South Dakota is known for being one of the most business friendly states in the nation. And Sioux Falls appears to have plenty of room to accommodate even more business.
Drive around Sioux Falls, and it doesn't take long to find an empty storefront.
"It's really been the excess of good years of construction and now we're having to absorb all of that on the market," Michael Bender of Bender Commercial Real Estate said.
Some of the open spaces are in brand new buildings, other properties are older. Either way it adds up. You'll find several thousand square feet of open commercial space along east 10th street alone.
But there are signs of improvement.
Last January, the city had a million square-feet of industrial property for sale. The city's absorbed half of that space, leaving plenty of room for new companies to move-in, or existing companies to expand.
"The capitol markets are starting to free-up and we're going to see more lending on commercial real-estate and I think that's going to bode well for the future," Bender said.
Another positive sign is the recent sale of one of the city's most recognizable buildings. Avera moved into vacant Midland Building late last year.
"Was a huge boost in the arm for downtown,” Bender said. “They brought 200 more jobs along into the downtown area, so that's going to benefit the restaurants and all the other retailers as well."
A small start to what could be big year for commercial real estate.
Bender also expects the Phillips to the Falls project to make a few strides and headlines in 2011.