- Real Estate
- Food & Drink
June 18, 2018
Before Kinder Academy even opened its new preschool in northwest Sioux Falls, there was a waiting list for children 2 and younger.
Jennifer Schuette, who owns the business with her husband, Chris, credits the growing neighborhoods around it.
“In northwest Sioux Falls, there aren’t a lot of options for people who live here or in the Hartford, Crooks or Renner areas,” she said. “I think a lot of families that drive into Sioux Falls love the location. They love the fact that I’m right there.”
Kinder Academy can accommodate 112 kids, but Schuette has set her staffing levels at one employee for every three children 10 months and younger and one staff member per four children older than 10 months.
“The state minimum is 5-to-1, so I feel like that filled us up fast as well,” she said, adding she’s continuing to interview and will need more staff.
She decided to start the school, which accommodates kids up to age 12 also before and after school and during the summer, while stationed in Germany with her husband’s military career.
“It ran like a mini elementary school for ages 3 through 6, and it worked really well. The kids loved the consistency and the schedule and having those specials for the week like gym and music and art, and that’s kind of what we’re doing in Kinder Academy for kids 3and up,” she said.
For now, Kinder Academy is the only commercial tenant in the University Hills development, an 80-acre property west of the University Center and northwest of 54th Street North and Marion Road.
“I think her business is going to take off really well,” said Jarrod Smart, owner of Smart Commercial Construction and a partner in University Hills Village. “It’s critical (to the development) and brings a lot of traffic every day and takes a fair amount of square footage.”
Kinder Academy occupies 6,500 square feet in the 9,500-square-foot commercial building. Two 1,500-square-foot business spaces remain available for lease.
University Hills Village is being developed by a team that includes Smart and Danielle Merrow, broker and owner of Dynamic Real Estate LLC.
The first of nine planned apartment building in the development opened in late fall of 2014, and the second one opened in September 2017. Together, the two buildings contain 248 units.
“Building two is well over half-full,” Smart said. “There is some availability there still, but our most popular units are all spoken for.”
A total of nine apartment buildings will be constructed in the development. The third, which is 45,000 square feet, is starting construction and scheduled for occupancy in late summer of 2019.
It will include 98 units and features such as an indoor swimming pool, basketball court, fitness center, billiards, as well as a golf and hunting simulator.
“This is an amenity building for all the residents of University Hills Village,” Merrow said. “It will be a great feature for the residents living in all the buildings within the development.”
Development plans include an outdoor pool to be built next to the amenity building. An open green space and pedestrian walkways will enhance the parklike feel of the area, she said.
Design will start this summer on the fourth apartment building, which will have some space set aside for commercial use such as an office or coffee shop.
“We need to have other units to support the amenity building,” Smart said. “As long as demand continues, we’ll keep moving. The idea is we would start building four before building three is completely done.”
All of the four-story apartment buildings have underground parking.
Some stand-alone businesses are expected in University Hills in the future, with build-to-suit lots available now.
Momentum continues to build in the area with the recent announcement of anchor tenants for the nearby USD Discovery District. Those growing businesses expect to eventually employ hundreds.
“Between that and everything Sanford is doing nearby, plus Fleet Farm, it’s awesome,” Smart said. “The northwest side really seems to be moving.”
Kinder Academy is the most recent addition to the University Hills Village development — and it already has a waiting list for its youngest customers. Here’s what’s coming next to the growing area.