Entries Tagged 'Developers' ↓

It seems a majority of Sioux Falls city councilors are still moving forward with Legacy developing DT parking ramp

Councilors Starr and Stehly are not buying it though, and questioning investors;

“There will be zero conflicts of interest. They’ve made a commitment since day one and it was part of the request for qualifications that they can’t have any conflicts with city employees,” Ketcham said. “They will not accept any city participation.”

There is also a partnership between Legacy Development and Aaron Hultgren, whose company, Hultgren construction was fined roughly $100,000 by OSHA on Monday for the downtown building collapse, which killed 24-year-old Ethan McMahon, where the new mixed use parking ramp would be built.

Hultgren is an employee at Legacy and the site of the building collapse, which Hultgren Construction, LLC had been working on at the time of the collapse, had been sold to Legacy by Tim Kant, the owner of the Copper Lounge, in 2015.

When asked whether there was any sort of reconsideration about the partnership between the City and Legacy Development as a result of the building collapse in December 2016, or in the past 24 hours as a result the fines imposed by OSHA, Ketcham only said Hultgren Construction wasn’t involved in the project.

Besides the fact that Legacy has financial ties to Hultgren construction and has used them on several projects, somehow they seem to think they can wash their hands of the tie with the new parking ramp because they are using a different construction company.

Hey, I say, use the different construction company, the engineers and architects, but DO NOT allow a development company with such poor judgment to manage the project.

Also, the FINAL judgment and REPORT from OSHA does not get released until June, and that’s when the civil suits could rear their head. Could Legacy be on the hook for damages? We don’t know, and this ‘not knowing’ is a good enough reason for the city to find a different RFQ for this project.

McKennan Park ‘Big House’ people are going to lose big time

I was amazed to hear this;

A judge told them to fix, tear down, or move their controversial McKennan Park house; now a husband and wife want the South Dakota Supreme Court to decide.

To tell you the truth, I would be surprised if the SDSC even agrees to hear the case. I thought the original hearing was pretty cut and dry, and so did judge Pekas. After losing the initial case, I would have looked at my options to move the house.

UPDATE: OSHA investigation nearing the end?

UPDATE: Even though there was 28 citiations worth $100k handed over to Hultgren, it seems Legacy is probably off the hook due to being a LLC. It doesn’t mean there still couldn’t be civil suits against Legacy or even the city for that matter (for having knowledge of what was going on). Either way, IMO, the city should not allow Legacy anywhere near a public partnership with the city. Just by showing bad judgment in allowing such an unsafe construction company to work on it’s projects (several of them) tells me we need to send Legacy packing on the parking ramp and all future projects. We will see if the council has the cojones to see the same thing.

ELLIS & SNEVE from the ARGUS discuss the fines.

While this is under way (I heard there was about 50 subpoenas handed out) Stehly is fighting for the identity of investors of the DT parking ramp;

City Councilor Theresa Stehly wants to know who stands to profit from a city-backed, mixed-use development in downtown Sioux Falls.

Yet the giant secrecy of MMM’s Iron Curtain exists;

It’s not the first time a city councilor has called for greater transparency in the city’s public-private partnerships. In 2014, then City Councilor Greg Jamison unsuccessfully pressed for an ordinancerequiring investor disclosure in developments that receive tax increment financing from the city.

Jamison’s request followed an Argus Leader Media investigation that revealed Mayor Mike Huether and his wife had invested in real estate deals that required city approval.

And what would make us think anything has changed since?

Sioux Falls Bankers prepared to prop up FLOPdation Park

It’s nice to see someone cares after South Dakota taxpayers dumped over $25 million into an industrial park with ZERO tenants and ZERO prospects;

Eight Sioux Falls banks have come together to create a $16 million financing package to help get land ready for new businesses at Foundation Park in northwest Sioux Falls.

