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Uptown At The Falls Development

May 29, 2014, 10:02 PM by Angela Kennecke

Uptown At The Falls Development

Developers' grand plans for a $100 million complex called Uptown at Falls Park came to a screeching halt when the recession hit.

The land along Phillips to the Falls, a road project 30 years in the making, sat vacant. But in the last couple of years, building has started on the once industrial wasteland. 

It's just three-quarters of an acre--but the plan to sell city land to a local company for an office building is getting a lot of fanfare. 

"This new office building will be the last thing you see as you go around the curve and go into Falls Park, Darrin Smith said.

Stockwell Engineers, a civil engineering and landscape architecture firm will move its 20 employees from Larson Square on Main a few blocks away, into its own $2 million, 10,000 square foot building.

"It's convenient for City Hall, the county courthouse--doing business in the downtown area--our banks are down here. Things like that make it very easy to do business and also the vibe. Jon Brown of Stockwell Engineers said. 

It's that vibrant vision that was sidelined a few years ago.

"These are sketches of Uptown at Falls Park, a huge multi-use complex," Reporter Matt Belanger said in 2006.

In 2006, a group of developers planned a $100 million commercial and residential center along Phillips to the Falls.  While the Great Recession took out that plan, the city says slowly, but surely, Uptown at the Falls is taking shape. 

"The whole goal for this area is to create a special unique place unlike any other in Sioux Falls--so that's what we're working towards," Smith said.

The city also has plans for this green space known as Falls Park West. It's working with the parks department and is looking at the possibility of putting in an ice skating rink or some kind of outdoor pavilion. 

150 apartment units are also going up in the area.  Retiree Pierce Harrah moved in nine months ago to be closer to family in Sioux Falls.

"I'm for development, I really am. I'm kind of excited for this part of town--one reason I pushed to live in this part of town and of course there are the art galleries and the sculptures and good restaurants," Harrah said.

And the city promises this new office building is just a start.

"It's going to be a very special area. It's going to change dramatically, even in the next 24 months," Smith said.

Because after this deal is approved, the city has another two and a half acres to sell. The city council must approve the sale of the land to Stockwell Engineers. The purchase price of the land has not been made public yet.

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