SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO) — The landscape of a section of downtown Sioux Falls looks dramatically different tonight. That’s because demolition crews have finished tearing down what was left standing of the old Sioux Steel building. In its place will be the Steel District, a $218-million project that will eventually bring a hotel, along with apartments and condos, retail, offices and a parking garage to the area next to Levitt at the Falls.
You can measure the progress of the Steel District development project not by what’s going up at the site yet, rather by what’s been coming down.
“We’ve been working four guys in excavators and I think they’re running about five trucks, so we’re keeping a really good pace,” Construction Supervisor Cody Murphy said.
This is all that’s left of the plant where, for decades, Sioux Steel produced metal parts for grain bins.
“This is one of the buildings where they were manufacturing and shipping those components going in grain bins and various pieces out of that, so they’ve moved a lot of that down to Lennox,” Lloyd Companies Executive Vice-President of Development Jake Quasney said.
This will show you how quickly the demolition has been progressing. Earlier today, this was a solid brick wall stretching all the way down to the end of the foundation. Now, it’s just empty space.
“We slowly started to take it apart on the north and we walked to the south and you can see what’s left of it right there,” Murphy said.
Construction on the Steel District will begin after excavators tear-up the thick concrete foundation of the old building. A longtime industrial landmark reduced to a pile of rubble, to make way for a development that will transform downtown Sioux Falls.
“It’s fun to tear stuff down. It’s a heck of a lot more fun to see it come out of the ground that we can really change the backdrop of our community. It’s going to be a lot of fun to see it come together,” Quasney said.
A lot of the brick and steel removed from the building is being recycled, instead of winding up in the landfill.
Engineers have also drilled test holes at the site to track any contaminants in the bedrock. Lloyd Companies says they can build on the property without the new foundation coming in contact with contaminants.
New footings and foundation are expected to be installed in October, with construction starting in November.