New businesses and housing developments are a regular occurrence in Sioux Falls, as we've seen record growth in the city for the last half a decade. That development means a growing suburban area.
Brandon, Tea, and Harrisburg are feeling the growth in their communities as well. And with fewer residents, it's harder to keep up and manage that continuing growth.
It’s been a busy year for Sioux Falls.
"What is good for growth in Sioux Falls also impacts us in a similar fashion," Brandon City administrator Bryan Read said.
That growth, trickles down to neighboring communities. Harrisburg opened a grocery store. Tea and Brandon are also feeling the affect of the Sioux Falls boom.
"The growth in Sioux Falls, it definitely impacts Tea," Tea Planning and Zoning Administrator Kevin Nissen said.
Five years of record-breaking development, a low unemployment rate, and a rise in real estate demand affects the “bedroom” communities, says Tea Planning and Zoning administrator Kevin Nissen.
"It's huge. It's all based on jobs, but people need places to live. We've got housing for starter homes, all the way up to mid, to upper level housing," Nissen said.
But that’s not without it’s fair share of challenges.
"We've got our growing pains, so we're working on them," Nissen said.
Growing pains in Tea exist beneath the ground.
"Roads, sewer, those types of things," Nissen said.
Before a big box store can move into these communities, they need a place to go.
"We're happy where we're at. We don't want to see a big spike in development, because we're trying to catch up with infrastructure," Nissen said.
Tea just hit more than 5,000 people for total population. Brandon is approaching the magic number 10,000.
"We're on a steady growth pattern, population wise. We've seen a slight uptick in commercial development, as we approach that 10,000 number for population." Bryan Read, Brandon City Administrator said.
Development is a hard sell, because of neighboring Sioux Falls.
"Unfortunately with Sioux Falls 10 minutes away, with a much larger population, therefore a much larger potential market, most of those larger chains will locate in Sioux Falls,” Read said.
However, there are benefits to places like Tea and Brandon.
"In the smaller towns, it's a little more affordable for folks to develop," Read said.
But it’s tricky finding a place to put those developments.
"We don't necessarily have a downtown that we can funnel all our development too." Read said.
That doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing, says Read.
"It's all about parking. Traditional downtown's don't have much parking," Read said.
Before development can start, these communities need to develop their tax-base.
"Hopefully in Sioux Falls, seeing the population growth will create new jobs here in Tea as well, you know, we're not a bedroom community anymore, so to say," Nissen said.
"We're primarily a residential city, we do understand that. Our focus is on residential," Read said.
The problem is, there are more jobs than there are people. Making opening a new business a challenge.
"We like to keep this modest growth that we've seen over the last 10 years," Nissen said.
There’s a long way to go before these towns can support and manage development the Sioux Falls hub has seen.
The biggest challenge with development in this area, according to the Brandon City Administrator is the low unemployment rate.
New businesses need a work force to operate — and in the Sioux Falls metro — there's not enough people looking for work to sustain much more development than they already have.
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