Entries Tagged 'Downtown Sioux Falls' ↓

What is going on with the OSHA investigation of the Copper Lounge collapse?

As you can see, the OSHA investigation case IS STILL OPEN on the Copper Lounge collapse. The fines are being contested and nothing has been paid yet.

But it still leaves a lot of unanswered questions;

• Did or Will the city conduct their own investigation, and is Hultgren Construction paying for the disaster recovery?

• What have the insurance companies determined and will any claims be paid out? To either the victims and their families or to the city.

• Will there be any reimbursements for Downtown businesses that lost business for over a week due to the collapse.

• What repercussions are there for Legacy Development that was tied to Hultgren construction. What happened to the agreement between Lewis and Legacy to build them a new store downtown?

The public has heard very little from the city, the states attorney’s office and the attorney general about what charges may or may not be brought forth. The only government entity giving us any information is OSHA at this point.

I hate to say it, but like the secret siding settlement on the Denty, it looks like the city is looking to sweep this under the rug, or at least keep it off the radar until they can give a contract to Legacy to build a new parking ramp.

Hopefully the parking ramp contract will be voted down and we can start at square one with justice to the victims of the building collapse.

Who authorized the Arc of Dreams placement?

I still can’t figure out who approved the placement of Arc of Dreams? The city council surely hasn’t.

I ask this question now because the piece is almost completed and $1 million in private money has been raised for it.

Some important questions to ask;

Will it be placed on private property (Raven and Cherapa) or city property?

Was there approval from CORP of Engineers since it goes over the river?

Depending on where it is placed (let’s assume city property) who will be paying for it’s maintenance? A large sculpture like this will need regular maintenance.

I have some of these questions into the city council. We will see what answers we get. There just seems to be a lot secrecy surrounding the project.

UPDATE: Minnehaha County Commission has NO objects to Lloyd TIF

Erica Beck from Lloyd Companies with taxpayer compensated Dustin Powers (filled in for Brent) from the City of Sioux Falls did a presentation today to the Minnehaha County Commission about the proposed $4.4 million dollar TIF. (FF to 46:00)

Lloyd Companies is saying they need the TIF for cleanup. But, that is kind of a stretch. Whether they need to clean up contaminated soil OR not, they still have to dig a hole for a parking garage. Instead of the TIF for cleanup, I have suggested FREE tipping fees for the project – the entire project. This wouldn’t cost the taxpayers much and we would still be able to receive full property taxes (approximately $450,000 a year) instead of $8,000 a year for approximately the next 13 years (Life of TIF).

My other suggestion would be for the city to actually contract the removal of the contaminated soil before turning over the land. There would probably be some Federal EPA grants to do this.

Lloyd Companies is maintaining they NEED this TIF to do the project. I find this a little hard to swallow.

Not only did the County Commission NOT object to the project and TIF, commissioner Dean Karsky had to inform the public that Lloyd Companies are the largest property tax payer in the county. I’m not even sure how this equates to being able to get a tax discount. What this tells me is that they have attained an enormous amount of wealth and property, and can certainly float this $44 million dollar project without this corporate welfare. It’s like saying Bill Gates deserves to eat a free meal at the Banquet everyday because he has attained so much wealth.

Once again Karsky defends who butters his bread, the Chamber and their esteemed members.

A simple Copper Lounge question we’d like an answer to (Cameraman Bruce)

There once was a building standing proud for one hundred years through many business changes and owners.
There once was a building standing in the midst of decay but it stood proud and survived.
There once was a building in need of some work to help it survive and the city offered help to keep the facade solid.
There once was a promise by all to keep the building strong and proud for many more generations.
There once was a building, short and proud with a solid facade financed by the public treasury.
There once was a building in downtown Sioux Falls the people of our little town on the prairie felt was important enough to trust future owners with public treasury to keep it solid.
The proud building stood with a new facade, new use and a bronze plaque.
Then there was a plan to tear down the proud building with the new facade and plaque.
The proud building won a reprieve when someone forgot to buy the building before announcing it was going to be gone.
and then….
The proud building was sold to a new owner with a big new plan to change it one more time.
The once proud building is now gone.
Where is the facade bought and paid for by the public treasury?
The dumpsters are now gone with the public’s facade and once proud plaque.
As this now empty spot is to be made into something else, we ask the question: where is public’s money?
The public treasury paid for a once proud facade and none of it was saved, not a brick, not a window, not a plaque.
When the owner brought in the dumpsters to clean up his mess, didn’t the developer receive an insurance claim to pay off the debts and allow them to put a new building up?
Where is the facade money to replenish the city’s fund?
Since the building is gone, where is the city’s money from the insurance?
Doesn’t the city deserve to get it’s money back now?
The building is gone and so is the facade easement program.
Why is there no protection for the city treasury when this city property is destroyed? If you are driving down the street and run into a light pole, your insurance company has to pay the city for the loss. Why is this different?
You do not build 100 years of historical past with new brick and mortar. The plan is for a new building, new design and no connection to the past except for a grave marker to remind those who care to remember.
The city property was destroyed through no fault of the once proud building, why are we letting the owner of the building keep money no one else would be entitled to keep? The owner must repay the façade easement the owner was entrusted to protect.
Bruce Danielson

Why not loan money for façade program instead?

The handouts are ending and the crying begins;

A city program that helps historic building owners spruce up downtown storefronts is the latest casualty of Sioux Falls’ sales tax slump.

Rich Brue had planned to used the city’s façade easement program to help pay for improvements to his property at 212-216 South Main Avenue.

Now that he’s ready to start a $2.8 million renovation project, he was disappointed to learn the program’s funding is zeroed out in Mayor Mike Huether’s 2018 budget.

“It’s not something promised, but it’s something that’s been available for renovation of these old historic buildings in downtown Sioux Falls,” Brue said.

