Entries Tagged 'Downtown Sioux Falls' ↓

Is the OSHA investigation about to burst like a watermelon at a Gallagher show?

Make no mistake, the Bakery mishap happening today has very little to do with a bunch of young entreupeneurs playing patty cake together and more to do with some peeps in trouble with the Copper Lounge collapse;

Funding for The Bakery dried up after the collapse of the former Copper Lounge at the corner of W. 10th Street and Phillips Avenue in December, Hazard said. The collapse killed a construction worker.

Hultgren Construction was in charge of that building’s renovation. Aaron Hultgren, the company’s owner, was also involved in The Bakery, and had planned to buy out departed Bakery co-owner Brian Rand’s share of the business prior to the building collapse, Hazard said.

The building’s collapse will likely lead to a lot of legal fallout.

“There’s a lot that’s going to be at play in this case,” Bob Trzynka, a lawyer with the Cutler Law Firm, told the Argus Leader in December. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s investigation into the collapse is still an open case.


Trust me, I know I am not the only one hearing the rumors going around town over the past couple of weeks about the intensity of the Feds investigation. We’ll keep our eyes and ears open.

Below is the video of one of the Bakery founders explanation. I would also like to thank all my readers for making me about 50 cents a day clicking on the bait. LOL.

It's time to pivot

Posted by The Bakery on Friday, April 7, 2017

With an open OSHA investigation, city still considers RFQ’s from Legacy

The city of Sioux Falls put our RFQ’s for the Railroad Redevelopment District, and guess who made the list?

On March 23, 2017, in response to the RFQ, the City received six unique submittals that conveyed the qualifications of several interested entities. The six entities are:

  • 8th & Railroad LLC
  • Inland Development Partners
  • Legacy Development & Consulting Company LLC
  • Lloyd Companies
  • Pendar Properties/Cherapa
  • Smart.Visions LLC

An invitation to participate in an upcoming request for proposals is expected to be extended to selected submissions this spring, and the first official development will be announced this summer.

I guess being investigated by a Federal Safety organization doesn’t disqualify you for MORE city projects.

Downtown Sioux Falls to see some cool changes

I need a door hinge, a quart of white paint, a flashlight and a 5th of Old Crow

It’s not often I get excited about changes DTSF, but this week has been full of some fun announcements!

We are finally getting a Hardware store Downtown, something I have been wanting for a very long time. Bravo to ACE and the Nybergs.

But the best surprise was the announcement of the Butterfly House and Aquariums possible move Downtown. Very cool. While they are looking for locations, I think the city should partner with them and provide (or sell) space to them by Falls Park. Either at the Northwest Entrance, across the street from there where the boat repair shop is, or over by the Farmer’s Market. No matter where they choose to put it, hopefully it will be where there is a ton of foot traffic.

Copper Lounge Collapse OSHA case still OPEN

As you can see, the case is still pending.

Click to enlarge graphic.

City Administration tries to hide almost $90K of Legacy parking ramp in consent agenda

While I’m sure one of the councilors will have it pulled for discussion (Item #1), I am getting increasingly worried we are ramrodding a parking ramp thru that;

  1. We may not need
  2. Built in wrong location
  3. Will it benefit parking DT or the private developer’s business
  4. Using a development company that is still under investigation from OSHA
  5. Hasn’t received final bond funding from the council (actually nixed from the 2017 budget)

This train needs to be stopped, until at least the OSHA report is made public. We shouldn’t be spending tax dollars on a project that may not have a future. Not sure if there is enough votes (5 or 6) to stop the funding tonight, but hopefully there will be a good discussion.

Did you Hear? The Levitt will bring in 50 free concerts a year!

Well, if you were at the Levitt presentation last night for YPN (Young Professionals Network – Chamber) you would have had to be deaf not to know about the 50 concerts.

It was mentioned about a dozen times in the intro video, and afterwards the speakers kept bringing it up.

Trust me, I think this is fantastic, if it was realistic. Remember, that is 3-4 concerts per week, and unless those concerts are going to be on weeknights, they will conflict with a ton of other live music and other events outdoors downtown in the summer. Five to seven years ago, I would have said no way, but if you look at the calendar of events this summer for DT, you would be hard pressed not to find something going on both Friday and Saturday.

One person in attendance asked the question and the response was, “We promised we wouldn’t interfere with JazzFest and the Pavilion.” Uh, okay. What about all the other DT events and private promoters in the city? I take real issue with using my tax dollars to compete with private business.

Besides the 50 (professional) concerts a year dream/scheme, I just don’t buy we are going to be getting all of this for FREE. The city will have to kick in a butt-load of money. So why not just build the amphitheater and use if for the city without the ties to Levitt? Not only could we save money, we might even break even on the grounds with rental fees?

