March 03, 2016
The northwest has been an identified growth area of Sioux Falls for years, but it appears especially primed for building in the coming months. A large apartment project, more single family housing and a major industrial development all are part of the mix in the area from Marion Road to Interstate 29 between Benson Road and the future Foundation Park. Construction will start soon on the second of 10 planned apartment buildings at University Hills Village, said Jarrod Smart, a partner and the general contractor for the development west of Marion Road and south of 60th Street North. The first 122-unit building opened in late 2014 and is full, Smart said. The new building will include 126 units and will be south of the current one. "It's really going to be a complement to the building that's there now," he said. "It's in a lot of ways very similar. It's the same type of open community space." The original building has a contemporary design with a two-story great room and other space for tenants to socialize. "We tried to put out a little different product," said Smart, who owns Jarrod Smart Construction. The building will take about 14 months to complete before it's ready for residents. The next step is another apartment to the west. Once a few more buildings are full, the idea is to create a central park area and increase the walk-ability of the space with trails. Property has been set aside for commercial development, Smart said. "We're open for business out there in terms of commercial."
The area around the nearby Walmart at 60th Street North and Marion Road could be the first to develop commercially. That land is owned by the Sioux Falls Development Foundation. "We have a board committee that has expertise in retail development that is going through an evaluation on the property right now, and we're determining what the most appropriate way to develop it and market it is," foundation Slater Barr said. The organization has been more focused on its new 800-acre development park on the northwest side of interstates 29 and 90. A "massive grading job" has started to prepare the initial sites for business development, Barr said. "It includes three of the sites that we're talking with prospects on, and they are roughly 40 acres each." The land has been annexed and will need a few more city approvals, including rezoning, before it can be sold. Once new employers start to commit to the area, housing and other development should follow, Barr said.
Plans to develop the nearby USD Discovery District next to the University Center also are expected to bring more people to the area. Developer Steve VanBuskirk already is noticing an uptick in activity. VanBuskirk Cos. is developing the area known as Hazeltine along Marion Road between Benson Road and 54th Street North. "We're going to add about 30 lots and a whole loop street in there (this year)," he said . "We had a really good year out there last year and are looking to build on the momentum." The houses being built are in the $300,000 range, he said. "One of the things we learned about that market is people are wanting bigger houses than we anticipated."
VanBuskirk also recently sold 40 acres about a half-mile west of Marion on the north side of Benson to the Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society. Craig Hagen, NAI Sioux Falls represented the buyer in that transaction. The eventual plan is to develop a senior living campus there, said Greg Amble, director of construction and design. "The appeal of northwest Sioux Falls is that it looks to be the next growth area of the city," he said.
As more people start to work nearby, VanBuskirk also anticipates more housing interest. He has talked to some buyers who work in the area and commute up to 40 minutes from southeastern Sioux Falls. "All those people who work up there, as services come along, it will entice them to stay, he added. "Walmart's opening in August 2014 has had an effect, he added. "We've got a grocery store open half a mile up the road with a pharmacy. Those are important things. The convenience of it went up exponentially with the opening of that Walmart."
VanBuskirk also has had interest from people looking for office space in the area and is working with on group looking to develop high-end apartments. "We've always liked the idea of a nice office on the corner of Benson and Marion because it's an easy place for people to find," he said. "It's got a great view of the city and would be an impressive place to have an office once it's all done." More retail also will follow but might take awhile. "As far as the commercial itself, a lot of it, I think, will be neighborhood services: restaurants, pets, doctors, chiropractors, hair salons," VanBuskirk said. "I think we've got to get some more houses built out there before we get more retail out there."
Courtesy of Jodi Schwan, Sioux Falls Business Journal