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Businesses On Main Ave. See Low Foot Traffic

October 11, 2012, 5:59 PM by Kelly Bartnick

Businesses On Main Ave. See Low Foot Traffic

A few empty windows do not signal a real estate glut on Main Avenue in downtown Sioux Falls. That's the message from neighbors of the now-empty storefronts there.

“I'd classify it more as office. When you say retail, it's probably not restaurant retail so-to-speak. But definitely it's great for smaller businesses like ourselves,” Scott Van Ginkel of VANTIS Commercial Real Estate said.

Van Ginkel just moved his office to a Main Avenue Storefront. While the walking traffic outside is minimal, he says the cars do stop.

“Our clients really love it because they can drive up to the front door, walk in just a few steps. It's just been fantastic,” Van Ginkel said.

But any downtown business owner depending on foot traffic will tell you the money flows better as you go east.

“Phillips has just always been the main shopping district of downtown,” Shelby Nelson said.

Nelson's Holsen Hus Scandinavian store has been on Philips Avenue since she opened it. Nelson moved to a more visible location this year.

“It has paid off, yeah,” Nelson said. “We're seeing a lot of new customers. We had a good business where we were at before, but we're seeing a lot more new people, which is what you're always looking for.”

Right now all those shoppers have no desire to move a block to the west, but who knows what they will do as downtown grows.

A prime example of a part of downtown that has erupted with food and retail shops in a growing downtown is the East Bank and all the shops at 8th and Railroad.

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