There is also the fact they are peddling we will be able to bring our own coolers (with beer in them). I’ll believe it when I see it. Like many things in life folks, nothing is for free.

Let’s face it, as I mentioned last night at the event, we don’t have many choices with the brownfield. Funny part is when I asked the presenters (very nicely) to explain what a brownfield was and why we are using it for an amphitheater the speaker said this, “Uh, that’s more of city question, they know more about it, I know there is 6″ of clay, uh, but we get 50 free concerts . . .” he never really explained it to the crowd. I wasn’t trying to get anyone into trouble, I just wanted the crowd to understand why this location was being used. But I guess you are not supposed to bring those things up at a fundraiser.

Statue of David

This is an article I wrote for Etc. magazine back in January of 2002. Some of the material may have been disproven since I wrote the article, and some is still up for debate. I researched old Argus articles the library. The librarians were hesitant and suspicious when I asked for the papers (they had an entire file on David) Enjoy.

David’s Legacy

By Scott Ehrisman

The Statue of David downtown is a prime example of the kind of enriching public art Sioux Falls has to offer. As a visitor or someone who has recently moved to Sioux Falls you may not know the whole story about the biblical king that stands between the 10th and 11th street viaducts. Trust me, the road to Fawick Park wasn’t so smooth. Since David’s arrival in October of 1971 he has been the focus of political, cultural, religious, and economic debate. David is only one of two exact castings of Michelangelo’s original and really a priceless treasure. So why all the fuss? Well it’s a complicated story and here’s his legacy.

David first arrived in Sioux Falls in 1971 as a gift from the inventor and South Dakota native son Thomas Fawick. But it would take two years before he was dedicated. Fawick started David’s journey in Italy. It would take five years before David was introduced to Sioux Falls. Two years of it spent with negotiations with the Italian government for permission to use the original work in Florence, Italy, and three years of casting by the famous sculptor, Felix deWeldon who was commissioned by Fawick to complete the work. The value of the statue was estimated at $350,000 when David arrived on October 5, 1971 and if Fawick was alive today he may be surprised to here it is considered priceless by art constituents.

Thomas L. Fawick, is most famous for his inventions the ‘Fawick Flyer’, the first four door automobile, and the disc type tractor clutch. Fawick held nearly 200 patents for various other inventions like rubber engine mounts and tool grips. Fawick was born in Sioux Falls April 14, 1889. Fawick’s mechanical genius was established before the end of his grade school years and hence his great success and wealth. Fawick had a great appreciation for music and the arts having a large personal museum in Cleveland where he lived and developing the Fawick Violin and writing over 3000 musical compositions. He gave the gift of ‘David’ to the City of Sioux Falls in respect for the city of his birth and childhood years.

Michelangelo, most famous for painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, started sculpting the original David from an 18 foot marble block, starting in September 1501 and completing in May 1504. The statue was placed that same month at the entrance of Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, Italy. It took 40 men four days to move the work from the Cathedral, where Michelangelo was working on the statue, to the building entrance where it rested for 370 years. David stood in the square until 1873 when a reproduction was made for the square and the original moved into the present location, the Academy Gallery. David was completed in the same era of the ‘Mona Lisa’ and the ‘Last Supper’. The art period was referred to as the ‘High Renaissance’ and a return to classicism. Though the Italians knew exactly where the original David should be placed after his completion, residents and city government officials of Sioux Falls weren’t as sure.

As David sat in storage for two years, the debate over where to place him began. Several locations were investigated. McKennan Park’s Sunken Gardens was deWeldon’s suggestion, but the city feared vandalism. After soil tests were conducted to make sure the ground could hold up the 3 1/2 ton statue and black granite base, the area between the 10th and 11th street viaducts was selected. The walkway that was being constructed at the time along the west bank of the Sioux River between the 9th street parking ramp and the downtown post office was one of the major reasons the spot was chosen. City Commissioner Earl McCart, at that time, felt the statue would receive maximum exposure from the traffic on the viaducts and the walkways that led up to David. The issue of where to place David was only one of the delays.

After a location was chosen the wait continued while the 9-foot base was being completed in Sweden at Fawick’s expense. It seemed there was finally some progress and soon David would be on public display. But a group of religious fanatics weren’t so excited about Fawick’s gift to the city and Augustana college.

Members of the Tabernacle Baptist Church felt David’s nudity would contribute moral decay in our community and felt the statue would be public pornography. Even though it seemed city officials ignored the requests of the church and finally placed David anyway in October of 1973, nearly two years after his arrival, there was another problem. David was facing the wrong direction. After he was placed facing the river and railroad yards with his back to traffic many residents complained. The city said they purposely faced David in the that direction because he would receive more sunlight. But to this day some residents will testify it was done to appease a few who were opposed to his nudity. In a way, everyone got there requests granted. But even after his first placement the controversy continued.

