8 + years later, the city is finally selling land along Munson’s Folly to the Falls

“I told you if we built Phillips to the Falls, they would come. I think we need to put up a plaque to commemorate this moment!”

I know is is hard to believe, but after many years, a mayor almost having criminal charges filed against him and developers crying about contamination, Uptown at the Falls is finally going to be sold by the city;

Sioux Falls City officials say high demand for development has prompt them to issue redevelopment requests for proposals in the Uptown at the Falls area.

Sioux Falls City officials held a press conference Thursday morning to announce the redevelopment request for proposals (RFP). Thursday’s proposal is the first for redevelopment of City-owned property in the Uptown at the Falls area in more than five years.

City Director of Community Development Darrin Smith said it is an incredibly exciting time in downtown Sioux Falls with the demand for development at an all-time high.

“Inviting development on Phillips Avenue in the Uptown at the Falls area is the next step to realize the dream that many of us have had for years regarding this part of downtown. We can’t wait to see the proposals the development community comes forward with,” Smith said in a news release.

The City plans to issue additional RFPs for redevelopment in that area later this year.

The City currently owns approximately three acres on three parcels located along North Phillips Avenue that it plans to make available for redevelopment.

WTF took so damn long?!


#1 scott on 02.14.13 at 12:08 pm

Smith says demand for development is high, but what are the chances everybody will get TIF to build?

#2 l3wis on 02.14.13 at 12:15 pm

Pretty good I am sure. But at least they are finally selling the land. We have already lost our ass on the property the way it is.

#3 l3wis on 02.14.13 at 12:16 pm

BTW, the same thing will happen with the RR property.

#4 Pathloss on 02.14.13 at 12:45 pm

Downtown could become an entertainment district. Planning and zoning can’t use the courts to stop or restrict development (SD Supreme Court Case #2011-SD-48). Expect Asian Massage Parlors and Nude Juice Bars. The state can insert casino bars at will. Huether’s plan for a red light district could come true.

#5 Pathloss on 02.14.13 at 12:50 pm

Sale from these parcels will be diverted into even center construction so bond fund fraud can be disguised.

#6 rufusx on 02.14.13 at 1:28 pm

What took so long? Bush economy.

#7 rufusx on 02.14.13 at 1:29 pm

Pathloss – I remember when between the estalishments on Phillips and Main – there were approx. 10 strip club downtown. Good times.

#8 Lamb Chislic on 02.14.13 at 1:41 pm

“City Director of Community Development Darrin Smith said it is an incredibly exciting time in downtown Sioux Falls with the demand for development at an all-time high.”

Too bad we can’t say the same for the Arena/CC/EC area.

#9 Karma on 02.14.13 at 1:44 pm

Good times? For who? I am embarrassed for you.

#10 Tom H. on 02.14.13 at 3:01 pm

Why aren’t they waiting for the rest of the Phillips Avenue strip to get developed first? If this gets built, there will be a hotel (or whatever this is gonna be), then 3 vacant blocks before anything else along Phillips. Whose idea is this?

#11 Sy on 02.14.13 at 3:47 pm

I believe the original Uptown plan and developers had an option on these parcels and obviously they didn’t exercise them as Lloyd in particular went where he could get tenants to fill his projects, like the Lofts and CNA.

And even with a TIF the City isn’t “losing its ass” on these properties. Their term for an ROI isn’t short (10 years or less) by any stretch. The overall assessed value of downtown property has doubled in less than 10 years even with the Bush (and even worse, Obama) economy. Each of these properties will likely see multi-story, mixed use development going in and those types have the highest amount of tax revenues per sf than any other type of project, several times higher that a Wal-mart/strip mall on the edge of town. Don Dunham (RIP) got the first TIF of its type and after he paved the way, others followed. Average days on market for a downtown property is the lowest in the City, that wasn’t the case 25 years ago when Minervas, Sids and the Loop were the only things that brought people down there.

