Entries Tagged 'Development' ↓

Great idea for a database I thought already existed

At first glance, I thought, WOW! What a fantastic idea and tool for our community;

A new database, OpenSiouxFalls, will become a central repository for data reflecting the metro area’s workforce, economy, social services, education and quality of life.

Like I said, great idea. But one wonders why the Chamber, the City or the Development Foundation weren’t already using such a database? Maybe they have been, but by the sounds of the development of this site, you wonder how comprehensive it is?

Beta testing for the first phase of the project is planned for this summer.

So has this information been used in the past by organizations? And if so, who was the gatekeeper? Like the affordable housing study by Thrive, one wonders if anyone has been compiling such essential information or just flying by the seat of their pants?

I applaud the efforts to make this public, let’s hope they pull it off smoothly and actually make something public that seems to have been either stored in a safe for a very long time or didn’t exist at all.

I would have done something different with the Copper Lounge space

Surprised they are being so short-sighted on such a great spot downtown. I would have built at least a 3-story structure with underground parking.

Below are some different designs that could be tweaked to fit the area.

I would probably have underground parking strictly for apartment tenants on 2nd and 3rd floors. I would do retail on main level and ALL studio apartments on 2nd and 3rd floors with a rooftop patio and garden for the tenants.

Waterford at All Saints gets it right

The expansion at Waterford is pretty snazzy, and old looking.

I never really understood all the resistance to the expansion of Waterford in the All Saints Neighborhood. Besides the fact that they are providing more assistant living in Sioux Falls that is needed, they were able to put many other services under one roof in stead of carting residents around to other facilities.

One of the biggest arguments against the expansion was the elimination of a grove of trees, on private property, that no one ever frequented. It wasn’t a park. It was a dark empty lot full of trees.

As Waterford promised they saved as many trees as they could and added shrubbery. But the landscaping isn’t what makes this project a gem. It is the historic nature of the new construction. Waterford went all out to match the current facility, and make what is new look old.

I wish all the development downtown took this kind of time and effort into being more historically correct. They have been doing it DT Minneapolis, and it looks fantastic. Giant, pre-poured slabs of pink colored concrete isn’t quartzite, it’s just pink concrete.

We are starting to see the slap together construction creep into downtown that we have seen in all the urban sprawl areas. The apartments on Phillips to the Falls and the condos by Sunshine come to mind.

I think moving forward, the planning department needs to set an example of Waterford and push for more historically correct construction downtown. Now if we can just convince them to get a permit before they take out any load bearing walls.

We all Scream for Ice Cream

You were probably asking the same question I was. Why on earth would Sioux Falls build a blast freeze refrigerate warehouse at Flopdation Park when our main industries are Banking and Healthcare?

Remember, we are spending over $50 million of Sioux Falls and South Dakota taxpayer’s money on infrastructure at Flopdation Park. Please tell me how a big refrigerator that may produce a handful of warehouse jobs is getting value for our expense?

Oh, and it gets better when you find out who might be using this big fridge.

Look no further than Iowa. I guess one of the nation’s largest ice cream makers has been facing a ‘space’ problem. So instead of building more warehouse space in their own state, taking on the capital expense and HIGH property taxes, why not ship it all to Sioux Falls and lease cheap space in South Dakota.

Once again we are a place to avoid taxes for the rich while spending the people’s meager tax funds.

The Iowan ice cream makers, the investors, the developers, the contractors and the bankers all cash in on the taxpayer’s investment, and what do we get? about 3 dozen warehouse jobs.

Sounds like a good trade off to me.

Is there a bigger reason why Legacy’s investors are being kept secret?

I guess it shouldn’t be a surprise that the investor list for Legacy is probably some pretty big wheels in town that wield pretty big swords.

Recently Legacy was announced to be a part of the first project at Flopdation Park, a gigantic warehouse freezer that will employ a handful of forklift operators.

While none of the actual investors came forward, a group of banks were quite eager to say who they were involved with this project. I guess when it isn’t an actual fuddy-duddy rich person but OUR money we have invested in those banks, it’s okay to tell everyone.

Rumor around town is that a guy who recently sold his quite lucrative burger making business and got involved in health clubs and golf courses is one of the investors in Legacy. But I guess we will never know since that investor list is probably locked up in the same place as Richard Benda’s autopsy report and death certificate.

UPDATE: Mayor Pretends Cart is behind the horse on DT Parking Ramp Project

Our mayor of all he thinks is back giving us lessons in storytelling or is it just more storytelling? We have another geriatric Shut-up and Listen session.

As the S&L session moves along watch where da mayor takes both mics so no one can interrupt or ask unwanted question? Is he afraid of these fine seniors he must control everything as his plans are asked about? Watch for it when he talks into both microphones during the chat with 103 year old Melba. The distortion is him talking out of both sides of his mouth? You be the judge?

Da mayor likes to remind everyone he is being open and transparent in his decisions such as when he discusses his new parking ramp idea. Well it really isn’t an idea anymore, he has already spent quite a bit of money on it (even though he says nothing has been spent). He has already selected his special partner (Legacy) to manage it even though he must have forgotten his February announcement presser (we didn’t). He has also hired the builder, the designers and the architects.

