SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Three months after the 214-page plan was released to the public, the Sioux Falls City Council unanimously passed a resolution approving the Downtown 2035 plan. 

Adam Roach with city planning told city council members the Downtown 2035 plan creates an unified vision to enhance downtown for the next decade. 

“The plan is essentially the community’s blueprint for the collective vision of downtown,” Roach said. 

Roach said 18 months of planning and community involvement went into the plan, including an advisory committee, resident work groups, stakeholder interviews, a social pinpoint website, five public workshops and community events. 

Roach said implementation of the 2035 plan includes 73 action items that are short, mid and long on-going efforts. 

The 2035 plan looked at six core value areas – Welcoming for All, Connected, Growth and Development, Community Spirit, Branding, Identity and Marketing and Quality and Design. 

The first six action items for “Welcoming for All” include supporting a more active year-round destination which Jacobson Plaza at Falls Park hopes to aid.

The other five goals listed as goals No. 1 include:

  • No. 1.2: To establish a year-round public market
  • No. 1.3: To add a centralized multifunctional visitor center
  • No. 1.4: To activate and beautify underutilized spaces
  • No. 1.5: To create a more welcoming streetscape environment
  • No. 1.6: To embrace the city’s namesake, Falls Park

Some of the main goals for the plan aim to make Downtown Sioux Falls “Welcoming for all” and to “foster Downtown Sioux Falls as a year-round destination, provide experiences and amenities that support a family-friendly environment and ensure downtown is safe and inviting.” 

You can view the full 214-page report in the document attached below.

During discussion of the resolution to approve the Downtown 2035 plan, city council member Greg Neitzert asked about surface parking lots downtown. Roach said the goal is not to implement any more surface parking lots downtown and fill in surface lots that do exist. 

Roach added discussion on one-way or two-way streets is still in discussion with traffic engineers and a traffic study of downtown will be released in the coming months. 

“We want to look at reducing lanes,” Roach said. 

City council member Alex Jensen asked about the 10th Street viaducts and what they will look like moving forward. 

Roach pointed to the traffic study that is being finished up with some recommendations. He also said there’s ideas of repurposing the viaducts but said traffic use will still be needed no matter what happens to the viaducts. 

The plan listed three action items under goal No. 2 and three more action items under goal No. 3 for the “Welcoming for All” section. Those include:

  • No. 2.1: Develop a multipurpose recreational or entertainment facility
  • No. 2.2: Strategically improve access to public restrooms Downtown
  • No. 2.3: Promote events and programming that are family, teen, and young-adult friendly
  • No. 3.1: Partner with Downtown Sioux Falls, Inc . to provide services throughout the Business Improvement District
  • No. 3.2: Ensure there is an active police presence.
  • No. 3.3: Focused partnerships with nonprofit and advocacy groups to identify and mitigate issues related to homelessness

Boundaries of Downtown Sioux Falls

The current boundaries of Downtown Sioux Falls are considered 14th Street to the south, Minnesota Avenue to the west, Franklin and Weber Avenues to the east and Falls Park Drive on the north.

The Downtown 2035 plan included a broader study area with 17th Street to the south, Duluth Avenue to the west, Russell Street to the north and Cliff Avenue to the east. Goal No. 1.2 under “Growth and Development” focused on expanding the downtown boundaries to the north and east.

Portland, Oregon-based Leland Consulting Group completed a market analysis of downtown Sioux Falls and that is added to the end of the Downtown 2035 plan. 

The market analysis said additional research could occur on “four major properties with significant redevelopment potential.” The properties are the Wells Fargo Block property, the Mall Avenue Parking Ramp, the railyard and the Department of Social Services building.

No plans for redevelopment at Smithfield Foods

The plan pointed out a Falls Park Master Plan is being updated and will be a guide for future improvements beyond the current downtown boundary at Falls Park Drive. The plan also noted Smithfield Foods, formerly known as John Morrell, has been a downtown staple near Falls Park since 1909.

“The site receives major criticism because of its industrial nature and proximity to Falls Park, Downtown, and the Big Sioux River,” the Downtown 2035 plan report states. “Smithfield is a major employer of the community and a significant economic engine. Without Smithfield, Sioux Falls would not be what it is today, and the community should continue to embrace and pay homage to the culture of the industry that put Sioux Falls on the map.”

The report says there’s no plans being considered for redevelopment in the area, but it would provide “a transformational revitalization opportunity if the manufacturer decided to relocate elsewhere in Sioux Falls.”

On expanding downtown boundaries to the south and east, the plan notes 14th Street is a physical barrier for the south and Minnesota Avenue is a physical barrier to the west.

“Connectivity improvements and long-range planning efforts for these areas should continue to be considered in future street reconstruction planning,” the report states.

To the east of downtown, the report notes 8th and 10th Street corridors are gateways into downtown and the Friends of the Riverline District are eying area south of 10th Street as another major investment area.