SIOUX FALLS, S.D (KELO) — The new Empire Place development is taking shape, completely re-building the former Sioux Falls Ford sight in front of the Empire Mall.  Now, the first new national franchise in the new location is just weeks away from opening. 

“I lived in South Carolina over a year ago and I would go to Chipotle pretty regularly there,” Sioux Falls resident Andrew Callahan said.

What used to be a big city special stop…

“Whenever we go to Minneapolis or Denver, we go there all the time,” Sioux Falls resident Beth Daggett said.

…will soon be a regular visit for people in Sioux Falls.

“The outside is nearly complete, it’s fully erected with Chipotle signage and all of the glass up,” Raquel Blount, the Vice President of Commercial Real Estate for Lloyd Companies said.

Chipotle fans have been eagerly watching the progress of the new Empire Place location.

“I’m pretty excited for that, I love Chipotle,” Callahan said.

“I can’t believe that they’re actually going to town, I know they’ve talked about it but can’t believe they’re here,” Daggett said.

The Sioux Falls Chipotle plans to open in early December and is working to hire employees.

“We want them to have the best opening they can possibly have, better than any of their other stores in the country,” Blount said. 

“I definitely think it will be pretty busy,” Callahan said. 

It will be the first pull to this new site that already has two other major national names coming to town for the first time.

“Just to the west of the Chipotle we have Chase Bank coming to Sioux Falls and South Dakota,” Blount said. 

Then one storefront over will come another long-awaited franchise in Sioux Falls.

“I am also a huge Chick-fil-A fan, I love it I miss it,” Callahan said. 

Chick-fil-A will begin construction on the east side of Empire Place this spring, with plans to open sometime next year.

“It strengthens the whole area, it strengthens our mall, other retailers to the north, because really those users are really driving a lot of today’s traffic and sales,” Blount said. “Quick serve restaurants are flourishing with drive-thru activity. People come to us and they want to be in the busiest, most visible spot they can be.”

Construction will begin yet this fall on the four additional retail buildings planned just south of Chipotle. Two other national chains–Crumbl Cookies and Good Feet–have committed to fill two of those stores once construction is complete.