Sioux Steel: Here’s what’s new with downtown development

Aug. 6, 2018

The owners of the Sioux Steel site downtown are narrowing down development partners and continuing to look for a new location.

CEO Scott Rysdon said he’s working with four potential development partners and hopes to have one announced, along with preliminary designs for the site, by mid-September.

“It’s pretty exciting,” Rysdon said, adding he receives calls daily about the property.

“I always try to take the time to listen to any opinions.”

Sioux Steel will hold its second public meeting from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Tuesday at Josiah’s downtown. At a 5:30 p.m. presentation, the plan is to share some of the themes that came up following an opportunity for public input on the property earlier this summer. That included an initial meeting and an online survey.

“It’s pretty cool, and we’re excited to show those results,” Rysdon said. “It’s kind of all over the board.”

Many of the public suggestions were for park-like spaces, including facilities such as aquariums, museums and a baseball stadium. Developers are more inclined to suggest uses that generate revenue, such as hotels, convention space and mixed use with residential, he said, but the final plan likely will be a balance.

“The developers will include free space because we’ll ask them to,” he said. “I just found it incredibly interesting we get to show people what they thought. I’ve had 100 people come in and say it’s a refreshing difference.”

A few definite themes that emerged include retaining the iconic Sioux Steel sign and repurposing an existing warehouse on the site.

“People want a warehouse district feel, and I don’t think there’s a developer that could refuse that overwhelming desire unless it turns out that the building can’t be redeveloped,” Rysdon said, adding potential suggested uses from the public have included everything from a brewery to a maker space with 3-D printing.

Sioux Steel also is working through industrial planning for its future manufacturing site, which hasn’t been determined. The company is working through a request for proposals, Rysdon said.

“We have more out for that than we did for this development site because it’s a more common building style,” he said. “We’re in the middle of industrial planning for how to rearrange equipment. We’ll have a decision this fall.”

Preliminary environmental study on the downtown site hasn’t revealed any major surprises, he added.

Confluence, the firm hired to help with the development process, has been working on surveying, and geotechnical and environmental investigations.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime shot for the city, and we’ve very humbled by that,” Rysdon said. “This is a very important responsibility, and to hear what customers are saying and try to create a vision that fits that is really exciting.”

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Sioux Steel: Here’s what’s new with downtown development

The owners of the Sioux Steel site downtown are narrowing down development partners and continuing to look for a new location.

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