Construction projects key to downtown Sioux Falls development - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Construction projects key to downtown Sioux Falls development

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Signs of construction are indicators of growth, and South Dakota's biggest city has plenty of those signs.

With Tuesday's announcement confirming plans for the rail switch yard, the construction is likely to continue.

KSFY News spoke with Sioux Falls Community Development Director Darrin Smith about the heart of the city's master plan.

If you look around downtown Sioux Falls,  there are three main areas of construction projects happening now or planned for the near future. Eighth Street,  the River Greenway, and the railroad switchyard, all keys to a master plan.

Smith says transformation of the downtown rail yard will be the catalyst to the future of downtown Sioux Falls.

"A key will be removing those railroad tracks and the switchyard if that's something the city can get accomplished to have an opportunity to develop, 13 to 16 acres in the heart of downtown," Smith said.

And there are many plans for that rail yard.

"We have planned growth, residential, apartment, condominium, office development, retail development, additional parking to support downtown, there's a number of things that we plan to happen here if we can get these rail tracks out of here," Smith said.

There seems to be a main artery leading to the development taking place on the east bank.

"8th street is kind of a gateway. It goes by the chamber of commerce building, so it's symbolic in that respect but it leads to all of this development taking place in downtown on the east bank," Smith said.

And last part of the puzzle, the river greenway, it may help the city see green in more ways than one.

"It's the city's way of investing, significantly to enhance downtown, to generate tourism, business into downtown, that drives sales tax revenue, increases property values, drives property tax revenue," Smith said.

Smith said Sixth Street will be next on the list for improvement. The city plans for it to look similar to Eighth street when it's completed.

He says the city wants to do beautification projects along with the street improvement projects.

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