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June 25, 2014 10:15 PM

Sioux Falls East Bank Thrives

Sioux Falls, SD

Downtown Sioux Falls is growing. It's a popular place for new businesses, restaurants and people. But now, a part of downtown that was once neglected, is a bustling retail community.

Hear someone mention Downtown Sioux Falls, and a lot of people used to only think of Philips Avenue, but that's no longer the case as improvements are made to the area. One major area of expansion is the East Bank.

"We're just thrilled to see really a once neglected area of downtown just booming with all kinds of different business, there is so much variety happening right now," Downtown Sioux Falls Brienne Maner said.

Years ago, the East Bank was forgotten by some consumers, but now the story has changed. One business seeing an increase in clientele is Josiah's Coffeehouse and Café of the CNA Surety building.

"Every single week we have a new record day, we're breaking weekly records, this month I'm sure we'll break a monthly record. I have nothing to complain about," Josiah's Coffeehouse and Café owner Steve Hildebrand said.

From morning to afternoon, Hildebrand says more and more people line up at his store, even though his café is fairly young.

"We're still pretty new, there are still a lot of people that don't know about us, there are still a lot of people that don't know about the east bank, but things are really strong and we're very pleased with where we're at," Hildebrand said.

Even though business has been doing well the past two years, Hildebrand says it is still sometimes a struggle to get people to head to the east side of the river to see the growing community.

"It's a challenge because not everybody in Sioux Falls and in the region knows where the East Bank of Sioux Falls is," Hildebrand said. "They know where the mall is, they know where Philips Avenue is. So it's a challenge so we have to work to get people to come over here and explore what the neighborhood is all about."

It's relocated businesses in the area, such as Queen City Bakery and Prairie Berry East Bank, along with older businesses that keep people coming back.

"We're excited to have these new neighbors. We hope that we'll do a lot of cross marketing with each other, with the retailers at 8th and Railroad. We've done a lot to market the neighborhood together," Hildebrand said.

As for Prairie Berry East Bank, Emily Paulson says the growing community emulates the spirit of the company.

"It's a bustling retail area and growing every day so it's just a perfect spot for us to be in Sioux Falls," Paulson said.

Paulson says she hopes this location will grow Prairie Berry even further on the east side of the state.

"This is becoming such a great location. For food, for shopping, hanging out on the weekends, and during the week days, it's just a great location for us," said Paulson.

Maner says she sees even more businesses coming to Sioux Falls, attracting even more people than ever, especially to the East Bank.

"A lot more young entrepreneurs coming in. And residency is at an all-time high with 2200 residents in downtown Sioux Falls. There is just a lot more life happening in Downtown," Maner said.

Downtown Sioux Falls also credits events, like First Friday block parties and Riverfest with bringing more people to the East Bank.

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