And again, none of this would’ve happened without Munson, Metli and others who’ve pushed for year to not only clean up Falls Park, but to connect it to downtown. Bitch all you want about how it happened and cost overruns and whatever else, but the proof is in the pudding now. People are moving downtown, businesses are moving in downtown, values are rising faster than any other part of the City and tourists are coming and better yet, coming back.

#12 Sy on 02.14.13 at 3:48 pm

My bad , Lofts isn’t a Lloyd project.

#13 Craig on 02.14.13 at 4:10 pm

What took so long? Well quite simply… nobody wanted the land. I believe when they originally opened it up, there was only one proposal and it wasn’t what they wanted.

The biggest issue was nobody wanted to build fancy condos, lofts, or apartments only have have to look out and see Sioux Steel. However, the empty lots are still an improvement over what used to be there. I’m not against the city hanging on to some property for a while if it results in a better end result… much better than selling it to the first person who wants to come in and build a strip mall complete with two casinos, a Verizon store, tobacco shop, and a nail salon.

#14 Karma on 02.14.13 at 4:17 pm

No kidding. To bitch about downtown compared to the dump that you didn’t even want to drive through with your family is ridiculous. As sad above, the land actually has some value now and the city may end up a little “fatter” in the end. Now where MMM chooses to use those possible profits is where the cookie crumbles.

#15 Karma on 02.14.13 at 4:18 pm

Sorry – said not sad.

#16 rufusx on 02.14.13 at 11:58 pm

Karma – there were also a lot of great live music venues in DT SF at the time. The place was always hoppin’ – sidewalks full of people – lot of variety in entertainment options. Great old movie theaters, retstaurants, bars, etc. Before the “mall” mentality killed it. BTW – friend of mine earned her way through her PhD program by stripping. Tell me again how embarrased you are.

#17 Lemming on 02.15.13 at 1:17 am

Wow, I never remember a time with 10 strip clubs downtown? The only ‘strip club’ I can even recall downtown was the old Frontier club. I do love Path’s typical sunny side up view on the situation though with the forecast of “Asian Massage Parlors and Nude Juice Bars” … I hope they “Groupon”, cause I’m all in!

#18 Karma on 02.15.13 at 8:06 am

I am still embarrassed for you. In your original comment, that was the only thing you could come up with and you hade ONE friend that used those talents to get through school? (That is awesome for her – but for the most part – it is demeaning to women and usually not a healthy business for a neighborhood). Now it is all about the live music, which I will agree with you is severely lacking compared to the Limelight/Pomp Room days, and other things. The problem was, noone but people looking to go to the bars and see live music were spending time downtown -which encompassed for the majority, the hours between 8pm and 2am. Families weren’t spending time downtown and businesses were consistently cleaning up urine and damage to their businesses because that was your clientele. Sorry – but shops are thriving DT which was nearly imposible 20 years ago and you constantly read about businesses opening up DT. Although I miss some of the nostalgia of the old DT, my family spends a ton of time DT, and anytime my husband and I have an evening to ourselves, we always come DT. The current DT is better for the city as a whole and look around – there is construction everywhere. I am proud of our DT and what it has become.

#19 Detroit Lewis on 02.15.13 at 9:03 am

Karma – I would agree. In 1991 when I first moved to SF I lived west of Gigglebees. I used to walk DT and once a week I would have an Italian Soda and quiche at Zandbroz, I remember DT being dead, retail wise, that is. But the live music scene was hopping. It was nice having the problem of deciding where we would go see a band. Limelight or Pomproom, then it was Pomproom or Skellys. I am not opposed to how DT has transformed but am severely disappointed that the live music venues have been pushed out. If you look at other thriving DT areas in other cities, they have a good mix of wine and cheese shops and live music venues and tattoo shops, etc. They learn to co-exist. The best part about a mix is that you get the different crowds experiencing new things. That is why I give props to Vishnu for coming DT and mixing up. I know there will always be resistance, but our DT won’t get any better until we learn to diversify it.

#20 Detroit Lewis on 02.15.13 at 9:16 am

“Bitch all you want about how it happened and cost overruns and whatever else, but the proof is in the pudding now.”

