- Real Estate
- Food & Drink
Jan. 2, 2019
A national business that teaches kids computer coding skills is coming to Sioux Falls.
Code Ninjas has leased space in a new building at 85th Street and Minnesota Avenue in front of Walmart.
The business uses a game-based curriculum to teach kids age 7-14 teamwork, logic, math and problem-solving skills.
The Houston-based franchise was founded in 2016 and is growing fast. There are more than 250 locations open or under development in 23 states. David and Stephanie Lilke are the Sioux Falls franchisees. He will continue to work in IT, and she will be the center director.
“We’ve always wanted to do something on our own. We have a little bit of an entrepreneurial spirit,” she said.
“We came across Code Ninjas and thought it was such a great concept and idea.”
The business offers drop-in times after school, day camps when school is out, summer camps and parents’ nights out.
“During drop-in times, you can come in on your own schedule, and it’s self-paced, but not self-taught. There will be helpers in the room,” Lilke said. “Making kids really excited about it is what our curriculum will do. Kids play video games anyway, so let’s teach them how they work. Their motto is kids have fun, and parents get results.”
Code Ninjas will open midyear and is the first tenant in a new building that’s part of the Liberty Square retail development.
The building will be located between the future Silverstar Car Wash and the retail center that includes Urban Chislic, Orangetheory Fitness and Safe Splash Swim School, which will open this month.
“We are seeing good interest from retail tenants at 85th and Minnesota,” said Ryan Tysdal of VanBuskirk Cos., who is the leasing agent for Liberty Square.
“It’s exciting to have fun tenants like Code Ninjas come to 85th and Minnesota. Retail drives more retail. Walmart, Aldi, Verizon, Burger King, Scooter’s Coffee, Orangetheory Fitness – these are fantastic tenants that are fueling additional growth.”
For Code Ninjas, it’s a convenient space that allows parents to stay for classes or run errands nearby, Lilke said.
“I think it’s a growing part of the city. There’s so much development out there, tons of kids, it’s easy to get to,” she said.
The new building will be 12,500 square feet with six retail spaces.
“Code Ninjas is our first tenant in the new building, and we are in the final stages of a lease on the space next to them as well. We should have our next tenant announcement within a few weeks,” Tysdal said.
A national franchise that teaches kids computer coding skills is coming to Sioux Falls.