UPDATE: I told you so! Downtown Sioux Falls Parking Ramp mixed use – BAD IDEA!

UPDATE: So now everyone is back peddling like crazy. Village on the River went over to the ‘Safe Room’ to tell their side of the story to a content marketing website. I’m actually surprised they didn’t take out some google ads. But even if the deal is to be saved, it’s NOT going to turn out well for the taxpayers;

“Adjustments to the design and size of the hotel/retail structure have been analyzed by the project team to ensure that it is the best possible project,” Village River Group said in a statement.

“Once approved by the city, the group will finalize the design details and related construction, architecture and bond requirements and move forward with construction.”

Here lies the problem, the design was ALREADY approved, heck, the most important part, the parking structure and it’s foundation is near completion. Shouldn’t these design changes have taken place before ground was even broken? It would be like building a one-story house and telling your builder after he finishes the roof that you want a second floor. But besides over building the foundation (which taxpayers put in around $6 million for) they want an even bigger incentive;

Village River Group has looked at multiple funding options to offset its private investment, it said. That included use of city tax increment financing and new market tax credits, but those incentives “did not materialize,” it said.

So now that is the fault of the city and taxpayers who upheld their part of the deal?

The project is planned to be funded privately, and “the city has offered the project BID tax rebate incentives and a real estate tax reduction incentive,” Village River Group said.

How is this any different then a TIF? It isn’t, it’s just packaged differently. More HUGE tax breaks and developer welfare for a project that now is smaller? You have got to be F’ing kidding me!

According to its development agreement with the city, a second development fee payment and performance bond are due to the city when phase one of the private improvements begin, the developers said.

Which was pretty much ‘yesterday’ in lack of a better term. The developer broke a promise with the taxpayers of Sioux Falls and it is time to shut down the building site and find a NEW partner and sue the pants of the one that screwed us over.

Here is a link to several blog posts about this topic; LINK.

From the beginning, the warning signs were there;

Bad location

Not enough spaces

Expensive spaces (to offset foundation costs)

Using 2nd Penny as collateral

Investing with a developer (still) being investigated by the Feds for the Copper Lounge collapse

And now we have a whole new set of problems;

However, the city says a start-date for construction on the private portion of the project hasn’t been determined. That’s because the city has yet to receive proof of a performance bond and a $350,000 fee spelled out in the development agreement.

City officials repeatedly did not answer whether the developers are in default of their contract on the project.

I find it ironic, that a former city councilor who supported this project would be chastising councilor Stehly for being negative when she was virtually a one-person army fighting this project. The height of negativity would be supporting this ignoramus project.

On top of all this, it seems the city council will be appropriating another $50K in legal fees for the project Tuesday night in the contract approvals.

I often talk about ‘common sense’ government. Nothing about this project made any sense, and at the end of the day the citizens may be holding the bag. I think any current city councilor that voted for this project should resign in shame. It’s one thing to make a bad decision (like voting against a movie theater beer license or approving ax throwing in bars) but this decision by a majority of councilors and BOTH mayors to move forward is beyond a ‘bad decision’ – it’s gross negligence and they should be removed from office.




#1 D@ily Spin on 05.03.19 at 5:23 pm

One developer liked building cookie cutter parking ramps. We don’t need them. Make them 1:32 scale with legos at home. Your kids will be impressed. Use the concrete to fix city streets.

#2 "Very Stable Genius" on 05.03.19 at 6:15 pm

Well, they found Lamont way too quickly to have ever been credible. This just shows how corrupt elements of this town are. The arrogance of the city to try to work with Legacy to begin with – after the building collapse – was a cruel, arrogant, self-serving, and obnoxious act for all involved. This current development speaks clearly to the lack of character these characters and many political leaders have in this town. I always found it incredible that no new laws, or ordinances, were past after the collapse, rather it was business as usual as far as many of our civic and political leaders were concerned…. Well, it’s business as ususal alright, except there is no business right now with this current development. If this doesn’t wake up the citizens of this town, then what will? How many more buidings need to collapse, how many more people need to be injured or killed before economic develpment is for everyone and not just for a few in this town, I must ask?



#3 anominous on 05.03.19 at 7:53 pm

just plop Vitaly Strizheus’ ochre mcmansion atop the ramp and call it good.

#4 scott on 05.04.19 at 7:50 am

maybe triple m will let lamont/legacy tell their tail of woe on the next episode of “look at me, i’m mike heuther”.

