They sit in a historic neighborhood of Sioux Falls. But as anyone driving by can tell, the homes have seen better days.

The question is whether to demolish a group of homes in the Sherman Historic District.
And that decision rests with the Sioux Falls City Council.

Sam Assam is the developer for these four properties at the corner of West 19th Street and South Dakota Avenue in Sioux Falls. His hope for Tuesday’s meeting is clear.

“That we can raze the homes. We think it’s become a safety issue for the neighborhood. People have broken into the houses numerous times,” Assam said.

What Assam wants to see happen contrasts with what George Hamilton wants to see. Hamilton is a board member of the All Saints Neighborhood Association.

“I would hope that the City Council would take time to look at what’s at stake and vote not to raze the houses without giving a comprehensive study of exactly if the houses can be saved,” Hamilton said.

Hamilton does not want them to remain as they are, though.

“I have no desire to see them stay in the current condition that they’re in. I’d like to see the houses either be fixed up or found a way that they, if they have to be removed, that other houses are put back of the historic nature that those have,” Hamilton said.

Assam says he’s not sure what should be built on the property if these homes would be torn down.

“We don’t have a solid deal on any commercial venture to go down. It’s just, it’s not there right now. I have some feelers out, but nothing that’s rock solid at all. And as I explained to the neighbors, that would require rezoning, and it may or may not happen,” Assam said.

Councilor Greg Neitzert tells KELOLAND News he won’t be there tonight, and that councilor Christine Erickson is going to recuse herself. So that leaves six voting councilors on this issue.