Wittrup said. “We really believe that’s going to be a great intersection.”

Commercial activity in the area kicked off when Shenanigans Sports Bar & Grill moved in a few years ago. Nearby retail property has filled in with neighborhood services, including financial and fitness.

The church “will be a great addition,” said Alexis Konstant, the broker at Lloyd Cos. who represented Faith Baptist. “The variety of uses (in the retail center) will continue to build synergy in the area and further enhance west-side amenities.”

Also in the area of 26th and Ellis, Casey’s General Store is under construction with a gas station and convenience store opening later this year.

“Casey’s was really attracted to that area because there’s dense housing and mature neighborhoods in every direction,” said Ryan Tysdal of Van Buskirk Cos., who leased the space. “There aren’t a lot of options for food and gas close to home.”

Heading south on Ellis Road, a new development from Sanford Health and Lewis Drug is changing the landscape.

Sanford’s new 42,000-square-foot clinic is a little ahead of schedule, said Paul Hanson, an executive vice president at Sanford USD Medical Center who leads the Sioux Falls region.

“It’s an efficient design. The flexibility our doctors will have in that clinic will expand their practice opportunities and patients,” Hanson said.

There is enough additional space that Sanford could expand other services in the area, he said, mentioning urgent care, an emergency department and expanded obstetrics as potential options.

“We looked at the growth of the community, and when you see more than 40,000 people west of I-29 … that’s where we want to be,” Hanson said. “Our idea with this design is to create a design that will work in any spot so it’s recognizable. You’ll see the tower, the blue lights, the look that Sanford has, but you’ll recognize it’s a Sanford clinic.”

The clinic is attached to a Lewis Drug, similar to how the two organizations co-locate at 69th Street and Louise Avenue.

“It’s a great relationship,” Hanson said. “We’ve had a lot of success at 69th and Louise attached to Lewis, so when we looked at designing newer clinics like the west side, we wanted to expand on that particular design and had to have the land and footprint to do it.”

The Lewis store will be a blend between the 69th and Louise  location and the newly opened store on Minnesota Avenue, CEO Mark Griffin said.

“The merchandise mix is very similar to Minnesota but with a different layout, two entrances with the pharmacy and the main entrance,” Griffin said. “It will be familiar but fresh.”

The 30,000-square-foot store will bring retail to an area that’s currently underserved, he added.

“It should be a very nice-looking development and one that I think the neighborhood will appreciate,” he said. “We like the fact that it’s still a growing area with good shopping demographics.”

Sanford and Lewis will open at the same time, and the hope is to have the projects done by late summer.

There likely won’t be development farther south on Ellis Road for a little while yet.

The street turns to gravel west of 57th Street. There are no immediate plans to pave it, creating a development boundary for now.

Scott Blount of Lloyd Cos. represents landowners in the area.

“There’s density of homes there,” he said. “I have people interested. And we’ve had interest from someone looking at it as an investment for when the city does eventually expand.”

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As Ellis Road expands, development prospects widen

The city is widening Ellis Road, and several businesses are expanding in the area too.

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