When you hear of foreign investors pouring money into places, cities with less than 800 people probably don't come to mind.
But that's exactly what an Australian man is doing in Faulkton, South Dakota.
When this new strip mall is complete, it will house seven stores or offices of different sizes. That's a lot considering the town it's in is home to just seven hundred-or so people.
"It gives an opportunity for new offices, new business. Community growth is really what's pushing this venture," David Hedt said.
David Hedt lives in Australia and became familiar with Faulkton while custom combining ten years ago. Growing up in a small town himself, he's grown to love the prairie community and wants to see it thrive. But, he says, a limited amount of business infrastructure stands in the way.
So he's investing more than a half a million dollars into this building, giving businesses here a place to start or grow.
Multiple parties have either signed up or shown interest. They represent retail, food and service sectors. There's also office space.
"Being on Highway 212 and having this opportunity to see businesses go in and be bigger and new development in our community is huge so we're very excited," Faulkton Economic Development Director Stacy Hadrick said.
Stacy Hadrick is Faulkton's Economic Development Director. She realizes Hedt's small-town investment is a risk for him, but she's hopeful it'll pay off--for Hedt and Faulkton.
It's a risk Hedt says he's comfortable taking because he's filling a need in rural South Dakota.
He's hoping success here will allow him to continue to spread the good fortune.
"There might be other towns that need something like this. So we'll base it on this model and if it works, we'll keep going," Hedt said.
If not, Hedt says small towns will still have a place in his big heart.
Hedt says he researched the project before investing and found there is demand for the space his building will provide.
Between planning and construction, he's been working on the project for four years. It should be done by October.