Auto dealer closes as redevelopment prepares to start on mall retail site

 Oct. 31, 2019

A retail development along 41st Street in front of The Empire Mall is moving forward.

The former Sioux Falls Ford site has been Autos on the Mall for the past year. The dealership posted a sign Wednesday that it has closed and said customers with questions can call 605-306-2277.

Autos on the Mall was a vehicle consignment and used-car sales dealership owned by David R. Billion. It was the only Sioux Falls location for Billion, who has dealerships in other states.

The next step for the property will be as a retail center called Empire Place, which is owned by B&H Realty and being developed Lloyd Cos.

“We’re full steam ahead with building demolition and mobilizing the site and starting our site work,” said Raquel Blount of Lloyd Cos., who represents the property. “We’re negotiating three leases and three letters of intent right now.”

If those deals come together, they would add up to about half the space available, she said.

“We’re determined to focus on retail. And there’s significant interest from restaurants,” Blount said.

No deals are signed yet, but several are close, she added.

“It’s obviously a premier site in the market, and we’re starting to see some resurgence and activity from smaller shops, and boutiques,” Blount said.

“We’ve gotten three or four national retailers who have come to the market to tour that we’re pursuing. So hopefully, it’s a resurgence toward new retail. And that builds on the strong interest we’ve had from restaurants all along. They’re driving energy and excitement, and we’re looking forward to announcing that as soon as we can.”

The concept plan calls for four standalone buildings along 41st Street and two retail centers with multiple businesses closer to the mall.

“If someone came along and we needed to make modifications, we still can, but we feel strongly that’s the plan we’re pursuing,” Blount said.

Depending on construction timing, businesses could start opening by late summer or early fall.

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Auto dealer closes as redevelopment prepares to start on mall retail site

 A retail development along 41st Street in front of The Empire Mall is moving forward.

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