Watching a group of ladies use only needles and thread, it was interesting to see how they turned a blank canvas into something nice to look at. Sitting in her store, Barbara Riley will tell you needlepoint shares a common thread with downtown; the beauty is all in the details.
"I always saw the potential," Riley said.
Ten years ago when she opened Barbara's Needlepoint on 8th Street, she was one of the few business owners who thought like this. Times have changed as another new addition to the area, the Hilton Garden Inn, is set to open its doors and add to the city's ever-evolving skyline.
"Overall, we're taking advantage of the beautiful downtown Sioux Falls skyline. So, really Sioux Falls lends itself beautifully to our project as well as our guests," Steve Westra, an executive with Hegg Companies, said.
The five-story, little more than $25 million hotel features 136 rooms and 7,000 square feet of conference space. The first downtown hotel in about 20 years, the last being the Country Inn and Suites, will also be the first hotel in Sioux Falls to have underground parking. Westra said the hotel will fit in with and complement the Big Sioux River Greenway.
"People are going to wander over and they're going to go through those shops and eat out and do yoga. It's all going to be right here," Sioux Falls resident Sharon Doolittle said.
Just next door is another downtown project that has been talked about even longer than this hotel. Even though it seems the downtown switchyard is on track to stick around for a while, this hotel is moving forward.
"It just makes people want to get to downtown. Downtown is alive and well," Westra said.
When the Hilton Garden Inn opens, Riley says this detail will add even more potential to her store.
"It's a vibrant downtown. I don't think you find that in other South Dakota cities yet," Riley said.
Work will begin in a few weeks on the Hilton Garden Inn, as will the demolition of the old Schoeneman's building. Westra said it is set to open in the fall of 2013.
Click on the video player below to watch the entire 3D model by VanDeWalle Associates.