Gee whiz, what have we forgotten here? Oh yes, the City Council has not given the go ahead for it yet but are they just push-overs anyway so who cares, right? Besides, there is only one voter who matters in any of this building being built for the bonding agencies, da mayor himself. It appears da mayor is planning for a group of going away parties for April and May of 2017. He must get this ramp done to prove a bully can push one more enormous debt on the city books for the rest of us to pay for.

2 decisions made in 2007 must not be stopped before da mayor leaves office. Run roughshod over anyone or thing in his way before the exit door hits him where… Well you know.

Sioux Falls needs to do more to save it’s core

If I was running for mayor, one of my main legs on my campaign stool would be revitalization of the core. If tackled correctly, it could accomplish many goals. Not only making our core look and feel better, but it would help to reduce crime, create more affordable housing and in turn produce economic growth. It seems the city’s solution is spending our tax dollars tearing stuff down and rebuilding new which isn’t very cost effective at all;

The home is slated for demolition next week, with plans to rebuild a single family home on the lot.

Thanks to federal funding, the newly built home will eventually be sold to a lower income family. It’s all part of the Neighborhood Revitalization Program, which is funding 10 such projects this summer in an effort to improve the local housing stock and add to the city’s pool of affordable housing.

While this may sound all fine and dandy, you could probably take that same amount of money, disperse in a different way and do 4x the amount of projects. How? Like I said, if I were mayor I would reorganize community development. I would have two full-time staff dedicated to knocking on doors in our core and identifying homes and rental property that could benefit from community development loans and federal grants (I received both shortly after I bought my home, and it was a fantastic experience that I would recommend to anyone buying an older home that needs some TLC). I would also change the TIF program for what it is truly intended for, creating affordable housing out of blighted properties. I would give landlords and individual homeowners who are willing to fix up old properties an opportunity to apply for property tax abatement.

Like I said, this process could be very simple and would produce better neighborhoods while producing economic growth. Giving TIF’s to sprawling apartment buildings or luxury condos just doesn’t cut it. Just imagine if we took the millions in TIFs and spread them out to hundreds of homes and smaller unit apartment buildings, the impact that would have?

The problem is big development has a chokehold on our city government right now, they have them by the balls. Just look at the DT parking ramp or Flopdation Park, we are spending close to $50 million dollars on infrastructure that does almost ZERO to rehabilitate what we already have in our core, and while it is not a total waste, it certainly doesn’t make economic sense.

Why do you think the city wants to crack down on rental registry? They want to squeeze the little guy out by seizing their property thru code enforcement and handing it over to the big guys. Every one that I have spoken to who own small rental properties that have registered have been bothered by mailings and phone calls to sell their property to a major developer. Is the city selling or giving away this information? Makes you wonder?

The next administration and council need to work with the little guys to help clean up our core and let the big developers play on their own, they are certainly not going anywhere, and they will survive with out our corporate welfare. It’s time to get back to the basics.

Stehly talks parking ramps & the AL ED board agrees

Theresa is featured on Jon Michael’s Forum this week.

The Argus Leader editorial board also gets on board with Stehly and her feelings on the parking ramp;

“Taxpayers have a right to know who the city is getting into bed with,” Stehly said.

She’s got a point. While other members of the council are often at odds with Stehly, this is one instance where they should reconsider their stance and lend support.

Even our local paper is seeing through the charade.

Should Sioux Falls do its road construction projects at night instead?

Mayoral candidate and delicious vegan cookie maker, David Zokaites spoke at public input this past Tuesday, and he asked an interesting question, that I have often pondered myself, “Why don’t we fix the roads in SF at night during the summer.”

Other major cities do this with some success, but the cons seem to outweigh the pros;

Safer for workers (and commuters) some argue that it isn’t due to impaired drivers on the road at night.

Less delays for commuters during day

Less hassle for businesses on route

Cooler to work (avoid UV rays, skin cancer)

Less time for partying (not sure if there is any research on this, but I do know road construction people like beer)

Instead of paying out bonuses, use extra money to pay differential and setup flood light systems.

During David’s testimony, the Mayor’s mic was hot, and you could over hear him mocking David’s proposal. This of course would probably require an ordinance change, which is kind of like pulling teeth. As councilor Stehly recently said, it seems our ordinances (and charter) are setup to protect the city from citizens instead of protecting citizens from the city(s abuse).

I think this is worth the city experimenting with.

VP of Major Developer argues with me over rental registry

READ the comments.

The funny part is that I don’t think asking rental property owners to register is unconstitutional. I take issue with searching property that doesn’t register. While the city ‘claims’ they will get a warrant to search an unregistered property, it is a stretch to say they can search a property because someone didn’t fill out a city form. The city has been busted several times searching people’s property without warrants. I see an opportunity here for abuse and unlawful search based on a bogus city ordinance. The proposal has already been thrown out by the Land Use Committee, but it doesn’t stop Mr. Point from arguing with me about it’s constitutionality. I’m not the only one who questions it and property rights afforded by our constitution.

As I point out at the end of our discussion, the big guys in town want to regulate out the little guys, and they want the city to do their dirty work for them.