#5 Not Gonna Take It on 05.04.19 at 8:03 am

Jodi conveniently failed to disclose in her article that Journey Group is one of her paid advertisers.

#6 April 2020: How Did They Vote? on 05.04.19 at 9:56 am

Four Councilors Are Up for Re-election (if they choose to run):

How did they vote on this project?

Neitzert YES Northwest District

Selberg YES Southwest District

Starr NO Northeast District

Stehly NO At-Large

#7 Trump's hair on 05.04.19 at 11:46 am

Do we really need this hotel? Aren’t AirBnBs sucking up business from traditional inns the way Amazon is destroying our malls?

I believe it was VSG who predicted that by fall only Motel6 would be interested in this development. At least at $69 a night, it could give AirBnBs a run for their money…. Oh, and on a different note, did you notice that Cowboy Chicken was the first casualty of the Chicken Wars? (VSG! 😉 )


#8 anominous on 05.04.19 at 2:46 pm

if Legacy can’t figure out if they have any capital, is it cool to skateboard in the ramp

#9 D@ily Spin on 05.04.19 at 3:58 pm

Marriot has a new interesting concept. They sell each room at their kitchenette hotels as an independent owner condo. Then they manage units like as for an overnight AirBNB. Units become about 20% cheaper without the lodging taxes. It’s an investment for individuals and immediate expense (without depreciation) for Marriot. The big loser is municipalities.

#10 skateboard on 05.04.19 at 9:08 pm

Is the new ramp posted? Is anything posted downtown or city parks to stop skateboarding?

(a) The city engineer may designate and maintain by appropriate devices or by marks or lines upon the surface where the riding of coasters, skateboards, bicycles, roller skates, toy vehicles or similar recreation devices is prohibited. Areas may be designated where, in his or her opinion, there is particular danger to pedestrians, and at such other places as he or she may deem necessary.
(b) Owners or occupants of private property may post their property subject to the approval of the city engineer.
(c) No person shall ride any coaster, skateboard, bicycle, roller skates, toy vehicles or similar recreation device upon any portion of public or private property as may be designated and posted in accordance with divisions (a) and (b) above.
(1992 Code, § 40-91) (Ord. 86-87, passed 10-5-1987; Ord. 54-89, passed 6-12-1989; Ord. 32-90, passed 4-2-1990) Penalty, see § 10.999

#11 LJL on 05.05.19 at 9:39 am

BIG ASS bait and switch by Norm Drake and company.

I will remind the keeper of this site that government dabbling with private interests wether hotels or broadband business (Swiftel) makes fertile grounds for stickin it to John Q.

Meanwhile Kelo land continues rebrand the shit bag mayor who gave us these deals.

#12 anominous on 05.05.19 at 9:52 am

“(a) The city engineer may ….”

Lol, like any city engineer is ever going to inspect a Legacy project…

#13 anonymous on 05.05.19 at 1:12 pm

Remind me again…..

who were the two Councilors who stood in vocal opposition to this public/private partnership!!!

#14 ? on 05.06.19 at 9:40 am

Will a change in this agreement between Legacy/Lamont and the taxpayers require a vote by the City Council?

#15 Blasphemo on 05.06.19 at 10:58 am

Show up to the 5/7/19 City Council 7pm meeting and give public input to make your opinions part of the public record ! The Pollyanna gang of five need to hear that not everyone buys into endless gung-ho development.

#16 The Guy from Guernsey on 05.06.19 at 11:50 am

Note to City Council: anything less than that which takes complete advantage of the increased engineering, construction and investment already made by the City of Sioux Falls in the parking ramp portion of this project – is a non-starter.
Time to play hardball.
As indicated by South DaCola, if not Legacy and Lamont, look to someone else to build the project to the scale included in the original plan.

#17 Mayor's Task Force on 05.06.19 at 1:45 pm

I believe there is a rep from Lamont on the Mayor’s Events Center Campus Study Group.

Lamont has not acted in good faith with SF taxpayers, they need to remove themselves from this task force.

#18 anominous on 05.07.19 at 3:12 pm

maybe the city could have bailed out the State theater flop project with that 20M $$$, but instead they put up a $20M downtown drive-in movie screen

#19 anonymous on 05.07.19 at 4:52 pm

Talked to someone I know in Aberdeen where Lamont is located.

This person said Sioux Falls should have know Lamont was in over his head on this one!

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