Railyard Flats & Highball turn former railyard into high-end destination

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A new luxury development in the former downtown rail yard is already filled with tenants, including a popular new cocktail bar.

“This is a product that people haven’t seen here locally, the uniqueness of the mass timber, the quality of the structure and how awesome the amenities are. It’s a whole new thing for Sioux Falls and I think people really, really liked it,” Pendar Properties Partner Anne Haber said. 

South Dakota’s first mass timber development is now full after welcoming its first apartment residents late this summer, helping to make the former railyard space a new luxury location.

“I think there was some fear of the area. Is it too far east really close to the tracks, there’s this train. There was a stigma, we helped to break that down,” Haber said.

She says she was surprised at just how fast this new concept and new location filled with tenants.  

“I think we hit the timing right as far as what’s going on in Sioux Falls. I think that’s a testament to how great our downtown is and our community in general,” Haber said. 

That strength is what drew Brian White and his partners at the Carpenter Bar group, Carpenter Bar, The Treasury at Hotel on Phillips and Highball, to open a new concept inside Railyard Flats.

“The third concept for us was just an opportunity with this A street growth, being a part of this whole new development down here, expanding downtown. Taking the opportunity to grow with EastBank and grow with Sioux Falls,” White said. 

Highball opened in late summer and has been a huge draw to the new railyard development.

“Having a cocktail bar in a building is a nice formula for success on everybody’s end. It’s great for the residents and the tenants, it brings people into the building that may not have a chance to get in here. Seeing the mass timber, understanding the warmth of this building,” Haber said. 

Along with creating a beautiful, unique interior, both Highball and Railyard Flats have created some beautiful outdoor spaces for the whole community to use.

“Yes, please come use our courtyard,” Haber said. “We have three sculptures with SculptureWalk that will change out every year just like the whole program itself. We have chairs, tables, it’s a wonderful amenity, we have some hammock hooks…it’s a beautiful place, a nice place to take a walk.”

For now, Highball’s large, heated patio and fire pit are still open for anyone willing to take on the cooler fall weather.

While Railyard Flats is full now, it will have its first new opening in a luxury apartment sometime this December. 

“It costs more to build quality structures and to put in these amenities and put in these unique noble materials,” Haber said. “It’s a risk we were willing to take because I think Sioux Falls is at a point where people want that and expect that, and they’ve traveled enough now and there’s people moving here who are excited about what they can get here locally.”

Several new South Dakota residents have moved into Railyard Flats, from all different walks of life. 

“It seems like a broadband of people, lifestyles, age groups,” White said. “There are people coming in from out of town, people who are Sioux Falls natives who want to take the opportunity to try something new.”

White says having residents attached to the facility is an automatic regular customer base for Highball, much like the guests at Hotel on Phillips serve a regular customer pool for The Treasury. 

“All three bars are similar in the same way with built in guests,” White said. “It’s just icing on the cake to have these built-in residents that can come down and support the bar, provide them with the party experience without having to do it in their own home.”

White is also excited about what the Cherapa developments will mean for future business at Highball and Railyard Flats. 

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