Entries Tagged 'Downtown Sioux Falls' ↓

So who is going to pay for the DTSF incubator program?


KELO-TV screenshot

Don’t get me wrong, I think this is a great idea;

The Downtown Sioux Falls organization isn’t just standing by and watching the businesses go, it’s taking action by launching an incubator program that will offer a rent subsidy to new businesses that will come in, along with other support.

This is something that I would actually like to see city wide. Where I get ‘suspicious’ is where the funding will come from. There could be several options, State or Federal grants for economic development, you could also use community development monies or SBA. My concern is that this program will be directly funded by the city, like the facade easement program, and that would be unfair to other local businesses starting out in our community that are not locating Downtown.

A better approach would be to work with property owners downtown leasing space, and base rents on a sliding scale or make the lease based on revenue and sales. In some cases the property owners may make more money.

We will wait to hear the details, but I have a feeling this is something that was cooked up by Q-Tip Smith and crew, and in the end will probably be costing local taxpayers money so Ms. Doe can open a high-end bookstoreshoeshopcraftwineandpaint shop.

Brienne, you know me, drop me a note. I would love to do a guest post about the details of the incubator program.

On a separate note, I have no problem with Downtown becoming an entertainment hub of bars and restaurants, who cares if there is retail? I do most of my shopping online. I have often told people the biggest thing missing on Phillips in terms of retail is a duty shop.

One of the reasons many retailers don’t do well downtown is because of the hours they are open. If they were open later they may see more people shopping.

First Friday Exhibit: Bettie & the Beast


I will be doing a joint show at the ‘Third Eye Gallery’ at Vishnu Bunny Tattoo with artist Nathan Holman, Downtown Sioux Falls for ‘First Friday’ in March. Reception will be March 7th. More deets to come.


Downtown Sioux Falls IS SAFE!

When I was buying my home, there was no question in my mind I wanted to be in the core of Sioux Falls, and was very lucky to find a home near DT close to McKennan Park.

I have lived in many DT neighborhoods in Sioux Falls over the past 22 years, and even when I was living in the center of Pettigrew Heights before I bought my home, I felt safe. Even walking home late at night. This ‘perception’ that downtown is unsafe has to end, and comments like this, do not help the rumor mill;

Store owner (Man Code) Gabrielle Spangler, 22, said she was nervous about opening a store downtown because she wasn’t sure how safe it was. But she hasn’t had many problems with people loitering or using her store as a warming shelter, she said.

BTW, Gabrielle, not all homeless people are criminals, just so you know.

One thing I have often said Sioux Falls city government needs to work on is the ‘perception’ and ‘culture’ of DT. While we can hand out building permits like candy and have a cop on every corner, the true success of DT will be measured in the popularity of people visiting downtown.

As for the police presence, I have heard the opposite reaction from friends that I try to entice to recreate downtown, “I don’t like coming downtown, because it is crawling with cops.” Some feel uncomfortable DT trying to have ‘fun’ because they may get a violation walking around while enjoying a few adult beverages. The police presence DT actually makes people ‘think’ DT is unsafe, why else would they have so many officers there?

I would suggest more plain clothes officers DT may alleviate this perception.

New Women’s Drinkery coming to Sioux Falls?


Rumor has it, this small national franchise is looking to open up shop in DTSF. The concept is simple, The Chatterbox caters to women (I heard there is a sign on the door of the establishment that says, Men enter at your own risk). The interiors have a bistro/coffee house feel about them, but a lot of pastel motifs. And unlike a normal bar or coffee house, where you order from someone, The CB charges a cover at the door of $10 and $1 for each additional hour you are there (you pay as you leave). You help yourself to complimentary Moscato white wine or Mich Ultra that is on tap. There is no staff assistance at the CB, you simply pay with a credit card when you leave.

I guess the lady who started the place says this about her concept, “I just wanted a place where I could shoot the breeze with the ladies for hours on end, without the interruption of servers or men, while solving none of the world’s problems.”

The very interesting ‘Special Assessment’ rolls for DTSF.

