SIOUX FALLS, SD -
A few years ago, the Pettigrew Heights area in central Sioux Falls was rundown and riddled with crime.
But the city took the lead in revitalizing housing and now businesses are hopping on board.
The Pettigrew Heights Neighborhood covers the area between 9th and 16th Streets from Grange Avenue to Minnesota Avenue. The city of Sioux Falls cleaned up the neighborhood, enforced codes and a new housing project is open. Now businesses are taking a new look at the area and moving in.
The pink signs out front are sparking curiosity about what new business is locating here on the corner of Minnesota Avenue and 11th Street. It's a unique furniture store and gift shop.
"We just really loved coming down and entering Sioux Falls and being right on the corner of the entrance to downtown and all that downtown has to offer," Zing Owner Sarah Lavin said.
Down the street at the old Gigglebees building, One American Bank is opening its doors.
"It's on the edge of downtown; the gateway to downtown, and yet we have great parking," One American Bank CEO David King said.
It's beginning business with a $5,000 check from the owners of the Dollar Loan Center to the Pettigrew Heights Neighborhood Association.
"I think that's really critical, not only that you get not just the government side to revitalize, but the private business, why that just all kind of works together between the two groups," King said.
The owners of Dollar Loan Center say they've invested about $8 million into this corner of Pettigrew Heights, with the Rock & Roll Academy Scheduled to open in March.
"If you go around the neighborhood, you'll see there's even more, smaller neighborhood improvement projects going on. It's really great to see how it's all starting to come together," City Planner Mike Cooper said.
The city is hoping for more businesses to take a second look at the area and says grocery stores and restaurants are also needed.
"The city did take the lead, saying we're not going to give up on this neighborhood. We're going to give it a new name, new identity. We're going to work with neighborhood, business owner and see how we can turn the place around," Cooper said.
And all signs, like the opening of this store Friday, show that turnaround is well underway.
"Looking forward to opening the doors sand sharing a little bit of Zing with everyone who comes in," Lavin said.
Another new business, Insurance Express, opened at 13th Street and Minnesota Avenue in February.
The city is also looking at putting a park in the neighborhood and Community Development funds can help current businesses expand.
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