Sioux Falls, SD
It is supposed to be an early centerpiece for Sioux Falls' Sports and Entertainment District.
Only now that Badlands Pawn, Gold and Jewelry has closed, what do city leaders see for the future of the area?
Two years ago, officials had high hopes that the building, dubbed the "Disneyland of Pawn Shops," would bring other businesses to the area.
"I just think you really couldn't have a bigger, better first project to announce than this to launch it," said Sioux Falls Community Development Director, Darrin Smith, in 2014.
Now its shell is one of the buildings on Mayor Mike Huether's development wish list.
"There's great potential for a bar or a restaurant or tying it in with a hotel in some way," Huether said.
Huether also has his eyes on two other properties along Russell Street. The first? The U.S. Naval Reserve Center, which now sits vacant. It's owned by the federal government.
"The goal is to basically switch properties. We find them a property. Then we can take over this property," Huether said.
Next on Huether's wish list? The county's work release center. It's the current home of low-risk inmates as they go back and forth to jobs in the community.
"You are a stone's throw away from the Events Center, Arena and Howard Wood Field," Huether said.
It also sits near the entrance of Elmwood Golf Course, which will soon be home to a new restaurant and hotel. Huether is optimistic that the new buildings will bring more business to the district.
"The Division I folks of the NCAA have said, 'Mayor, Sioux Falls, you need another big hotel.' Now we have that one, so it allows us to compete against the big boys and girls all over the country for NCAA," Huether said.
High hopes that hopefully won't lose steam like Badlands Pawn.
KELOLAND's Casey Wonnenberg will continue her look at the Sports and Entertainment District tomorrow night on Your Money Matters as we head north to the area by the Sanford Sports Complex to take a look at development there.
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