Entries Tagged 'Downtown Sioux Falls' ↓

Is it time to allow ‘Open Drinking’ Downtown?

While I’m pushing for allowing patrons to bring their own beer to Levitt concerts, I have long advocated for ‘open drinking’ Downtown similar to what Austin, TX does in their entertainment district.

This is an interesting story on what they are doing in a small town in Georgia;

Three years ago, Atlanta-based developer Vantage Realty Partners LLC proposed an open-container ordinance in Duluth, Ga., where it developed a retail and entertainment complex called Parsons Alley in a historic district downtown. The ordinance passed this year.

“Every restaurant and retailer loved it. It increases their sales. Their customers don’t have to stay confined in their premises and can walk to the town green or fountain with a drink,” said Chris Carter, co-founder of Vantage Realty.

As with the Levitt BYOB idea, I’m not saying it should not be without restrictions. I think if the Levitt does allow BYOB it should be to a restricted viewing area and you should get an ID band proving you are of age.

The open drinking downtown would be a similar concept. My idea would be to allow it the first and second Fridays/Saturdays of each month June-September. The area would be limited to. I suggest just blocking off Phillips Avenue between 9th & 10th, 10th & 11th and 11th to 12th and allow traffic to still move West to East through downtown. You could only open drink in those areas and the alcohol providers could only give you plastic cups, bottles or aluminum cans, and you would have to have a ID bracelet.

I think it is something worth looking at. I know this past summer that the sidewalks were so crammed on First Fridays you could barely walk on them. Opening up this area would help a lot and bring a lot more business downtown.

Congrats to Full Circle Book COOP on a great opening weekend

I even picked up some great books!

(Click to enlarge)

Arc of Dreams behind schedule and $1.4 million over original budget

While this isn’t a bad thing or a surprise, projects like this take a lot of time and a lot of money when businessmen cook up public art projects;

Jeff Hansen, media relations director for the SculptureWalk organization behind the project, said this week the group has commitments from donors that get the project all the way to its $2.4 million fundraising goal. Earlier this year, the group said it still had about $600,000 left to go.

“This summer we had a long way to go yet,” Hansen said. “But we hit the $2.4 million level, which pays for everything — construction and installation and the plaza area.”

While I think this project being privately funded is awesome, I question a few things.

• How did the original pricetag of $1 million suddenly jump to $2.4? Even with the design change I find it extremely fascinating that a project can be this over budget.

• One of the main arguments supporting the project is to have a tourist attraction for downtown. Really? What about Falls Park? SculptureWalk? Statue of David? All the fantastic bars and restaurants?

Like I said, I think it is great that private business people in Sioux Falls want to fund this very expensive public art project. But I still think the money is being misguided.

Instead of building one gigantic structure that is a monument to WHAT? the money could have been spent on hundreds of smaller public art projects downtown employing dozens of local artists, landscape architects and construction workers beautifying all corners of downtown with mini gardens, murals, and permanent functional sculptures and art. Instead, Arc of Dreams will occupy an area already crowded with Roman like greenway pillars and steps.

It will in turn be a monument to itself and an incredible waste of private dollars on public art. But certainly NOT a surprise in good old Sioux Falls.

Smithfield Expansion, you don’t know unless you ask

I’ve noticed that Stormland-TV has been trying to get a comment from Smithfield about their expansion and have had little luck. So with the help of Councilor Theresa Stehly and Council Operations Manager, Jim David I had them direct some of my questions to the Planning Department. Here was there response;

I have looked into your request below and have the following information;

  1. A stormwater management report was submitted to the City of Sioux Falls Engineering Department at the beginning of this year for our review prior to a permit being issued for the $12,500,000.00 hog barn expansion.  City Engineering staff reviewed the stormwater management report and found it to meet City requirements;
  2. Smithfield obtains a permit from the State of South Dakota for water discharge into the Big Sioux River because of their onsite treatment facility;
  3. A FRRP (Flood Risk Reduction Project) Alteration request was submitted to the Corps of Engineers (Omaha District) at the end of May 2018.  The request was approved by the Corps and submitted to the Environmental Engineering Team with the City;
  4. In regards to Planning Commission and City Council Review the site is zoned and has been zoned for some time I-2, Heavy industrial.  This zoning district allows a Stockyard/Slaughtering of animals as well as processing.  Therefore, additional approvals by the Planning Commission and City Council are not required.
  5. You are correct it is existing Smithfield land.  It is being constructed on the site of the old holding barn as well as some employee parking spaces.  One aspect I forgot to mention is the new building will have a concrete floor that will be washed down daily.  The old barn had a wood floor and they had to use bedding materials that generated most of the odor. 

