The tallest building in SD? The first 3 floors will be full of . . .

IMAGE: KDLT – Jeff Scherschligt, Managing Partner of Cherapa Place

I still shake my head and wonder how DT development helps me, or adds to my bottom line? We continue to be no different then Washington DC, we allow big business and development to take our tax dollars for THEIR benefit. Not ours.

Still wondering what constructing the tallest building in DTSF would accomplish? For me? A taxpaying citizen that contributes to this community. Bragging rights?

You want to develop on some dirty old RR tracks? Great. Buy it yourself, don’t allow taxpayers to be the broker.

67 comments ↓

#1 Craig on 08.21.13 at 9:09 am

Sy: “Final point, with the Y closing their pool those attendance projections go from conservative to laughably low.”

Not so fast Sy – we are told people don’t use the Y pool because it is too expensive to have a membership and it isn’t convenient, thus the ‘need’ to have a city owned pool.

I think the consultants are pretty good at what they do – and if they say the attendance will be around 80k, that they are probably pretty close.

Since nobody expects users to pay $13 every time they visit the indoor pool, this thing is going to be a major expense to all taxpayers while benefiting a select few.

$2,000 of taxpayer money each and every day just so little Johnny can swim in December? I’m still not convinced.

#2 Sy on 08.21.13 at 9:11 am

I’m saying the game has changed since those projections were made, and will likely change again by the time of the vote and/or start.

Either way, what are we talking about? The price of a Starbucks Latte per citizen per year assuming they can’t find a way to absorb it? In the scope of our Budget and growth projections this project is certainly doable and definitely a worthwhile addition to an existing City park.

#3 Sy on 08.21.13 at 9:19 am

@ Craig, the Y membership isn’t too expensive and their swim lessons fill up very quickly, I know this firsthand as that’s where my kids have gone.

The building is ancient and probably as inefficient in both design and systems as you can find. With more private options for fitness and sports being introduced in the market as of late they simply couldn’t retain the number of members needed to break even. The pool is busy, and Embe next door has offered to share, but their pool is busy too so they don’t have near the time slots available to cover the demand and still serve their members.

#4 Detroit Lewis on 08.21.13 at 9:28 am

I don’t care if it costs me a Starbucks Latte or a COSTCO cart full of Folgers coffee. Bad location. This should either be done in partnership with the school district or in partnership with Sanford. A stand alone public indoor pool makes ZERO sense, the only thing it will guarantee is that we will be subsidizing the crap out of it.

#5 Sy on 08.21.13 at 9:44 am

It’s not a bad location if you understand the demographics of the project and the neighborhood, plus we already own it. Like I’ve said before, put it on the edge of town and you’ll add millions to the cost and you still need to fix or redo Spellerberg.

#6 Tom H. on 08.21.13 at 10:00 am

If Sioux Falls had decent transit service, it would be hard to find a better location near two streets which should have frequent service (26th and Western).

#7 Bond Perilous on 08.21.13 at 11:58 am

To your point Tom — here’s one idea for what transit ought to look like in FSD. It’s probably not a perfect proposal, but it looks better than the current system.

https://m.neighborland.com/cities/sioux-falls

#8 Tom H. on 08.21.13 at 12:16 pm

Nice! I agree, just designating a simple set of routes as primary or trunk routes (10-20 min frequencies) would be great. Seems like nothing in the SAM network is faster than ~30 minute frequencies.

I’ll put my (admittedly ambitious) plan for a Sioux Fall streetcar network here:

http://goo.gl/maps/MAbq0

Convert these to high-frequency bus routes and you’d have the beginnings of a usable system.

#9 Tom H. on 08.21.13 at 12:17 pm

This one is probably a little easier to read.

#10 Detroit Lewis on 08.21.13 at 3:30 pm

A partnership with the school district or Sanford would save us millions, Sy.

#11 Sy on 08.21.13 at 4:35 pm

Sure it would, but that shouldn’t necessarily be the deciding factor on whether or not a project is worth doing. Lots of partnerships are formed after the fact or even years later, like the YW and Avera for example.

#12 cr on 08.21.13 at 5:25 pm

Sy on 08.21.13 at 9:11 am

I’m saying the game has changed since those projections were made, and will likely change again by the time of the vote and/or start.