Exactly, NOT PROMISED. Besides the fact that it is a handout from taxpayers to developers, one of the bigger arguments against the program is it only applied to downtown historic buildings and not other older structures in Sioux Falls.

But as we already know, developers can AFFORD to make these upgrades themselves;

Brue can’t delay his project in hopes of getting city dollars, so he’ll go without.

“I’ve got obligations to my tenants for timelines in which to finish it,” Brue said. “The façade easement is not going to make or break the project, but it would have helped soften the blow. Construction costs are not cheap.”

If you can’t afford to redevelop a building you bought, maybe you should not have bought it? Why should taxpayers bail out your bad investment decisions?

I’m not totally against government ‘helping’ with these projects though. There are other ways to help besides a handout. Through community development they could get a low interest loan to help with the historical aspects of the building. When I got my community development loan it came with a low interest and after the loan was secured and work was finished the loan was sold to a bank who administered the repayment. We can still have a façade program, we just need to change the way it is paid for.

Mayor Mike talks out of both sides of his mouth once again

How fitting after our Little League team just gets done playing in the LLWS the Mayor appears on the B-N-B show catching softballs from Greg.

Funny how in under 50 minutes the mayor can contradict himself, several times. Whether he is talking about how God has enlightened him or how he continues to fight the Parks Districting idea (doesn’t matter now, that decision is now up to the next council and mayor, your opinion on that is of NO consequence).

But one of the best parts of the interview was when he started blabbing about TIF’s. He said that TIF’s are NOT handed to people’s wives friends. LOL, nope, just to your wife. Mike’s wife invested in an apartment project that got a TIF. And in order to save his ass on it, he had Mark Cotter sign off on the TIF.

He also went on to scoff people (developers) who asked for TIF’s to develop around the Events Center (which ironically has yet to get any development that will stick around). But has NO problem with having taxpayers subsidize a PRIVATE hotel on Elmwood, setting a precedent by putting the taxpayers of Sioux Falls in the lodging business.

But his comments at the beginning of the program and at the end are a doozy. He starts out by defending the TIF for Lloyd’s Uptown project, saying it is needed to clean up this area and make this project a reality. Than at the end of the interview when a caller asks about the Sioux Steel DT property, the Mayor talks about, almost giggling, that he wishes he would have bought DT property early on because it is so valuable now.

So which is it Mr. Ed? Is DT property ‘valuable’ or is it so ‘worthless’ we need to hand out millions in TIF’s to multi-millionaire developers?

I would like to thank the mayor for agreeing with my argument against the Uptown TIF, that the property is SO VALUABLE, why on earth would we be handing out tax incentives?

You would think after 7 years, the mayor would get better at the game? Thank goodness he wasn’t pitching at the LLWS, otherwise it would have been two perfect games against them.

He finishes the interview by talking about his bi-annual South Dakota mayor’s conference he will be attending today in Chamberlain. He talked about how the mayors share ideas. We know Mike, this is where you are rumored to brag about your use of the VETO pen when you have an uncooperative council.

Have fun! Keep sharing your brilliant (fascist) ideas!

Strollers & Dogs; RiverFest 2017

Click to Enlarge

Uptown Phase I Plan (10 Years Ago!)

Remember, this was proposed 10 years ago. Many things did NOT happen. Notice they are asking the two parcels be split up into two different payments and that part of the TIF goes toward the purchase (Craig Lloyd’s assumption). He makes a comment that waiting on the EPA could take several years. This is from July 16, 2007 (FF: 13:30).

Do we need to change the Business Makeup of Downtown Sioux Falls to make it more tourist friendly?

I’ve been having a little fun on Facebook over this story about boutiques in DTSF. (Stormland TV deleted my FB comment, but it still remains on my FB page);

LOL. I Often joke with my fellow downtowners that I will soon be opening a women’s boutique DT that has clothing, cupcakes, craft beer bar and fudge shop. Yes, there are too many women’s boutiques DT. More bars and restaurants and entertainment options, your dress shops are wasting valuable space DT, go away.

To tell you the truth, I could care less how many women’s clothing stores are DT. But I also feel that the makeup of DT needs to be tweaked going forward. I like to use Fort Collins, CO as a great example of an amazing DT area. I have visited twice over the past 6 years. I love it. It is very comparable to Sioux Falls because of population and a midwestern feel. While the footprint is bigger, the parking situation, walkability and structures are very similar.

What makes their DT flourish, I believe, is the high concentration of eateries, art galleries and misc, interesting retail.

Fort Collins Downtown Business Members (Breakdown)

Restaurants, Bars, Delis, etc. – 61

Variety, Giftshops, Retail, Jewelry, etc. – 52

Art Galleries – Private & Non Profit – 22

Banks, Real Estate, Law, Insurance, etc. – 30

Medical Clinics, etc. – 13

Business Services, Spas, Etc. – 37

Clothing Stores – 13

Lodging – 2

Funeral Home – 1

Auto Repair and Dealerships – 3

Government related – 12

Churches – 2

(Not on the membership list is dozens of marijuana shops)

Besides the fact they are a brewery haven, have a large college and they have FREE pedicabs, they embrace what brings people DT, especially tourists; unique shops, great food and drink and art galleries. Do you know how many art galleries are DTSF? Approximately four, if you include 8th and Railroad. One of them is the Pavilion, which charges an admission even though it gets government subsidies. One of the stupidest things was for the Pavilion to start charging admission to the VAC.

DTSF needs to start researching and implementing the Ft. Collins model, or we can keep opening dress and cupcake shops.

Downtown Sioux Falls Parking Ramp plan will resurface in September

I heard today that the plan is NOT dead and the Community Development office plans to bring a proposal forward to the City Council in September.