Communities around Sioux Falls expecting strong year ahead

Jan. 15, 2018

This piece is presented by the Minnehaha County and Lincoln County Economic Development Associations.

It’s looking like 2018 could be a year of major growth in the communities of Minnehaha and Lincoln counties.

From industrial and commercial development to residential expansion, many communities are coming off record or near-record years and show little sign of slowing down.

Nick Fosheim, executive director of the Minnehaha County and Lincoln County Economic Development Associations, has a preview of what to expect in 2018.

First, how would you describe 2017 for the communities of Minnehaha and Lincoln counties? What kind of economic activity did they experience?

Innovative. Our communities are strong and continue to diversify. Housing, industrial and retail are leading the development of our local economies. Construction was another consistent driver in changing the physical look of our communities. In November, we reported our annual construction data showing 2,360 building permits issued with a total valuation of $135.8 million and the construction of 276 new single-family homes. Combined with data recently reported from the city of Sioux Falls, that represents over $875 million in construction activity in the two counties.

How do your expectations for 2018 compare with what we just saw occur in 2017?

2017 was a more normal year as we settled in after the uncertainty that drove decision-making in 2016. There were some exciting investments made in our region this past year both from new companies and longstanding members of our business community.

Looking ahead to 2018, I think we will again see the majority of our investment come from companies who are already here as they continue to reinvest in the region. Our communities are also starting to look at very specific targets. They are looking for opportunities in housing development, retail and other small businesses, and industrial led by an inventory of existing land ready for development.

Watch for some impressive investments in infrastructure over the next few years that will position the region for exciting opportunities.

How does your pipeline of business development look? Are you seeing trends from any particular industries?

The pipeline is steady and evolving. We are talking to companies that are at various stages in their decision-making process. As always, our communities are interested in talking with companies who are looking for development opportunities.

Ag is definitely a driver of our regional economy, and we’ll continue to see interest in new investment from that sector, both in production and processing.

Overall, our target industries are aligned with the state’s targets, which provide for some synergies in our business attraction and retention efforts.

What’s your sense of the housing market in Minnehaha County and Lincoln County for the coming year? Will we see many new homes built?

Since 2014, an average of 280 new single-family homes have been built annually. Available lot inventory will influence that number, but I’m hearing about several new housing developments in the works and some infrastructure projects that will pave the way for additional growth.

Community partnerships like we saw in Lennox and some tax incentives like those that Canton and Worthing have adopted may also help drive construction of new homes.

Several of our communities have completed housing studies to analyze current inventory and make future projections. I think that people would be surprised at how aggressive many communities could be in developing additional housing opportunities.

School, community combine to fill housing needs in Lennox

It seems like many communities outside Sioux Falls are attracting new retail. Do you see that continuing in the coming year?

It’s not surprising that as the number of rooftops grows, so do the number of retail opportunities. We’ve highlighted several retailers on SiouxFalls.Business in 2017 so part of our strategy is introducing the interesting retail and restaurant options to a new audience. If you follow us on social media, we really encourage our followers to get out and explore the region. People are always amazed at how much there is to do within a 25-minute drive of Sioux Falls.

If businesses want to learn more about the resources MCEDA/LCEDA provides, what should they do?

Give us a call at 339-0103 or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: @LCEDAMCEDA.

Also, check out the inventory of available buildings and sites at our website: And if you know of available properties in your community, please let us know because you never know who’s looking.

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Communities around Sioux Falls expecting strong year ahead

It’s looking like a 2018 could be a year of major growth in the communities of Minnehaha and Lincoln counties.

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