Either way, what are we talking about? The price of a Starbucks Latte per citizen per year assuming they can’t find a way to absorb it? In the scope of our Budget and growth projections this project is certainly doable and definitely a worthwhile addition to an existing City park.

Really, Sy……

So, now since the consultant’s capital and operating numbers aren’t quite working for you…….

And, most definitely will not work for Sioux Falls taxpayers, you’re saying the game has changed in the last four months since the consultants delivered their report.

Your statement has no credibility, unless of course you know something the rest of us don’t!

For more than 40 years, Counsilman Hunsaker (the consultant on this project) has led the industry by completing more than 850 national and international aquatic projects of every size and complexity. And you are telling us you understand the number projections better than they do!!??!

The facts are:

CAPITAL COST of public indoor pool:

19.4 million dollars (this number has already increased by $900,000 in just the four months since the consultant presented the cost as $18.4m)

OPERATING COSTS of a public indoor pool:

The projected operating costs over the FIRST FIVE YEARS are $3,643,572.

To illustrate that number: the operating costs for the first five years only is the equivalent of providing our community with SEVEN new neighborhood parks!

I believe SF voters (taxpayers) will be looking closely at these numbers.

#13 cr on 08.21.13 at 6:51 pm

correction to previous comment:

CAPITAL COST of public indoor pool:

19.4 million dollars (this number has already increased by $900,000 in just the four months since the consultant presented the cost as $18.4m)

**that should read $18.5m, not $18.4m

#14 Craig on 08.22.13 at 8:41 am

Sy: “@ Craig, the Y membership isn’t too expensive and their swim lessons fill up very quickly, I know this firsthand as that’s where my kids have gone.”

We have been told one of the reasons we need an indoor pool is because the private pools are too expensive. Now you are suggesting they aren’t – just in time for a wrecking ball to tear out the Y pool.

I’ll stop for a moment so you can decide which side of this issue you really want to be on.

Back in the real world, one might think if the demand for swimming was so great, that the Y might actually be able to keep their pool operating at full capacity. Yet they obviously can’t make it work because they don’t get government subsidies to keep their doors open.

Heck I think Sioux Falls should have a city owned and subsidized indoor golf dome, because people need to play golf in December too. Don’t tell me it is a summer-only activity either, because that argument apparently doesn’t work for winter. Don’t tell me we already have a private indoor golf dome – because apparently that argument won’t work for pools either.

Yes I’m being a sarcastic bastard here – but honestly does the city really need to provide everything for everyone? If the demand for indoor swimming isn’t great enough to keep a private pool in the black, why should the city fund one? Shouldn’t we focus our tax dollars on where they have the greatest impact? As cr points out, we could build a LOT of city parks for the cost of operating one pool, and which do you think is going to get more usage by the citizens?

#15 Detroit Lewis on 08.22.13 at 3:10 pm

“If the demand for indoor swimming isn’t great enough to keep a private pool in the black, why should the city fund one?”

AMEN!

#16 Sy on 08.22.13 at 5:51 pm

@ cr I’m saying that their report was based on their analysis from 2012, when there was no indication the Y would close it’s pool.

It also shows that when Drake went from a crappy, old rectangle outdoor pool (like modern day Spellerberg) to what it is now, the usage increased 400%, and that’s based on 70-80 average days in operation. The neighborhood population didn’t increase even close to that, so that tells you neighborhood kids used it more and people also travelled from other areas to use it. The large, indoor aquatics center won’t have quite as many bells and whistles as the new Drake pool, but I still think with the new amenities coupled with the 50M (which we don’t have) and year round use along with the Y’s closing you will likely see that usage number increase closer to 100K, making it the most heavily used pool in the system by far.

But, hey if you think the consultants word is gospel, than you must agree with their recommendation to do the plan now and the City can easily handle it, right?

#17 LJL on 08.25.13 at 9:25 pm

rufusx on 08.20.13 at 8:16 pm
So – the valuation of Dunham’s strip malls go up – hos taxes on them go up – he subsidizes his own TIF across the street. Imagine that.””

Just take a moment to think about how stupid that is. Again, you have no idea how taxes are accessed do you. I absolutely undoubtedly will bet you that the taxes of the strip mall will not increase with Costco across the street.

Sir, your neighbor just put in a pool so we are going to have to increase your taxes as well.

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