The growth to come in downtown Sioux Falls


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – Downtown Sioux Falls has come a long way from where it once was to where it is today…

But city leaders see an even brighter future.

“There’s so much happening in downtown Sioux Falls and, in fact, in the next two or three years, we’re going to see close to 400 million dollars in investments being made in the downtown,” Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken said.

From Railyard Flats and the new Cherapa developments to Jacobson Plaza and the region’s first handicapped accessible playground…

“I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a community our size that’s putting that much money into the core of their city,” TenHaken said.

Both public and private sectors are investing in downtown Sioux Falls.

“So when we talk about the 400 million dollars, it’s going to be put into this downtown in the next several years, a lot of that’s because the private sector is seeing that the city is making investments in downtown and then that private-sector dollars often times follows that public investment that we make,” TenHaken said.

“You know, it’s going to add hundreds of thousands of new square feet to downtown, which is going to bring a lot more employees, a lot more residents, a lot more activity and entertainment and retail, dining options,” Joe Batcheller, president of DTSF said. “It’s really going to be a boost in the arm for the cultural offerings of downtown.”

With more big developments, come more opportunities for small businesses too.

“We’re seeing office space, residential space, but a real highlight and emphasis on that retail ground-level space, which is fantastic to see with so many of these local businesses opening up,” Sadie Swier, Community Outreach Coordinator with DTSF said. “Whether that’s the Jones 421 building, whether that’s the Crane building over on Eastbank and even looking at Cascade at Falls Park. Those are just all new businesses and we love seeing our entrepreneurial community stay strong and become even better.”

The Downtown Sioux Falls organization works to keep people coming downtown through different events and promotions.

“We love to be able to host people and bring more foot traffic to the downtown area and it just adds to the experience of our downtown,” Swier said.

Experience is something Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken hopes to expand on too.

“I think we have a continued opportunity to just be a real cultural leader in the upper Midwest with our arts community,” TenHaken said. “When we talk about the Pavilion and the State Theater, what we do with visual arts and Sculpture Walk and so forth, we’re kind of developing a bit of a brand as a great place to come experience the arts and I want to see that grow and expand because that brings people in, that brings hotel night visits in.”

With a full slate of concerts scheduled for the Levitt and people heading outside once again following the COVID-19 pandemic, the summer is expected to be busy in the heart of the city.

“I think this summer, specifically, you’re going to see a fantastic downtown,” TenHaken said. “I mean, I think it’s going to be so busy this summer because the past year, there’s a year of cabin fever that’s just built up.”

“It makes my heart soar to see our downtown and people out-and-about again,” Swier said. “I think especially after the year that we’ve had and the vaccination rates increasing and people becoming more comfortable and businesses opening up, that’s what’s going to show that our summer, this year, is going to be off the charts. And we are so excited to see people doing that and coming together again. And it’s just really a symbol of the next chapter that we’re going to be headed to.”

A vibrant summer leading the way to big changes yet to come in downtown Sioux Falls.

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