Black Iron Railyard project loses city support

Dec. 20, 2018

The city of Sioux Falls is ending plans to work with a private developer for the redevelopment of a former rail yard downtown.

According to the city, Black Iron Railyard LLC sought additional time to revise a development plan that the city had accepted in July. The project would have occupied 4 of the 10 acres the city purchased from BNSF Railway in 2015 using federal funds. The concept included two phases with multiple mixed-use buildings.

In August, Black Iron Railyard said through its attorney that construction costs were forcing it to rethink the design, and a City Council vote to pave the way for the project was delayed. Black Iron Railyard is led by Erika and David R. Billion, but Erika is no longer involved in the plans for the development, according to Jim Wiederrich of Woods, Fuller, Shultz & Smith PC.

“David Billion continues to work on a revised project to submit to the city,” Wiederrich said. “The project will look different than the one first submitted in response to the city’s request for proposals. David continues to put together the pieces of the new project, which were not going to be ready for the city to review and approve by Dec. 31. The city has indicated it will open a new RFP process in 2019 and has invited David to submit his new project when it is ready for presentation. He fully intends to resubmit as the pieces fall into place. The cooperation with the city has been excellent throughout the process.”

The city confirmed that it plans to reopen a request for proposals for development.

“In light of the modifications to the proposal that was previously announced by Black Iron Rail LLC, our team determined that it was in the best interest of both the developer and the city to reset the process associated with this effort and provide the developer with the time needed to work through their revised concept plan,” said Erica Beck, chief of staff for Mayor Paul TenHaken.

“Next year, upon a new process for proposals being outlined by our team, we would welcome an updated submittal by the developer,” Beck said. “The city remains committed to downtown development, understanding that it takes time to put these complex projects together. We are grateful for the investments that have already been made by the development team and look forward to working with them in the future.”

First project announced for downtown rail yard



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Black Iron Railyard project loses city support

The city of Sioux Falls is ending plans to work with a private developer for the redevelopment of a former rail yard downtown.

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