Cherapa II developer meets the city half way

As I have been hearing, the developer of Cherapa II (a partnership between Pendar & Howe Properties) offered the city $7 a square foot, the city wanted about $15 a square foot and they settled on $10 a square foot. Strangely enough the developer’s appraiser said it was worth $7 and the city’s appraiser said it was worth $15 a square foot. What a spread?!

I’m okay with this. As we know we paid way too much for this property to begin with. The ‘extra’ amount was for a switching yard out of town. What has happened is that the RR remained only a few feet from the departed property running tracks right along side it. They are still switching and storing cars less then a half a mile from the property just North of Avera and along the river by Nelson Park. In my opinion we accomplished very little with the $27 million which we had to add millions more for another viaduct under 26th street which will only allow even MORE traffic to the North in the Avera and downtown area.

That aside, it is good to see someone will take advantage of the property and I believe it’s spokesperson, Jeff S. when he says he will finish the project. Where I found this testimony a little comical is when he said that he won’t be making much money from it. I would agree with him that on it’s face, in the short term him and his partners won’t be making much except for mortgage payments, but in the long term, this property will have a big payoff. He knows it too especially when he says he is thinking of his ‘Kids and Grandkids’ future. Councilor Neitzert also went into full ass-kiss mode defending Jeff and his contribution to the city (like he was a charity) and that developers are getting beat up to much about the kind of money they are making.


Let’s face it, we can’t turn back the clock, because if we could, we would have tried to eliminate most of the downtown train traffic to JUST necessary deliveries and NO switching and NO storing of cars. But Mr. ‘Get things done’ saw $27 million in the federal taxpayer’s piggy bank that he was just itching to hand over to Warren Buffet instead of actually accomplishing something.

I wish Cherapa II luck, but I have a feeling besides the $27 million we paid for this pile of dirt and the over $30 million we are paying for the 26th street overpass, we will be paying for this badly executed plan for decades in tax rebate handouts, land deals and TIFs. It’s unfortunate that the citizens can’t sue it’s elected officials for making these kind of hazardous decisions, because if we could, we would be getting massive rebates.

The RR Redevelopment project WILL go down in history as one of the WORST negotiated projects in our city!


#1 The Guy From Guernsey on 10.15.19 at 10:14 pm

I bet even Woodstock wonders if there will be a Schlotsky’s at Cherapa II.

#2 Warren Phear on 10.16.19 at 7:04 am

If my math is correct taxpayers gave buffet $62 a square foot. The buyers offered $7, we wanted $15. A deal was reached at the middle, $10 a square foot. No switching yard on East Rice. Downtown rail traffic busier than before. Buffet richer than before. Taxpayers poorer. How was this a good deal?

#3 The Guy From Guernsey on 10.16.19 at 8:11 am

From the article on this project:
“Various concepts for Cherapa II include … and a potential partnership with the city to build convention space …”
Nonstarter, right there. We have built and are paying for convention space which isn’t well-utilized right now.

#4 D@ily Spin on 10.16.19 at 9:01 am

Even at a loss, this is fixing some of the bad deal entered into by Huether. Favorably, the property becomes taxable.

#5 Federal Earmarks Affect All Taxpayers on 10.16.19 at 10:10 am

I wish a national news source would pick up on how bad of a deal this federal earmark was for taxpayers.

It has all the elements of a good story:

Federal earmark brokered by four U.S. Senators, Daschle/Johnson/Thune/Rounds

Recipient of millions of federal tax dollars/Warren Buffet

Original public safety problem of trains crossing 6th and 8th Streets/unsolved

Ultimately, no one wants to develop the land as local mayor heralds they would/finally, the guy who has been waiting in the wings steps forward to purchase part of the land at a bargain price.

#6 Woodstock on 10.16.19 at 12:48 pm

( – and Woodstock meekly responds: “‘Schlotsky’s?’ …..You put a ‘Schlotsky’s’ there, then it will all be sure to fail”….’Schlotsky’s?’…… $27 million just for a ‘Schlotsky’s?’…..’Schlotsky’s’ should try Lake Lorraine, I think.”)

#7 "Very Stable Genius" on 10.16.19 at 12:54 pm

I was wondering if the city could buy some residential property, or lot, in a really nice neighborhood for me, and then sell it to me for a 1/6 of the cost? ….. #ItsOnlyFair

( – and Woodstock states: “You mean, one of those neighborhoods, where the sirens work?”)

#8 fmr. chair of Kurds for Trump on 10.16.19 at 1:31 pm

“‘Cherapa II:’ Coming to a bailed out State Theatre near you….”

( – and Woodstock mentions: “Yah, but, the sequels are never as good… Even with new seats.”)

#9 The Guy From Guernsey on 10.16.19 at 5:00 pm

Also in the article – Eckhoff applies the lube as foreplay to the future Big Ask.
“The development downtown is more difficult. It’s more expensive, especially at larger scale. And if the project warrants it and meets the vision we have for downtown and that’s what’s needed to get it across the finish line, we certainly would consider asking for assistance at that time.”

#10 Still waiting for the high speed trains... on 10.17.19 at 10:43 pm

Say, whatever happen to “The tallest building in SD” idea?

Isn’t this a downsizing?

( – and Woodstock ponders: “Hell, whatever happen to that 19 story building, a new Wells Fargo facade, and Trader Joe’s… and Dillard’s, too?”)

#11 The Guy From Guernsey on 10.18.19 at 10:30 am

Still waiting …
Thanks for using the Way Back Machine to resurrect that South Dacola post!
Among the attempting-to-be-prescient comments offered at the time by chamber of crony capitalist commenter ‘Tom H.’ – the type who are always justifying as an ‘investment’ gov’t transfer payments such as this ear-mark (‘it’s federal money anyway, so who cares?’):
“… downtown development gives the biggest bang for the buck. If done correctly, the railyard redevelopment could [sic?] thousands of residents, jobs, and shops in a compact and efficient development pattern.”
Thousands of residents, jobs and shops? Yep, Still waiting …

#12 Still waiting.... on 10.18.19 at 7:22 pm

Say, how did you know I have a “Way Back Machine?” It’s actually a Yugo, because I can’t afford a DeLorean; but thus, it requires less gigawatts, however.