‘Lake Lorraine effect’ helps fill nearby retail space

March 12, 2018

As Jimmy Rhodes started looking for a place to open his gift store last year, there were plenty of options.

When he opened Brushy Creek Gifts at 815 S. Marion Road last week, the retail center was full.

“That building has had at least one vacancy for at least the last 10 years, and it’s finally full,” said Linda Dunham of Jim Dunham & Associates, who leased the space.

There’s an improved parking lot, and the space is filled with tenants, including an insurance business, Mexican store and laundromat.

“Lake Lorraine is helping,” said Dunham, who has worked with four new tenants in the area in the past 90 days.

“People are excited by the area but looking for something more economical to take advantage of the increased traffic count they think is going to happen.”

Affordable options

For Rhodes, the proximity to Lake Lorraine was a benefit, but the rent was a bigger draw.

“Downtown is great, but this was an affordable space, and I think brings something new and unique to the area,” he said.

His store is an eclectic mix of gift items, home decor, kitchenware and handcrafted work.

He makes olive oil soaps, using a recipe he has refined for 25 years, and he designed flour sack towels that are sold in the store.

The store’s name is based on a creek that ran through the pasture behind the farm where he grew up in Iowa.

“I like to think when someone comes in, they can find something to evoke a memory from their past or something unique to mark a milestone in their life,” he said.

Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday.

Just north of that Marion Road retail space, fitness business Cuong Strong Personal Training is getting ready to open in another occupied strip center.

Owner Cuong Strong Nguyen is leasing 2,000 square feet and subleasing part of it to other trainers. While the proximity of Lake Lorraine wasn’t part of his decision, the accessibility and affordability of the space were key.

“It’s a 24-hour gym and part is run differently than any in Sioux Falls,” he said. “You’ll get a trainer and train 12 weeks or 12 sessions, and then once you’ve proven to be proficient at training and gym etiquette, you’ll be able to continue as a member without a trainer or you can keep your trainer.”

Nguyen’s program includes personal training and nutrition coaching as well as a training app and other online support. He also offers in-home meal preparation and preparation plans for fitness contests. He plans to open March 19 and hold an open house April 7.

Lake Lorraine adding more

Traffic to the Lake Lorraine area likely will grow a bit more this week.

National shoe chain DSW is opening March 15, and home decor business Kirklands will follow this spring.

Co-developer Van Buskirk Cos. is getting a building permit for its next retail center and expecting those businesses to begin opening later this summer. Developers are working to find tenants to fill the 32,000-square-foot space and actively negotiating on new land sales, Steve Van Buskirk said.

“We still anticipate 2018 to be a transformative year, with many projects getting wrapped up and grand new projects starting,” he said. “It will be an exciting year to watch.”

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‘Lake Lorraine effect’ helps fill nearby retail space

As Lake Lorraine draws more people, business is spilling over into nearby retail centers.

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