New developments continue at Lake Lorraine, even during pandemic

Eye on KELOLAND

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Five years ago, a privately owned lake in western Sioux Falls began its first development project; now Lake Lorraine is one of the fasted growing new developments in the city.

What was once a white barn by the lake is now the centerpiece of the hotel lobby that now stands in its place.

“Behind our front desk is an art piece of the reclaimed wood from the barn,” Hyatt Place Sioux Falls Director of Sales Ali Ramsley said.

“We’ve really come amazingly far in such a short amount of time with Grand Living and Hyatt Place where we’re standing today,” Van Buskirk’s Land Development President Steve Van Buskirk said.

Last month land Developer Steve Van Buskirk celebrated the opening of Lake Lorraine’s first hotel.

“People have been looking for a Hyatt to come to Sioux Falls for years and years and years, the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau kept hearing, when are you going to get a Hyatt here for when we’ve got conventions in town,” Van Buskirk said. 

“We’re just happy to be open and be able to bring the world of Hyatt to Sioux Falls and the state,” Ramsley said. 

The Hyatt Place Sioux Falls opened in September.  Just across the lake is the future site of another hotel.

“There is a second hotel coming, a Loft…it will be the first one in South Dakota,” Van Buskirk said. 

Yet another example of Lake Lorraine attracting new, national businesses.

“Dave and Busters, we were about ready to get into the tenant finish right as COVID really hit,” Van Buskirk said. 

But this year’s pandemic has caused some of those national names to slow down development. The Loft Hotel has delayed construction of its developed land right next to the completed shell of Dave and Busters that was just a couple of months away from opening before the pandemic hit.

“They’re still coming, they’re getting re-opened across the country… we look for them to start up here again soon,” Van Buskirk said. 

While the timeline is uncertain for when the project will restart, Van Buskirk says he’s confident the arcade and restaurant and the new hotel project will get back on track once the COVID-rattled economy recovers.

“It caused a lot of delay and people have to get comfortable starting again, but we’ll see it. It’s coming back, we’re already starting to see people re-engaging and moving forward,” Van Buskirk said.

In just the past few weeks, Van Buskirk says national retailers have begun to re-engage with discussions on coming to Sioux Falls.

“To have them come back and say hey, we’re ready to see where we’re going to start opening new stores, that’s really good news,” Van Buskirk said. 

Locally owned businesses and restaurants are also looking at Lake Lorraine right now to start a new venture, even during the pandemic.

“We should have an announcement coming soon from a local entrepreneur who is going to open up a service facility. So it’s coming, people are getting used to everything that’s going on and getting back to business,” Van Buskirk said. 

Despite the snow, construction is also underway on a new office building west of Hyatt Place.
“We’ve got the Pillar Dental office coming; they’re expanding their office right on the lake with views of the lake,” Van Buskirk said. 

A view Van Buskirk hopes more people will soon be able to call home.

“We’ve got a lot of developers that we’re working with and looking at trying to figure out how we can get some housing right on top of the lake,” he said. 

The next phase of the lifestyle center’s development plan is to add some rental housing right along the northeast corner of the lake, with access to the nearly-completed public walking path around the lake.

“That residential component is part of that lifestyle; we need people out here moving around, on the path, in the shops, in the restaurants, we need that constant buzz of activity,” Van Buskirk said.

“There’s nowhere else in Sioux Falls where you’ll be able to find a hotel, your corporate office, businesses shopping, all within a beautiful lake area.  It’s bustling and with some of the future projects yet to come, I think Lake Lorraine will be a premier spot here in Sioux Falls,” Ramsley said.

While there are many new development projects already in the works, Van Buskirk says there is still land available for just about any project that wants to join the Lake Lorraine community.

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