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Oaks To Be Demolished

June 30, 2010, 6:00 PM by Don Jorgensen

Oaks To Be Demolished
SIOUX FALLS, SD - It's sat empty for almost two years, but soon the old Oaks Hotel and Convention Center in Sioux Falls will be torn down.

At one time, it was considered one of the nicest hotels in town.  It began to show its age and got bad reviews with complaints of mold and uncleanly conditions.

But Wednesday, a local developer announced he plans to tear down the building near Interstate 29 and build a new upscale hotel and convention center.

The only guests who have stayed at the Oaks Hotel recently are homeless people and birds. Vandals have broken numerous windows and weeds have overtaken the property. 

"Some are kids being kids; some are adults being kids, but we've had numerous issues," hotel developer David Graham said. 

Graham has announced plans to begin tearing down the Oaks next month to make room for more lodging and entertainment in the city. 

"Can't say the name of the franchise at this point, but there will be a couple of hotels, bar, restaurant and convention space and a water park of some sort," Graham said.

Graham bought the property in late 2008. 

"I considered it an eyesore at that point and it hasn't improved since," Graham said

The credit crisis kept Graham from moving forward with his plans. But that's about to change, which is welcome news to Sioux Falls' mayor who remembers the Oaks when it was a hopping hotel. 

"This is where they'd stay when they would go to the State A's or State B's. It was a hot bed and I think that's what David is planning to turn it into in the future," Mayor Mike Huether said. 

Graham plans to break ground this fall and have the new hotel competed within nine months.

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