SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Many downtown Sioux Falls residents are between 25 and 41 years old and make less than $3,333 a month, according to data from Downtown Sioux Falls.
While Rick Trapp, the president of the Realtor Association of the Sioux Empire (RASE), said all ages are attracted to living and working in the downtown, it is where many millennials (born 1981 to 1996) want to be. “They want to be (downtown). They don’t want a car, they just want to walk…,” Trapp said.
Downtown Sioux Falls can provide an environment similar to that of a larger city which attracts millennials, Trapp said.
Work, retail and attractions such as restaurants and parks in the downtown attract not only users by those who want to live there.
The latest data from DTSF said 2,826 people live downtown and about 40% are millennials. The per capita percentage is 55.7%. The downtown has 1,428 housing units. The data is from the American Census Survey from the U.S. Census Bureau and is about five years old.
Joe Batcheller, the president of DTSF, said the organization should have updated data from the Census Bureau by the end of the summer. He said the population has grown from the 2,826 to possibly 3,500 this year.
“Our hope is that by 2030, we’d like to see well over 5,000 people living in the downtown,” Batcheller said.
Overall, downtown residents are generally younger and more diverse than the rest of Sioux Falls.
Where is downtown Sioux Falls?
Trapp said most residents would agree that Phillips Avenue is the core of downtown Sioux Falls.
Batcheller said DTSF uses Minnesota Avenue on the west side and Franklin and Weber on the east side with 14th and Phillips as the north boundary and the Phillips intersection with Falls Drive as the south border.
“It’s close enough if it’s within four to five blocks, that’s still downtown Sioux Falls,” Trapp said. “It’s walking distance and accessibility.”
The city’s core downtown has changed and grown in the past 20 years. Growth has included the addition of 3rd Avenue Lofts, Cherapa Place and others. All bring day and night users, visitors, workers and residents downtown.
Development has been steady. Projects have also been a mix of commercial development with residential development.
Developer Jeff Scherschlig recently announced a new project for the Eastbank called Cherapa 2, 3 and 4. The $160 million planned project will include 150 apartments, 12 luxury condominiums. It’s another phase of the original Cherapa project which was built in 2008.
US Bancorp has committed to 50,000 square feet of space in the project.
Trapp, a 27-year realtor with Freedom Realty, said there is a need for additional residential development in Sioux Falls including in downtown.
For the downtown, “The biggest thing is finding the land,” Trapp said. If the locations is not vacant, the question becomes, “What to tear down?” Trapp said.
The new Cherapa project plan is using empty railyard land near the Big Sioux River.
Developing residential space is a key part of a Downtown Sioux Falls 2025 development plan. By 2025, the housing supply can triple to support a population of more than 3,500 persons in the Central Business District of the downtown. Expected development has the potential to generate an additional 1,900 to 3,200 units over the
next 20 years, according to the 2025 development plan.
The city of Sioux Falls specifically wanted a mixed use development in the railyard area, according to a concept developed by stakeholders in 2016. The railyard concept is on the DTSF website. The goals were residential, office and commercial development and parking.
Most downtown residents are not married
About 60% of the downtown residents are not married including divorced, according to DTSF. About 50% have never married while about 9% are divorced.
Most household sizes are 1.9 people and that’s because so many single millennials live downtown. About 56% of all residents have a one person household.
But while unmarried millennials are still a driving factor, Batcheller said empty nesters or two person couples with no kids, are also among the downtown residents.
Almost a quarter (22%) of downtown residents speak something other than English at home.
About 55% of the downtown population is white while nearly a quarter is Black. About 5.4% is Asian and 3.3% is Latino and 9% is American Indian.
Promoting the downtown as a residential site is “where the market is now,” Batcheller said.
The amenities such as Falls Park, the bars, restaurants, music and arts all make the downtown an attractive place to live, he said.
Where do people work downtown?
DTSF said the downtown has about 9,230 jobs.
The top jobs downtown are office and administrative support, sales, and production, according to DTSF.
Since downtown has a variety of restaurants about 5.6% of those who work downtown are in food service.
Another 9.6% work in computer or math positions.
The downtown has 16.5 jobs per acre compared to the city of Sioux Falls which has 3.4 jobs per acre.
Downtown employers include Wells Fargo, Great Western, CNA Surety and other sites such as hotels.
While residential space has been a big piece of development, the job space is important to the downtown, Batcheller said.
The office space in the next planned Cherapa phase helps “reinforce that downtown” is a economic force and a place to work, he said.
What do people employed downtown make?
According to DTSF, about 60% of the people who work downtown make less than $3,333 per month. That includes about 43% mid-range employees who make between $1,250 up to $3,332 per month and low-wage employees who make less than $1,250 per month.
Abut 37.6% of the employees are high wage earners who make more $3,333 a month or more.
What does it cost to live downtown?
A big majority of housing in downtown is rental housing. About 94% of housing is rentals.
According to DTSF, nearly 3/4 of all residents living downtown spend less than $750 on rent. But there may have been a shift in that amount because of more recent housing demands across the Sioux Falls metro area.
The DTSF website has several listings for available rentals. A 755-square foot apartment with one bedroom and one bath is available for $1,015 a month in one complex. A 1,320 square foot two-bedroom and two-bath unit is available for $2,495 a month.
Trapp said condominiums that are available for sale sell quickly, often before they may need to be advertised on the market.
RASE has two downtown condos on its website at $708,000 and $689,000. Both are on South Main with two bedrooms and two baths.
DTSD said the average downtown resident spends less of their income on housing and transportation than the average Sioux Falls resident. A downtown resident spends about 35% of their income on housing and transportation compared to about 50% for other Sioux Falls residents.