Development ahead: Seven spots to watch this year

Jan. 4, 2021

Sioux Falls historically has grown in every direction — east, west, north, south — as the core of the city has redeveloped. That theme will continue in 2021 with projects in various stages of planning and building citywide.

Here’s a look at seven spots we think are worth watching in the year ahead.

Foundation Park

This is the obvious one, given the largest construction project in the city’s history already has started.

It looks like 2021 won’t be the year that Amazon opens its nearly 3 million-square-foot distribution center, but it likely will be the year you hear even more about businesses locating at Foundation Park.

The combination of access to available industrial land, two interstates, a rail line and a nearby airport is fairly unique. Add to that the business advantages of locating in South Dakota, and it’s a recipe for more activity.

“From a large-employer perspective, most of our interest is coming from manufacturing, processing, logistics and distribution,” said Bob Mundt, president and CEO of the Sioux Falls Development Foundation.

The Empire Mall/Empire Place

The epicenter of retail activity in Sioux Falls likely won’t change in 2021, which means more reasons to continue watching the area in and around The Empire Mall.

Empire Place, the redevelopment in front of the mall where Chipotle Mexican Grill opened in December, will add Chick-fil-A, a Chase Bank branch and at least two retail centers in the coming year. Plus there’s still room for more.

Around the mall campus, there are opportunities at the former Royal Fork site, the former Payless Shoes and the former Old Chicago.

Inside the mall, the former Gap and Banana Republic spaces could draw new national names, and no one has said Dillard’s is no longer coming to the former Younkers. Camping World is leasing the former Sears until spring, and after that, the vacant department store space will be a spot to watch for potential redevelopment.

69th Street & Cliff Avenue

This will be an interesting intersection to watch. Because the spot has taken so long to develop commercially, the city has started to grow around it.

But there’s some activity coming on the southwest corner in 2021, including a new location for Sioux Falls Federal Credit Union.

The credit union chose the site for its “high visibility conveniently connected to the south side,” marketing and business development manager Joey Rotert said.

“Sioux Falls Fed is excited for what the future holds for our members and community.”

There’s also a plan for a restaurant at the site. An application approved by the City Planning Commission last month showed a bar and grill with a preliminary menu of appetizers, sandwiches, salads, entrees and pastas. The owners weren’t ready to share additional information about their plans or timing.

41st Street & Ellis Road

This will become an even bigger hub of activity in southwest Sioux Falls in the year ahead. Fareway will be opening its new store in the area, along with Dollar Tree, and additional retail and office development likely will follow.

That’s in part because of all the people already living in the area but also because of the hundreds more that will be following in the next year or two.

Multiple large, multiphase apartment projects are coming to the neighborhood.

Legacy Development’s latest project, Westview Heights, is the company’s largest ever and the second-largest building permit taken out in the city in 2020 at $27 million.

It’s a 253-unit project at 32nd Street and Ellis Road with a big package of amenities. Residents will begin moving in this summer.

Then, on the northwest corner of 41st and Ellis, a 357-unit project from Lloyd Cos. is coming and will offer a mix of floor plans, rents and styles, along with community amenities.

Downtown rail yard property

It’s fitting that a building so unique in its construction style would become the first redevelopment in a somewhat unconventional area: the downtown rail yard.

It will take some vision and creativity to align projects with these available properties, but those people are out there and making plans for the balance of the 10-acre area.

Railyard Flats, a mixed-use building, is the first laminated mass-timber structure in the state. It’s attracting interest from builders nationwide intrigued by the construction style and sustainability. Residents will begin moving in midyear.

The Railyard Flats co-owners also have an option to purchase 4 acres between Sixth and Eighth streets, and they’re continuing to work through potential options for the property.

There is still more land in the area owned by the city and available for developers to purchase, including property south of Eighth Street and east of 8th & Railroad Center that had a proposal for a project moving forward at one point but never materialized.

“There’s interest,” said Jeff Eckhoff, the city’s director of planning and development services. “It’s not crickets.”

57th Street from Bahnson Avenue east

While largely a residential corridor, East 57th Street is about to gain more density and commercial activity.

Lloyd Cos. has started a project on 16 acres in the area of 57th and Bahnson Avenue, just east of the horse farm at the corner. It will bring several styles of apartments, along with resident amenities and some commercial space.

To the east, the Graystone Heights apartment complex already has brought hundreds of new residents to the area, and commercial development — including a gas station and car washes — is beginning. Plus, there’s more land left that likely will bring additional retail.

Continuing to the east, office activity has been strong, and the largest intersection in the area — 57th and Veterans Parkway — will be the next to start construction.

Expect more housing in the area and eventually a Sanford Health development that could transform 100 acres with medical services, a Lewis Drug and more. It was scheduled to start in the fall of 2020, but a new timeline hasn’t been announced.

26th Street and Veterans Parkway

You can tell an area is on the verge of activity when we start receiving lots of reader questions about it — and that has been the case with 26th Street and Veterans Parkway in recent weeks.

Dirt is moving on the southwest corner of the intersection for a development called Sundance Village, which will include apartments plus 40 acres of residential lots.

Harr & Lemme Real Estate Inc. is developing the residential side of the project, which is estimated at up to 85 lots for homes.

The property is one of the last large pieces of undeveloped land in the Sioux Falls School District, which combined with the low inventory of available homes could make it develop fast.

To the north, commercial activity continues to increase. New additions include child care and fitness centers, and plans call for more office, retail and apartments in the area.

Resilient, record-breaking year sets up Sioux Falls for more growth in 2021

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Development ahead: Seven spots to watch this year

North, south, east, west and, of course, downtown. Expect activity across Sioux Falls in the coming year — but we’ll be especially watching these seven spots.

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