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Cherapa Place Property Owner Talks About Plan

February 25, 2011, 5:54 PM by Ben Dunsmoor

Cherapa Place Property Owner Talks About Plan
SIOUX FALLS, SD - The city of Sioux Falls is moving forward with an economic impact study as it tries to decide whether a new events center should be built near the arena and convention center, or downtown by Cherapa Place. 

Jeff Scherschligt tore down the old Zip Feed Mill and started to develop the Cherapa Place property with the intent to set aside the land for the city to build an events center. And while a contract Scherschligt and his partners made with the city has already expired, he's still willing to sell the land to the city at his cost.

"Cherapa has been designed 100 percent around the potential that this events center could someday be in this location. It doesn't have to be, but it certainly has been set up for that reason," Scherschligt said.

Scherschligt says he bought the land for about five dollars a square foot. Now he says it's worth 15 to 20 dollars, but he's still willing to live up to an agreement he made with the city in 2005 and sell it at the same price he bought it for.

"That legal agreement has run out but we're men of our words and we don't need written agreements. We're going to do what we said we would do because Cherapa did what it said it would do, the city has done what they said they would do, and the only thing now is let the community decide if they want the events center here," Scherschligt said.

But, before the community decides, Scherschligt hopes people in Sioux Falls hold off on making up their minds about a location until all the facts come out.

"There is an economic study being done, there is an architectural study being done, there's a construction study being done can we wait for those facts and make a good decision because this is a 50 to 75-year decision for this community," Scherschligt said.

Scherschligt says even though the 2005 events center task force decided the Cherapa Place property was the best site for the events center, even beating out the arena and convention center, he will get behind whichever site the community picks because he wants to see the project happen.

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