Hotel developer announced for Village on the River

A rendering of Village on the River by JLG Architects.

Aberdeen-based Lamont Cos., which has a history of national hotel development, will develop and manage the hotel component of Village on the River, an estimated $50 million public-private partnership.

Lamont and Legacy Developments have jointly formed Village River Group LLC to oversee the project east of 10th Street and Phillips Avenue.

The manager of VRG LLC is Jeff Lamont, who founded Lamont Cos. in 1998 and has grown it into a national developer of hotels, convention centers, apartments, retail centers and restaurants.

Lamont has experience developing, owning and managing hotel brands, including Intercontinental Hotels Group, Hilton Hotels & Resorts and Marriott International.

The company constructed, owns and is managing more than 50 franchised hotels, convention centers, restaurants and residential apartment components throughout the United States, including the Homewood Suites by Hilton and the TownePlace Suites by Marriott, both located near Louise Avenue and Interstate 229.

A brand for the downtown Sioux Falls property will be announced soon, Lamont said.

The 13-story project is expected to include between 120 and 150 hotel rooms.

“I think downtown Sioux Falls needs more new, upscale hotels. We’re looking in the upscale extended-stay area. That’s where this hotel brand will be. We’re looking at a couple of the best brands in the industry as far as reservations and size,” Lamont said.

“This will have an event center and meeting space in the building along with an adjoining restaurant, possibly two.”

The other members of VRG LLC are Paul Cink, Larry Canfield and Norm Drake. All three and Lamont will serve as personal guarantors on the project.

Aaron Hultgren, who is an employee of Legacy, is no longer a guarantor.

Some members of the City Council raised concerns about Hultgren’s involvement in the new project given ongoing cases related to his construction company’s involvement in the 2016 building collapse at 10th and Phillips.

An assignment agreement from Legacy to Village River Group LLC has been presented to the city of Sioux Falls for consideration and administrative approval.

On Dec. 28, 2017, Legacy Developments delivered its first development rights payment of $150,000 to the city. This is the first of three payments that will total a $1 million lease the private developer is required to pay the city. All three payments are required before the project breaks ground.

Lamont and Legacy began talks about the hotel last summer. 

“I was looking for sites downtown and one of our mutual friends connected us, and we just started talking and we liked this site the best out of quite a few we were working on,” Lamont said.

“We all agreed the best use for this development was a hotel and restaurant and event space along with retail and office, so I think it was a good fit for all of us.”

Mixed-use hotel projects including event space and restaurants are an increasing trend nationwide, he added. His company is working on two others, including one in St. Cloud, Minn., adjacent to a city parking ramp.

“Jeff and the LCI team bring 20 years of hospitality-development experience to this great opportunity,” Drake, president and CEO of Legacy, said in a statement. “The Village River Group will provide an exceptional experience in downtown Sioux Falls for decades to come.”

Construction of the city-owned parking ramp is expected to begin this spring. The attached private development will follow. The goal is to open the project in late 2019.

“The city of Sioux Falls is even more confident in the mixed-use parking ramp project’s success than we have ever been,” Daren Ketcham, director of community development, said in a statement. “This development will serve our community for decades to come and would not be possible without this public-private partnership. This assignment agreement will strengthen the project by bringing hospitality-development credentials and the ability to attract upscale brands to downtown Sioux Falls.”

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Hotel developer announced for Village on the River

Aberdeen-based Lamont Cos., which has a history of national hotel development, will develop and manage the hotel component of Village on the River, an estimated $50 million public-private partnership.

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