Sorry, Sy, but nothing good comes from breaking rules (and not having consequences from it) and backroom deals. While there are some advantages to how DT has transformed, I am still of the opinion that it all could have happened on the up-and-up. Doing these things in the open, within budgets, prudently may take longer but it is the right way to go about it. I like to use the State Theater as an example of a project that has had it’s ass handed to it a couple of times but will finally be completed soon and done right (after many misteps). While DT may be thriving, I only see a handful of people benefitting (financially) from it.

#21 Anooner on 02.15.13 at 10:30 am

I thought part of the delay was due to contaminated ground. Is that no longer an issue?

#22 l3wis on 02.15.13 at 10:53 am

Oh, it’s an issue.

#23 Tom H. on 02.15.13 at 10:54 am

Anybody else suspicious about the tight timeframe of this project? One month from the RFP to the deadline, then two weeks to select a winner? Makes me think that someone already has a project in the pipeline, and they got the ear of somebody in City Hall to get the ball rolling.

#24 l3wis on 02.15.13 at 11:33 am

Tom, I saw that. Many city bids and RFP’s are pre-determined in this city. A few that come to mind is the Sanford EC and the windows at the Pavilion. Funny how the initial bid did not include labor, so then they had to resubmit a bid and all these ‘other’ companies came in way under bid. It’s just like I said above, do things on the up-and-up and you save public money and more importantly trust. When you have a mayor breaking city ordinance in the middle of the night to build a road it makes you scratch your head a bit.

#25 rufusx on 02.15.13 at 12:48 pm

Period of time I’m referring to is late ’60’s early ’70’s. This was BEFORE the attempted mallification of Phillips. Back when “the loop” wasPhillips and Main – not10th and 11th. When the Barrel (37th and Minnesota) was way out on the edge of town. When 229- had no exits West of Western. For example – the building the curent Minerva’s was once split in two, one side a strip club, one a live music bar. You pups are all too young to remember, so…….

#26 Scott on 02.15.13 at 1:28 pm

Ruf, that was also a time when the drinking age was 18. Bars and bands had it so much easier in those days.

#27 rufusx on 02.15.13 at 4:43 pm

The state of society in general was much more liberal – both poltically and socially – in those days. If the “conservatives” really want to go “back” to THAT, I’m interested. We had Democratic governors Herseth, Kneip, and Wollman in the ’60’s-’70-‘s, and Democrats were even represented in proportion to party affilitation of voters in the state legislature. Unions were strong, wages wewre high enough that just one family member could support a household, etc. I could even afford to buy a car and pay insurnace, and my own clothes and entertainment etc. as a 14-year-old – on my SUMMER employment income.

#28 Poly43 on 02.15.13 at 4:44 pm

Ruf…I don’t quite remember DT being the way you describe it. Could have been tho…the years you talk about are kinda the years I was in the military (68-72). I do recall before I was drafted the place to be DT was the Mocomba Club. And the band too see was The Mob. Ties to the group Chicago and the Buckinghams as I recall, songwriting wise. When I got out I think Mocomba eventually became Nite City, maybe even something else between those two. But still, very popular til about the mid ’70s, then The Pomp Room took over, unless you were a shit kicker, then it was the Rainbow. But strip bars?? I think I’d have remembered that.

#29 Poly43 on 02.15.13 at 4:49 pm

Unions were strong, wages were high enough that just one family member could support a household, etc.

Ahhhhhhh. Those were the days my friend…I’d thought they’d never end…

#30 Winston on 02.16.13 at 12:30 am

In other words, the “good ole days” were when Dad could completely provide for his family and he had strip clubs galore to choose from.

#31 Poly43 on 02.16.13 at 6:46 am


Part 1, correct

Part 2, not so much

#32 rufusx on 02.16.13 at 11:47 am

Those days – one job enough, one strip club not enough.
Nowadays – two jobs not enough, one strip club the only option.

#33 Detroit Lewis on 02.16.13 at 11:54 am

and they wear pasties. dumb.


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