One of the biggest players in commercial and residential real estate in Sioux Falls died this year. Don Dunham Junior left behind three sons, who are all in the business.
But there are some major changes going on with the Dunham Company under new leadership.
For decades, Dunham has been a top name in Sioux Falls real estate and development. Don Dunham Jr. started the company in 1977. When he died this year, he left behind three sons.
"My father was in the real estate business for 40 years and I had the opportunity to sit beside him for 26, six days a week and he was a great mentor and a great friend," Jim Dunham said.
Middle son, Jim Dunham, surprised everyone this week when he left the business his father started to branch out on his own.
"I would say that's certainly not what he expected, or what he designed in his master plan. And it wasn't really what his wishes were when he passed away; but life changes things and I think if he sat back and is watching what we're doing now, he would be happy, he would be honored and happy we continued with his legacy," Jim Dunham said.
At the helm of Dunham Company, now sits youngest son Chris. Taking over as president wasn't what he had envisioned either.
"I think it is pressure, something you say, ‘Maybe I am following in the footsteps of Michael Jordan of Sioux Falls real estate.’ That's probably the position I'm in, so do I feel pressure? Yeah I think I do," Chris Dunham said.
Like Jim, Chris says he doesn't know that his dad would be happy with the brothers splitting up.
"I think he would have liked us to work together; and I offered that to Jim and Don many times saying we have a lot more in common than we do apart," Chris Dunham said.
While the oldest brother Don Dunham III remains at Dunham Company for now, both Jim and Chris say this change isn't about bad blood between them.
"Are you still having family dinners together?" Angela asked.
"I'm not sure we ever had family dinners to begin with, but we're going to be friends. There's no reason this has to be an adversarial situation," Jim Dunham said.
"I think competition among my dad and my brothers has been my whole life," Chris Dunham said.
Both brothers say with all of the development and the boom in the city of Sioux Falls, there's plenty of business to go around for everyone.
Chris Dunham points out that he was in competition with his dad when he worked for his mother's residential real estate firm, also called Dunham Company.