Fed grant clears the way for Bahnson Avenue expansion - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Fed grant clears the way for Bahnson Avenue expansion

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 A big announcement today involving a big plan for Sioux Falls' northeast side.

 The city is receiving a $1.2 million dollar grant from the U-S Commerce Department's Economic Development Administration.

 The city is going to use that money to extend Bahnson Avenue from East 60th Street North to east Benson Road.

 While one road extension may not seem like a huge deal, what it will lead to....is a huge deal.

 What can building one road really do for the city of Sioux Falls? "More than 270 acres in Development Park 8 will be opened up for commercial development." Darrin Smith is the Community Development Director for the City of Sioux Falls and he says right now what is designated as Development Park 8 will be able to be transformed from essentially prairie to an easily accessible commercial business district.

 The Sioux Falls Development Foundation has been overseeing the development of this area and says once this Bahnson Avenue extension is built, the resulting business expansion will be huge. Foundation president Slater Barr says, "Park 8 could easily generate, as Darrin said, $100 million in capital investment or more and almost 3,000 jobs."

 The fact that Sioux Falls is receiving this nearly $1.25 million grant is in itself amazing, as federal dollars are tough to come by right now.

 Lynne Keller Forbes with the South Eastern Council of Governments tells us, there's a small amount of available money and everyone wants it. "EDA and the Denver region only receives $8 to $12 million annually and that money is divided among 10 states so competitively it is difficult to receive these funds."

 This federal grant of nearly 1.25 million will cover half of the cost for the Bahnson Avenue expansion.

 The City of Sioux Falls will pick up the other half.

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