Downtown Sioux Falls makes urban planner's top 10 list

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Sioux Falls, SD Another day, another top ten list for Sioux Falls, this time downtown.

Photo: Downtown Sioux Falls, Inc.

A world renowned urban retail consultant visited Sioux Falls and says downtown is one of the best he's seen in the nation.

"It’s unusual for a city of your size to have so much residential downtown, you're building new luxury condominiums, the apartments are renting for more downtown than in the suburbs, that’s unusual, and its fairly rare to have so many great retailers concentrated in a few block district, you have amongst the best retailers I've seen anywhere," Harvard Urban Retail Planner Robert Gibbs said.

Robert Gibbs has traveled to more than 500 cities in 48 different states to help boost the urban retail market.

After just two days in Sioux Falls, Gibbs says he was highly impressed with everything the city has to offer. From art to the Riverwalk and new business and housing development, Gibbs had high praise for Sioux Falls while still offering tips for improvement.

"I think your traffic calming is a little out of date, a lot of your local streets are too wide, there's too many one way streets, the highways are impediments to the shopping district," Gibbs said.

Gibbs says he thinks our downtown business district could be even more successful if it’s easier to drive and walk around downtown, something city leaders have already begun with the Main Avenue road diet.

Downtown Sioux Falls, inc says another big take-away from this visit is working to attract a big anchor store downtown that would help drive traffic to all downtown businesses.