Thank goodness DTSF supplies these plants in front of my bizzo, I wouldn’t be able to figure this out on my own.
We have known about this for awhile (Item #36), but take a close look at the PDF document: SPEC-ASS-DT, and you will scratch your head about the inequality.
I have always been on the fence about this, because the organization, DTSF charges a membership fee, but if you are not a member, you still have to pay through property taxes, but don’t get the benefits of belonging as a member. I say one OR the other.
I know that several DT property owners have challenged this in the past.
My solution? I would eliminate the special assessment and ONLY have a membership fee to DTSF (higher, and base it on property value and number of employees, like the Chamber). If you don’t pay the fee, you get NO special treatment (no marketing, plants, sidewalk sweeping, etc.) from the organization.
It just seems odd and unfair that non-members of DTSF have to still pay in on their property taxes even if they get no benefits from the organization. But call me a realist.

Who is responsible for making DT Sioux Falls successful?


It was this guy who helped raise DTSF from the dead

Mayor Huether will tell you, and take credit for making DTSF in to what it is today. He has said on a several occasions that when he was campaigning for mayor (3 years ago) that downtown was dead.

Hardly the truth.

I will give him credit for a couple of things downtown, with the help of the city council they were able to hand out a couple of TIF’s and tear down a parking ramp, but other than that, Downtown’s success was well in full swing when Mike was sworn into office. As for the rail relocation project, there hasn’t been a purchase agreement signed yet because we are waiting for an appraisal. Even if the city decides to move forward with the project, it will take several years before construction can resume on that location.

So when did DTSF start to become more successful? In 1991 when I moved here, I used to live behind Gigglebees on Duluth, I would walk DT about once a week. There was Zandbroz and Minerva’s and that was about it. A few years later, a lady named Carol Pogones had this vision to help redevelop DTSF, I believe at that time (1993-4?) the occupancy rate was about 15-25% DT. In 1993 I worked at a print-shop in the old Lewis building (it is that fancy-smancy dessert shop now). You would see Carol quite often pounding the streets of DT.

Carol was instrumental in convincing Mayor Munson and the city council to put more into DT. The redevelopment of Falls Park, approving Phase 1 of the River Greenway, the bump-outs on Phillips, the new sewer and water and road construction were all approved of and started during the Munson administration.

The Washington Pavilion has also been successful on one front, bringing more diners to downtown which has created a lot more restaurants and pubs.

Not sure WHAT downtown Huether was campaigning in, but DTSF certainly wasn’t dead 3 years ago. But this shouldn’t surprise anyone that Huether was clueless about the success of DT before he became mayor, when his bosom buddy, Darrin Smith first started working at City Hall, he was rumored to have said, “Where does anyone eat or have a cup of coffee DT anyway?” Oh, and he was serious.

Coming this week . . . Who Built Downtown Sioux Falls?

I couldn’t resist



KELO is working on a story about a company expanding Downtown SF;

Docutap, a Sioux Falls technology company, will be leasing space in the old CNA Western Surety building on Phillips Avenue.

Docutap’s founder Eric McDonald says the company will be adding another 150 jobs in the next two to three years.

Hmm, that name sounds familiar;

Let’s look at the (DT 2025) committee the MAYOR has appointed;

Eric McDonald, co-founder of a medical document company

No worries, I don’t think anything nefarious is going on here, Eric will be owning a business DT and would make a good fit on the committee, I just found it a little funny that he was named to the committee before he announced he would be leasing property Downtown. I tried to figure out his connection to DT when he was appointed, I guess I got my answer.

Ask ‘Mayor Meltdown’ a question

I wanted eggshell colored wallpaper not off-white!

I have been hearing a lot of gossip lately that the mayor has been micromanaging the event center’s construction, in fact, I guess it has even earned him the nickname on the worksite, ‘Mayor Meltdown’.

Not sure if he is micro managing the construction or design, but if he is, may I suggest he concentrates on more important things, like running our city.

During his latest ‘Ask the Mayor’ episode, he tells us a couple of interesting half-truths.

“When I was running for mayor, I would be campaigning Downtown, and there wasn’t a lot happening down here (sic).”


He said this after he was asked about the 2025 DT committee. While I would agree after handing out TIF’s like candy, there has been a lot of construction going on DT, but Mayor Munson and the former council really put a lot of energy and investment into DT. Once again, Huether is trying to take credit for something that has been in the works for over a decade.

Speaking of taking credit, he also comes up with this interesting response when asked about Spellerberg pool;

“The city council has asked that drawings be made up of an indoor and outdoor pool for that location (sic).”

Well, he got it partially right, they did authorize the expenditure, but it was the mayor and parks department that asked these drawings be done, and during a work session, that I attended, several councilors beat down the parks director over whether this was legal before a vote on the outdoor pool ballot issue this spring.

But of course, as usual, Mayor Meltdown will take credit, even it isn’t due.