SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Monday marked the start of developer Jeff Scherschligt’s 17-year-long vision for downtown Sioux Falls becoming a reality. Cherapa Place broke ground on a new $225 million development at the site of the former Zip Feed building along the Big Sioux River.

“It’s a historic day,” Sioux Falls Mayor Paul Ten Haken said. “This is one of the biggest developments we’ve ever seen in the history of our city.

Business and community leaders gathered Monday afternoon to celebrate the official start of construction on the new Cherapa Place development.

“This is a huge work, live, and play environment that’s being done in the big cities, that’s never really been done in a city the size of Sioux Falls, the little town that could,” Jeff Scherschligt with Pendar Properties said.

Scherschligt says two of the new buildings going into the Cherpa Place development will add 228 apartments along with parking and space to create a unique multi-use community in the heart of the city.

“It’s 60,000 square feet of retail, restaurants, bars, gyms, hopefully, grocery type stores,” Scherschligt said.

This new Cherapa development, will not only give people in Sioux Falls some new retail and restaurant options, it’s also going to be the home of some major new office space in downtown Sioux Falls.

“The Bancorp was really the igniter of the whole project,” Scherschligt said. “You can create these visions but you have to have those tenants to get it going.”

The Bancorp is the anchor tenant for Cherapa II, a 10 story building going in right next to the current Cherapa place along the Big Sioux River, with a walkway/convention center connecting the two buildings, luxury condos and over 125,000 square feet of office space already filled in the new project.

“The fact that they’re making an investment in this community and in this development speaks a lot to our business sector and our banking sector,” Mayor Ten Haken said.

The CEO of the Bancorp and president of the Local Eide Bailey, another office tenant moving to the new Cherapa development shared their excitement for the official start of the project during Monday’s groundbreaking ceremony.

“It starts a two year clock for us to move in,” The Bancorp Chief Operating Officer Greg Garry said. “Everyone will be fairly anxious for the next two years to move into the new space.”

Schersclight says construction on all three new buildings will happen at the same time; the bulk of the project will be ready by the fall of 2023, with some of the finishing work on the apartments expected to be completed in early 2024.