“This financing package allows us to react to infrastructure needs required by our prospects,” said Slater Barr, president of the Sioux Falls Development Foundation. “With the unique size and scope of Foundation Park, it’s not feasible to make every site in the 820-acre park completely build-ready. But with the participation of the banking consortium, we can move fast to add streets, water, sewer — even rail connections — to meet the needs of any company that is ready to build on a Foundation Park site.”

Well, well, well, it’s about time the private sector of the community decided to invest (our private) money into this project.

While I applaud the effort, like the public investment of infrastructure, all of these ducks SHOULD have been in a row before we annexed the land, and better yet, we should have had at least 2-3 purchase agreements also signed before the annexation, not a plan on a torn bar napkin. FLOPdation Park looks more and more like Amateur Hour over at the Development Foundation, and the rest of us are paying for it.

2017 City Salaries; Economic Development

While there is only 6 employees in the Economic Development office, salaries add up to over $500K. Even the lowest paid employee of the department, the administrative assistant, makes over $49K a year. The department seems management heavy.

What surprises me about the department is how slim it is on office staff. I think the department has become very ‘tight’ or should I say ‘tight-lipped’ since Huether has become mayor. I guess the fewer people in the department, the less likely there are leaks.

Here is the full doc: 2017-Wages

UPDATE: The city could not afford to print 1,300 fliers about annexation

UPDATE: KELO and KSFY both did stories today on the Annexation meetings. Surprise, Surprise, residents didn’t know about the meetings, and guess what else, they are not to happy the meetings are on a Tuesday, in the middle of the afternoon (2 PM) at a library that charges parking meters.

Stehly passed out flyers at her own expense. According to her, city officials said it would be too expensive to mail out notifications.

The city’s annexation task force will meet Tuesday at 2 p.m. in the downtown library. However, many affected homeowners are not happy with the scheduled time. They say it’s not convenient for people who work during the day.

The meetings could easily been held after 5 PM, and least of all, they could have been held at another venue (library) that doesn’t have metered parking (Caille). It was intentional to NOT notify residents and to make the meetings at difficult times.

I put together a flyer for councilor Stehly to alert citizens about possible annexation. Stehly paid for these out of her own pocket. Pocket change really. The city told her they could not afford to mail a notification to the homeowners. (I posted an image of the flyer below) She got the city’s legal team to approve the language.

Below is a video of Inside Town Hall talking about the annexation;

Annexation Task Force meetings set

The task force created to establish criteria to use with any future City-initiated annexation in Sioux Falls has set its meeting schedule.

The task force includes three City Council members as well as four members of the community who are potentially impacted by proposed annexations. City employees from Planning, Project Management, Engineering, the City Attorney’s Office, and Finance will provide information and be resources for the task force members. The task force will convene for five sessions with a goal of developing recommendations that will provide a consistent way forward for future annexations. The public is welcome to attend.

The meetings will take place from 2 to 3:30 p.m. in Meeting Room B of the Downtown Library, 200 North Dakota Avenue, on the following dates:
• Tuesday, April 11, 2017
• Tuesday, April 25, 2017
• Tuesday, May 9, 2017
• Tuesday, May 23, 2017
• A final meeting date that will be determined by the task force

“Since Sioux Falls was founded more than 130 years ago, all growth has occurred through the process of annexation. It is a rather simple process when a property owner has an interest in being annexed but can quickly turn complex when the city grows into areas where the property owner is not interested in annexation. Additional challenges occur when the city boundary begins to surround a large, rural subdivision. In a growing city like ours, we need a consistent process to move forward with needed annexations,” says Mike Cooper, Director of Planning and Building Services.

The task force will be given information on the many state laws regarding annexations, some historical information to illustrate how annexations have occurred in the past, an update on the current Engineering Design Standards, and discuss the financial impact of an annexation on both the property owner and the City, along with other topics. The group will then make recommendations regarding how to move forward with annexations in the future.

As updates and more information become available, it will be posted at www.siouxfalls.org/annexation.

