SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – The Wholestone Farms butcher shop has been closed since last week.
In a social media post, Wholestone Farms said The Butcher Shop in Sioux Falls would be closed “until further notice.” The shop opened in October ahead of a public vote on whether slaughterhouses would be allowed to be built inside city limits.
The Butcher Shop was built on the site where Wholestone Farms had announced plans to build a hog processing plant on 175 acres near Interstate 229 and Benson Road. It was open for less than six months.
The building of The Butcher Shop was part of a civil lawsuit against the city of Sioux Falls to stop the construction until a public vote in November was held. The vote on the slaughterhouse ordinance was 52% to 48% rejecting a ban on future slaughterhouses inside city limits and the lawsuit against The Butcher Shop was dismissed.
Campaign finance reports showed more than $1.3 million was spent on the campaign with biofuel company POET giving more than $1 million.
Since the election, Wholestone Farms has been part of a merger with Prestage Foods, creating a new entity called Prestage Wholestone.
Construction on the larger Wholestone hog processing plant has not started and Wholestone’s project summary estimated construction would take more than two years to complete.
When announced in 2021, Wholestone Farms was eyeing an opening date of 2025 at the earliest and Luke Minion had stated the campaign against Wholestone’s planned processing plant would delay the project even more.
Calls to Minion by KELOLAND News have not been returned.
On Wednesday, Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken told KELOLAND News he could see Wholestone build its larger hog processing plant, but he could also see it not being built.
“Timing is everything in business,” TenHaken. “I think when the time is right, we’ll possibly see that plant expand, but we could also see it not happen either.”
TenHaken said he has not had a lot of communication with Wholestone Foods since the November election. He said market economics have changed since the election.
“I don’t see that plant being built anytime soon,” TenHaken said. “They haven’t communicated with us a lot as a city.”
TenHaken also pointed out building costs for a large pork processing plant have never been higher. He said high construction costs along with the Wholestone merger and agriculture conditions all play a factor.
At a city briefing on road construction, officials announced Benson Road east of I-229 would be closed as work to widen the bridge over the interstate. Benson Road is one of the access points to the Wholestone Butcher Shop.
The Executive Director of the South Dakota Pork Producers Council told KELOLAND News last year the location near Interstate 229 made a lot of sense.
“It’s a prime location (near) the intersection of two major interstates,” Glenn Muller said. “So transportation in and out of the plant is going to be very valuable.”