SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Over the past several years, commuters passing along East 10th Street into downtown Sioux Falls have watched the gradual decline of 121 S Franklin Ave, a long, narrow building pressed up alongside the viaduct as it rises to cross industrial parks and the Big Sioux River.

But recently, you may have noticed a change.

Gone now are the boarded up windows, the faded red brick and even the front door. These changes come in the hands of the new owners of the building, the law office of Lockwood & Zahrbock Kool.

KELOLAND News met up with Tressa Zahrbock Kool Tuesday morning, who gave us a tour of the property, and talked about what is in store.

Lockwood & Zahrbock Kool is a law office focusing primarily on family law. They are currently housed in the Gourley Building in downtown, but are planning to move into their new offices in September.

Zahrbock Kool says the new location offers a number of advantages over their existing office. “It’s really easy to explain to clients how to get here,” she said. “The other great thing is that we actually have parking here.”

Those, however are just fringe benefits to the new location. “The biggest reason why we needed to move here was space,” she said, noting that their current office is less than half the size of their new office. “We were outgrowing that space.”

Space, they now have. Zahrbock Kool estimates the new building at around 92-9300 square-feet, of which the law practice will take up about 52-5200 square-feet. The remaining space will be able to be leased out.

Part of the leasable space. Zahrbock Kool said that 1 or 2 additional tenants could be housed in the building, and mentioned things such as accountants, councilors or even a gym or brewery as possible options for occupants.

The building sits on a bit over an acre of land, which the owners plan to fully develop, with green-space and a heated storage facility that other buildings can rent out.

Zahrbock Kool hopes that their office will be among the first of many businesses looking to expand into existing space east of downtown. “What we believe you’re going to see is everything from Franklin Ave., going all the way up to Cliff Ave. — being developed.”

In terms of supporting the community surrounding the building, Zahrbock Kool spoke about supporting existing businesses, not just new ones. “We met with the individuals across the street from us, which is kind of a grocery/market — that’s going to be a huge benefit to us. Our employees are going to be able to go over there and grab something to eat. They have great pastries over there!”

Zahrbock Kool hopes that the renovated building will serve to draw people across the viaduct from downtown and into the area east of the river. Part of this process was the commissioning of a mural to be painted on the South wall of the building, which was finished in July.

A mural by artist Brian Boner covers the length of the south wall.

“You need to have something that pops out for people to make them want to come over — it’s a short walk [and] the bike trail is right there as well,” said Zahrbock Kool. “We may be the first business here on this corner, but soon within the coming years, you’re going to see lots of additional businesses in the area.

In addition to a new paint job and fully remodeled interior, the building will also have a parking lot along its north side (where the entrance will now be), separated from the building by a stretch of green space.

Location of the future green space between the building (right) and the parking lot (left).

Zahrbock Kool sees this move to a new location as a way to contribute to the community. “We live in this town, we work in the town; we want to invest in the community — we want this to be a place that we’re proud of, and a place that fits within the community.”