The City of Sioux Falls Planning Office has formed a Task Force to address various issues surrounding annexation. When the city’s boundaries begin to engulf a property that is not annexed, and does not plan to annex, there are challenges that result from that.

The goal of the Annexation Task Force is to make recommendations regarding the following questions.

  • Under what circumstances should the City move forward with a city-initiated annexation?
  • What criteria will be used to prioritize the annexation of those properties deemed to be annexed under the city-initiated process?
  • Will the City move forward with a petitioned annexation request if the annexation requested creates a pocket of unannexed land within the city limits?
  • What infrastructure design standards will be required as annexation occurs?
  • What financial contribution will the city make towards any required infrastructure improvements due to a city-initiated annexation?


Councilor Rick Kiley
Councilor Marshall Selberg
Councilor Greg Neitzert
Matt Metzger – Citizen of Lincoln County
Tena Haraldson – Citizen of Sioux Falls
Greg Starnes – Citizen of Sioux Falls
Jeff Davis – Citizen of Minnehaha County
Support/Resource members:
Mike Cooper, Director of Planning and Building Services
Albert Schmidt, Urban Planner
Debra Gaikowski, Project Manager
Chad Huwe, City Engineer
Tracy Turbak, Director of Finance
Danny Brown, City Attorney


Topic #1 – Annexation law and the requirements and limitations imposed by those laws.
Topic #2 – The history of city-initiated annexations including the design standards the property owners were held to.
Topic #3 – A review of all unannexed property within the city that is currently completely surround by annexed land and the amount of development that exists on the surrounding land.
Topic #4 – A review of all recently completed CIP projects or CIP projects programmed in the near future that are adjacent to unannexed property or directly impact unannexed property.
Topic #5 – Assessment law, the rights of the city, and the rights of the property owners.
Topic #6 – The financial impact of annexation on a property owner including property tax changes, financial benefits, and the cost of infrastructure improvements.
Topic #7 – The impact on the property owners and the community if Engineering Design Standards are lowered in order in an effort to get unannexed property annexed. Review current ADA requirements.
Topic #8 – The impact on development if limitations are imposed on property owners wanting to annex land but a pocket of unannexed property is created by that annexation. Examples to be provided.
Topic #9 – How often should the established annexation criteria be reevaluated and by whom?
Topic #10 – Notification and Communication Process

You’re gonna need a bigger bomb

Our Romantix Annex Office building is never without a story. The latest one we have is how the foundation may have erupted the budget. We’re sure the town’s chief marketing officer will find a way to dispute this but our construction sources are reporting the quartzite blasting has left the building already over budget – but the public will never know, because the CMAR process keeps that all secret-secret.

The need for heated underground parking garage for special cars to be parked is putting the building behind before it is finished. What do you suppose they are going to say was unimportant so the building can com in “under” budget?


I finally finished reading the 227 page Report (DOC: Affordable_Housing_Needs_Assessment_2016). I encourage others to do the same.

I will be breaking down some of the more interesting STATS I pulled from the report.

My initial analysis is that Sioux Falls is going down a GRIM path when it comes to Affordable Housing, unless we take action NOW. This is what the report is encouraging.

The Report Points out;

Poor or No coordination and inefficiency between affordable housing organizations

Household incomes at or below $25K are increasing at a drastic rate and the divide between rich and poor is growing while middle income stays stagnant.

Extreme population growth has contributed to problem.

The task force recommends starting with the most vunerable, children living in poverty.

This table shows the gap between rich and poor and really how the poor are getting poorer and the rich increasing at a faster pace.

This table shows the projected enormous growth in the Healthcare industry in SF.

This shows the poverty that exists within our school system.

37% of SF workers make under $25K


This table shows the exploding home values.

This breaks down rental property in zip codes.

This breaks down rental rates in SF.

This breaks down income and home ownership.

This shows the percentages of school kids living in poverty.