My mom once told me, “It’s the thought that counts”. A saying usually only used when someone gives you something not of material value. Tom Kilian, the executive vice president of Augustana College in 1976, basically said just that when ARTnews magazine claimed our ‘David’ and ‘Moses’ (another Michelangelo reproduction Fawick gave to Augustana College in 1974) were not exact castings. ARTnews claimed making copies from the original works was outlawed since the late 19th Century, unless permission was given from the Ministry of Fine Arts in Italy. The Ministry said that no permission was given in their recent memory. It didn’t help that deWeldon changed his story and said he only occasionally monitored the work done at the foundry, Fondaria Artistica Francesco Bruni, the place where ‘David’ and ‘Moses’ were made, instead of actually supervising the production. Supposedly the owner of the foundry told ARTnews that they own their own plaster casts of the statues and made the bronze casts in six months of work on ‘David’ and ‘Moses ‘. Which would probably put the cost of David at around $12,000 in 1971, not the earlier reported value of $350,000. Tom Kilian shot back by saying ARTnews tried to demean the value of the statues by saying they were made from plaster casts, made from the original statues, instead of rubber molds. Tom said it really didn’t matter because they were still made from the originals and everyone knows that they are copies, ‘David’ being one of only two in the world. Tom went on to say that Fawick gave us the statues out of a generous heart and at great personal effort and expense. Only Mr. Fawick knew how much their value was in the art market. But it wasn’t the first time the value of ‘David’ came up, or at least the value of another David destined for Sioux Falls.

This wasn’t the first time David came to Sioux Falls, or should I say almost came. In the summer of 1929, we almost got a copy of Michelangelo’s ‘David’. John Downer Hazen, a Sioux Falls musician and art lover, died, leaving $20,000 to the city to erect three statues, each a full-size reproduction. His will asked that the statues should be ‘David’ by Michelangelo, ‘Celleoni’ by Verrocchio and a horse statue by Donatello. The city accepted the gift happily, but there was one problem, there was only enough money to erect one statue, David. The provisions of the will claimed that either two or three statues could be erected but not just one. The heirs sued saying that since there was only enough money for one statue the rules of the will were broken and they deserved the money. The matter settled out of court and the city only received $12,000 of the inheritance, and since they needed $17,000 to erect at least one statue it never happened. But it probably would of never been erected anyway. News reports during that time said that erecting David in McKennan park caused some objections from city residents because of the nudity. It would take another four decades before David graced us in all his glory, not once, but twice.

To the dismay of art lovers, David was removed from Fawick park in the fall of 1997 before cleaning up contamination from an old gasification plant. Little did the residents of Sioux Falls know that the crews weren’t just digging up Fawick Park but opening a whole new can of worms in the ongoing public art debate in Sioux Falls. When David was taken down it was assumed that after the mess was cleaned up, Fawick Park would be rebuilt and David would be returned. It didn’t quite happen that way. Fawick Park was rebuilt and landscaped but David wasn’t returned, at first, that would take three years.

Once it was noticed that David wasn’t returned to Fawick Park people started asking “Where is He?”. Everyone assumed David was stored in City Hall, later he was found in a Sioux Falls Parks and Recreation outdoor storage lot. This is when residents started to pressure the city government to place David. City council members said they were opposed to returning David to Fawick because of flooding that might occur since the park was now lower and closer to the Big Sioux River. City council members wanted to place David in several different locations throughout the city. McKennan Park, Veterans Park and Fort Sod Park, West of Fawick Park, were all locations mentioned. After almost a two year debate it came down to either placing David back in Fawick Park or in the outdoor amphitheater at the Washington Pavilion. The City Council was seriously criticized for dragging their feet on this issue. After feeling the pressure of residents to make a final decision on the matter, the council had computer renderings made of what David would look like in both locations. The council unanimously decided in May of 2000 David would be best suited to be returned to his home in Fawick Park. The council felt it would be hard to view David at the Pavilion and if they put him in the Southwest corner of Fawick Park he would probably be safe from flooding. But the controversy doesn’t end there.

It would take another five months before he returned. It seemed the city didn’t set aside enough money to return David. After more pressure from residents and phone calls to city hall the city came up with the money. Finally in October the Jans Corp. placed David back in Fawick for a price tag of $67,000. David has been back in his home since. Just how long will David stick around this time? Well we hope this time it’s permanent. But if he has to move again, that’s okay, it looks like he travels light.

The Sioux Falls City Council needs to KILL the downtown parking ramp before we blow anymore money

There is already suspect of how trustworthy the developer is, and a horrible location. The council needs to stop anymore funding right now;

While the parking ramp is an effort City Hall is committed to, the same can’t be said for some on the City Council.