Thanks again for your inquiry.  Smithfield met all the requirements of our ordinances; therefore, we were able to issue them a building permit.  If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to email or call.  Thanks.

Jason Bieber

Urban Planner, City of Sioux Falls

Stehly, Starr & Herseth-Sandlin bunk out in tent

 

Community leaders slept in the Bishop Dudley Hospitality House parking lot last night to raise awareness and support for the homeless.

Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin, Pat Starr and Theresa Stehly were joined by others who were willing to get a”taste” of what the homeless might experience. This event was also a fundraiser for the facility.

Fodness Family sues city & other city news

The Fodness family is suing the City of Sioux Falls for Negligence over the Copper Lounge Collapse. The suit alleges that the city’s building services who provides building permits and construction inspections failed to heed the warnings of what was going on with the construction of the Lewis Drug.

More details to come. (Filed Doc: Fodness 2018-09-18 Complaint)

LLOYD PURCHASES LACEY ESTATES?

As I understand it, Lloyd Companies ultimately purchased the property after all and after the rezone may bring in a development much different (and more detrimental) to what they proposed originally. We will be watching.

CHILLERS AT OLD ICE CENTER JUNKED OUT?

The word on the street is that since the ice chillers were not in use and not maintained since the closure they are no longer useable and have to be junked out as surplus. When the place closed I guess they were still operable and thought they could be sold eventually but it seems since they were not maintained they no longer work. More tax dollars in the burn barrel.

Voter Registration Campaign Kicks Off with Downtown Businesses

Downtown Sioux Falls businesses are partnering with local non-profit organization Leaders Engaged and Determined (LEAD) South Dakota to launch a voter registration campaign to take place from September 25-October 22, 2018.

The campaign involves more than a dozen businesses in downtown Sioux Falls and is part of National Voter Registration Day. While visiting a participating business, patrons can register to vote with employees equipped to assist in the registration process. By making voter registration easier, LEAD is hoping to encourage any unregistered citizens to get involved in the democratic process.

Downtown Sioux Falls business owners are excited to engage patrons on a local level.

“Community involvement is important because if you want to change the world, you need to think global and act local,” said Brian Gochal, owner of Vishnu Bunny Tattoo. “We can’t wait for someone else to make the world a better place.”

“We believe that it’s important for South Dakotans to be registered to vote because elected officials make decisions that impact all of our lives,” said Susan Kroger, co-chair and founding member of LEAD. “By having the information and means to register at downtown businesses, we’re hoping to make it easier for people to participate.”

The campaign kicks off on Tuesday, September 25 which is also National Voter Registration Day.

###

Founded in 2016, LEAD South Dakota exists to foster a bipartisan community of individuals who empower and encourage positive change for women and families in South Dakota. For more information or LEAD South Dakota’s work, please visit www.leadsouthdakota.org.

Who is the BEST Brewery in Sioux Falls?

The answer to that question is pretty simple. Woodgrain.

But I decided to list in order (from best to worst) breweries in Sioux Falls. Surprisingly some of the most popular breweries are the lowest on my list. And I will tell you why. As someone who has been drinking micro-brews for over 20 years I think I have gotten a pretty good palate. While I wouldn’t call myself a beer nerd, I do know what I like.

