SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - More activity is expected at Lake Lorraine with several businesses opening this year, but there were several other visions for the property before this development began.
"This is Hilda Lorraine, the jewel of the family," Warren Friessen said.
Warren and Hilda Friessen grew up just miles apart on the west side of Sioux Falls. They met when they were 15 years old in 4-H and got married ten years later. He said she made her wait that long. But as Warren has figured out in his life, some things are worth waiting for.
"It was a process over time but always was a vision," he said.
He knew he wanted to own a lake in his life because when he was younger, he got in trouble for fishing on someone's land.
"That was in the back of my mind," Warren said. "Someday I'm going to have one. They can't kick me out."
He bought the first parcel of land in 1975 and continued to buy what is now 130 acres at Lake Lorraine until about 1991. The lake was gradually built over 20 years by his company, Friessen Construction. The sand that was dug up for the lake is the foundation for buildings on 41st Street, like Target.
"A lot of people drove by it for years and didn't know there was any water there," he said.
Warren's vision for the land started as a place for a private housing community. Then, he changed it to condominiums around the lake and hired a developer to do just that in 2007.
"The economy kind of turned so I said well, we're not going to take a chance and shut it down," he said.
The Friessen family took a chance in 2014 and partnered with Van Buskirk Companies to develop the land.
"We're happy that we waited because this seems like the best fit for the property," Patricia Vognild said, one of Warren's daughters. "Sometimes it's hard to believe and my father, you know, he's 87, this has been his dream."
His dream has been fulfilled in an even bigger way.
"It's fun to see," Warren said. "We knew it would be something special and Hilda was something really special. So it's fitting we used her name."
Hilda and Warren were married for 62 years before she passed away in the spring of 2017.
"She didn't like Hilda too well, but she liked Hilda Lorraine and I did too," Warren said. "I loved her."
Now, Lake Lorraine will shine bright like the jewel it is to the Friessen Family. One of Hilda's granddaughters and her great-granddaughter have the middle name Lorraine as well.