Councilor Pat Starr, who last fall led a successful effort last year to cut the bulk of the project funding from the 2017 budget until more specific costs could be determined, said with every contract that’s approved the Council is being put deeper in a corner where it becomes increasingly difficult to say no to borrowing money for the project.

“It feels like we’re putting the cart before the horse here,” Starr said. “We haven’t even agreed to build it yet.”

To his point, during discussions and debate regarding the planned city administration building, proponents of the new building like Mayor Mike Huether and his staff repeatedly said dollars invested in the planning process would be wasted if the project stalled.

“It’s not a given that we’re all going to vote for the project so I’m just concerned that if you spend $231,000 … and then we say no to it. At that point the argument can be made that we’ve already invested so much money we have to move forward with it,” Councilor Theresa Stehly said of the parking Ramp.

Of course Erpenbach doesn’t see a problem with spending the money because it comes from the sky, apparently;

For Councilor Michelle Erpenbach, it’s worth noting that whether it’s engineering, consulting or construction, taxpayers aren’t the ones footing the bill for the parking ramp project. Rather, the city’s enterprise parking fund, fueled with user fees like parking tickets and meter and lease revenues, will cover project costs and bond payments.

“It’s all paid by people who actually use the parking facilities,” Erpenbach said.

Hey, and guess who most of those people are Michelle? The good taxpayers of Sioux Falls. You can call it a ‘fee’ all you want, but it really is a parking ‘tax’.

Is another parking ramp downtown being vetted correctly?

The first thing I can say is that I am grateful the city council killed the funding of the DT parking ramp in last year’s budget hearings. At least now we have a buffer from Veto Vinnie the Mayor before another one can be built.

Besides the fact that Legacy shouldn’t be touching any public projects with a 100 foot crane until a full investigation of the Copper Lounge collapse is completed, there is the bigger question if the proper location is being picked.

Like Washington Square, that got a TIF because they are promising FREE parking on nights and weekends (even though there is a parking ramp right across the street that offers the same thing) some wonder if building another parking ramp across the street from the current one on 10th is a very wise idea.

There is also the question if this should be a sloped parking ramp. As Bender pointed out in his market report last week, we should be focusing on flat parking structures because they can be repurposed if they don’t fill with parking.

There is also the question if parking ramps downtown are really being used at 100% capacity. Recently a South DaCola foot soldier perused them DT on a weekday afternoon and found the upper levels to be almost empty. Remember, the city is relying on a parking study done almost 3 years ago.

The city is once again pushing their idea to the city council during the informational meeting today. Some have suggested that the location of a new ramp should be closer to the Eastbank and something that could compliment the RR relocation project.

If anything, the council needs to kill the current plan, with or without a replacement plan.


UPDATE: Will STOGEEZ be allowed to transfer their cigar smoking privileges?

UPDATE: The state gave permission to Stogeez to allow cigar smoking to continue at his new location. He is grandfathered in.

As the stink hole ashtray emporium plans to move from it’s current location on Phillips Avenue, many people (including casino/smoke shop owners) have been asking the same question “Can the smoking license be transferred and what kind of setup will the new Stogeez have;

The current Stogeez location will soon be transformed into a different bar.

Officials with The Carpenter Building aren’t releasing a lot of details at this time but say it will be nothing like Sioux Falls currently has.

Stogeez is closing on March 3rd and will reopen at the old Bogtrotters location on East 11th Street on March 13th.

Stogeez will be in the same building as Copper Lounge and a new wine bar.

I heard the new bar is going to be a gourmet cupcake dress boutique that has a bead shop and jello shot bar in the the back that serves it’s own micro brews and woodfired flatbreads called “Beaujoire Brews and Beads”. I heard Stogeez got booted because the residents of the Carpenter got tired of their entire building smelling like Fidel Castro’s office.

As for Stinkies, as you may recall when the smoking ban went into affect Krybaby Kant went to the legislature to get a special license/exemption(?) to allow cigar smoking in his establishment (two other bars got the priviledge also, one since has closed) as long as he could prove a certain percentage of cigar sales, oh and BTW, guess who monitors that? Yup, the establishment owner. There are also special exemptions for smoke shops BUT, those shops must be separate from bars or casinos and must have there own outside entrances.

It sounds like the old Bogtrotters space will house several different businesses. Correct me if I am wrong, but it sounds like it will have a smoke shop, Stogeez and a wine bar. My assumption is that the wine bar will be smoke free. But IF Stogeez gets to keep their smoking exemption, will it have a separate entrance that is outside with NO inside entrances between the smoke shop and wine shop? Is this the city has control over or is this a state issue? Kant is no dummy (ah-hum) so I’m sure he got his ducks in a row before making the move, but you never know.

Also, was the exemption written so it could be moved to a different location?

Questions to ask.