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SF Economic Report: Improvement Ahead

February 23, 2010, 5:51 PM by Brian Kushida

SF Economic Report: Improvement Ahead
SIOUX FALLS, SD - Nearly 300 people from the Sioux Falls community gathered together Tuesday to find out what's in store for the city's economy this year.  It's part of Bender Commercial Real Estate's 13th Annual Market Outlook held at Washington Pavilion.  While the economy is expected to improve, it will still have its challenges in 2010.

Michael Bender hopes to show business and community leaders what's in store for the Sioux Falls economy this year.

"There's going to be some surprises that people are going to see," Bender said.

He's optimistic that the local economy will improve, but getting there will be an uphill battle.

"With the exception of industrial, all the major commercial real estate markets are down this year: multi-family, office, retail and land," Bender said.

Bender says the commercial real estate market is struggling, partly, because lending is tight at the national level.

Meanwhile, spaces are still sitting vacant. And smaller growth means fewer job opportunities.

"You're still going to see some job losses, the first half of 2010. The construction market is much slower, even though it's a great time to be building," Bender said.

But Bender says job opportunities will start picking up in second half of 2010 as market confidence increases and more building permits are issued.

"We're not going to be seeing any big upturns. It'll be gradual, it'll be steady. We're in the right place," Doug Brockhouse with Bender Commercial Real Estate said.

A place that many are hoping to improve upon.

Bender says multi-family buildings are at the highest vacancy rate in several years because many people are becoming homeowners.

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