  1. Woodgrain Brewing. It’s pretty simple why Woodgrain is surperior, Quality and Consistency. They have rarely made a bad beer and they have always had a lot of complexity and diversity in their lineup.
  2. Homestead. While they are NOT in Sioux Falls, they are in the immediate area. What makes Homestead great is the freshness of the beer due to the fact they grow their own Hops. The Brewery is located on the Hops farm property and has been in the family for decades.
  3. Gandy Dancer. Located in Monks, Gandy is one of the first breweries in Sioux Falls (new generation after the closure of Sioux Falls Brewery) Gandy’s beers are unique. While I don’t like everything they make, I do like the extensive creativity in the beers.
  4. Hydra. I think Hydra got off to a rough start. I said once that their original IPA tasted like sawdust. But I they have gotten pretty good at making stouts and fruit beers.
  5. Miner. While Miner was shipping their beers in from the West side of the state they now will be brewing at their new location in Sioux Falls. I suspect with all the local talent in brewing Miner will climb the ladder.
  6. Fernson. While Fernson may be the biggest brewery in Sioux Falls and the most popular and widely distributed, I mostly attribute that to clever marketing and a lot of it. While their beer has gotten ‘better’ (I can actually drink a couple of Lion’s Paws) they lack the quality and consistency of their competitors.
  7. Remedy. Don’t get me wrong, Remedy has some good beers but a lot them fall flat on their face with delivering what you are expecting. I know they have the right equipment to brew, a fantastic space and the talent. I suspect Remedy will come out of it’s growing pains and start delivering more quality beers soon.
  8. Honorable Mention; Take 16 in Luverne, Minnesota. They make some fantastic beers and are only a few short miles from Sioux Falls.

There are also 2 new breweries opening within the year in Sioux Falls and maybe even a 3rd one (that one is a surprise!)

So besides breweries in town, where are some other places to get your ‘micro brew’ fix on?

  1. Monks House of Ale Repute. Hands down best selection in Sioux Falls.
  2. Bonus Round Bar. Bar manager Allen does a great job of having diversity in his taps, bottles and cans. You can even get a silo of PBR.
  3. Taphouse 41. While their service is incredibly horrible, their beer selection is really good.

I’m sure I will get a lot of heck for this post, but I really don’t care. The one thing to remember about drinking microbrews is it is about what you like. For instance, I don’t like sours. Even though I rated these Sioux Falls breweries I recommend you try all of them. Support your local businesses!

Co-op Book Store to open in Hydra Beer Hall space Downtown

This is great news! Very excited about this! I’ve known Sion for awhile now he has been putting on readings at Monks and now they will have their own space. This is a great cultural addition to Downtown!

Full Circle Book Co-op literally has come full circle in its search for a location.

Starting Oct. 1, it will sublease Hydra Beer Hall at 125 W. 10th St. Hydra will focus on its brewery at 2425 S. Shirley Ave., move its downtown events there and expand its beer line.

That opened a door for the co-op, which was able to lease the space – the first location the owners had looked at in their search for a home last year.

“We were in the process of putting in an offer when Hydra beat us out,” co-owner Jason Kurtz said. “It was really fun to get into our original idea. The opportunity kind of fell in our laps, and we dug into it and took advantage.”

The store name is Full Circle because the idea is that writers can come in and hone their writing, learn about getting published and ultimately sell their work in the store. It also will carry used books along with a large selection of local and regionally published work.

“Essentially, it is based around a co-op concept where the community participates, and if they volunteer or pay- they will have input in our classes, can use the space for free or at a reduced price and get discounts on merchandise,” Kurtz said.

He and co-owner Sion Lidster are focused on raising funds to get started.

A Kickstarter campaign launched this week aims to raise $10,000 toward initial expenses. It’s more than 15 percent there with 28 days to go.

So fire sprinklers in parking garages are useful

Call me a MORON, no really, please do. When they were planning the parking garage for Village on the River I questioned why it needed a sprinkler system, apparently they are useful;

The first arriving crew found a porta potty on fire 15 feet inside the first floor (Washington Square) garage entrance. The fire was under control by the building’s fire sprinkler system. The fire was extinguished within a couple minutes of crews being on scene. Additional fire crews checked the remaining parking area and found no fire extension. Residents were alerted by the fire alarm system and were moved to the adjacent city parking garage until the fire sprinkler and alarm systems were checked and controlled. All residents were allowed back in the building after about 15 minutes.

Of course it was a porta potty and NOT a car. Funny part is I saw those porta potties a few weeks ago when I parked in there and thought to myself, “Why is there porta potties in a parking garage?” I guess they won’t be there anymore.

I also found this part of the SFFD’s press release interesting;

Sioux Falls Fire Rescue responded with 5 fire trucks, 2 support vehicles, and 21 personnel. Sioux Falls Fire Rescue was assisted on scene by Metro Communications, Sioux Falls Police Department, and Washington Square management.

I’m sure because they thought the high rise with several million dollar condos was on fire, but it just turned out to be the shitt’r in the garage. They also left out this part on the press release;

Paramedics Plus showed up 2 hours later, didn’t see anything so drove off.

Just kidding.