Cherapa Developers ask for ludicrous $25 million dollar TIF for luxury retail, office and housing

I have never seen so much groveling in my life at the Sioux Falls City Council informational meeting, and it wasn’t from the developer of this project, it was from the city councilors supporting this, almost falling over each other to thank, yes, thank, the developer for asking for this tax break.

This isn’t about affordable housing or blight, it is what it is, developer welfare while raising taxes on the rest of us. And while the developer and councilors talked about the economic impact, there still has yet to be an independent study proving TIFs work in Sioux Falls, or provide any impact to the rest of us paying higher taxes to supplement their whims. The reason why? Because they know the answer.

The Bancorp Inc. will anchor the next phase of the development, bringing its 175 employees downtown and serving as the catalyst for Cherapa’s envisioned mix of retail, luxury condominiums, additional office, parking and community gathering and event space.

The planned Cherapa development will require support from the city of Sioux Falls, including $25 million in tax increment financing for the construction of the parking and related infrastructure, such as the extension of Reid Street. The city also is assisting in helping create a quiet zone around the rail line.

I actually got a good laugh at the beginning of the developer’s TIFilicious presentation when he talked about how the city’s accomplishment in removing rail travel from Downtown. LOL. Not only is it still there, running along this development, it has gotten more intense in the neighborhoods less then a mile south of it.

The lack of leadership, economic ignorance, little historic knowledge of TIF’s and this incredibly huge hand-out to wealthy developers on this project shows just how out of touch this mayor and city council is with the real needs of our community. I keep going back to just imaging how much of our core neighborhoods we could clean up with $25 million dollars but instead our council has turned into corporate socialists who don’t even want to do their homework on TIFs.

The saddest part is that this project, Flopdation Park and the Sioux Steel project could all develop 100% with private investment and pay their full property taxes on day one, and they all know it. But hey, they got it covered, the rest of us working stiffs will pick up the slack for these destitute folks and the city council will gladly oblige, because that’s just what they do. What a bunch of goofs.



12 comments ↓

#1 Fear & Loathing in Sioux Falls on 05.18.21 at 7:38 pm

Say, whatever happen to that skyscraper that Micky was going to build on the east bank back in about 2012? I think it was going to be 13 stories tall.

#2 Steve on 05.18.21 at 8:03 pm

This current administration is just in love with downtown. No other area of the city seems to matter. 12th St from Grange Ave to Marion Rd has looked the same for nearly 40 years. Wouldn’t it be great if they put some effort into that major corridor? Another area that could use a long overdue upgrade is The Pettigrew Heights area. It’s certainly time they all take the blinders off and look at the possibilities.

#3 anominous on 05.18.21 at 10:05 pm

oh this will trickle down u know

#4 Ericw on 05.18.21 at 10:41 pm

You mean get.

Developers here always get a break and out of other side of mouth city claims they want to tackle the cost of housing and make home ownership more attainable and affordable here. Their very policies are EXACTLY why many here can’t afford homes; govt IS the problem.

When you hear, “I’m from the Govt and I’m here to help”, RUN.
What they really mean is, “I’m from the Govt and I’m about to ruin everything I touch and it’s going to cost you a TON”.

#5 The Guy From Guernsey on 05.18.21 at 11:30 pm

From KELOland’s coverage:
“This project will support a $25 million TIF, that’s over a 20 year period,” Scherschligt said. “

No Jeff, you have that backwards. The $25 milliin dollar TIF will support this project.
You’re welcome … I guess.

#6 D@ily Spin on 05.19.21 at 2:44 pm

Instead, how about a city $1400 relief per citizen. Rent money versus overpriced residential?

#7 Mike Lee Zitterich on 05.19.21 at 7:22 pm

TIFS are for one purpose – LAND OWNERS.

The “Developers” are the hired contracted partners the Land Owner (property holder) utilize to develop their land.

Answer My Question (then Discuss it):

If you were a land owner of lets say 80 acres, and if you entered into a contract with the “City” to redevelop a portion of your land for public use such as Commercial or Residential Property, and you were agreed to financially pay for and build out the Roads, Utilities, Public Infrastructure (Ramps, Sewer Pipes), then pay for the costs to Clean Up blights, smears, and contaminations, All things paid or with Public Taxes, Would you not want the “City” to pay you back for that expense?

Greg Neitzert says it best – this is not a subsidy to the “land owner” (property holder); for they are incurring the full costs of public roads, utilities, laying and building out the sewer pipes, parking lots/ramps, electric grid, while cleaning up, and repairing the land. We are forgoing a portion of our ‘tax revenue’ in the short term, in order to pay back the Land Owner for tha expense, items of which the City Government tend to pay for.

IF we did NOT have the TIF Program – the City would be forced to incur more debts, higher tax rates, placing more strain on the local residency so great, it would not be possible to afford.

Are TIFS manipulated, or are they simply strageticaly utilitized in order to build future public roads, utilities, infrastructure.

IF we did not do this, these LAND OWNERS would basically keep their roads private, their utilities private, their infrastructure private, meaning they would ‘charge’ you what they wish to charge.

The true Subsidy here is “government” agreeing to take ownership of those roads, utilities, infrastructure, using future taxes to maintain them, repair them, service them.

– Mike Zitterich

#8 l3wis on 05.19.21 at 8:43 pm

Zits, you do realize Jeff S. wants this TIF for parking, just like Sioux Steel. We need more empty parking lots downtown like we need a hole in our heads. TIFs original purpose was to clean up blight and provide good housing. These projects are far from it.

#9 The Guy From Guernsey on 05.19.21 at 11:55 pm

Redevelopment of land for commercial or residential (read apartments and condominiums) constitutes private enterprise for the purpose of profit to the landowner. Government should have no role in this activity.
Let the landowner bear the cost of constructing his/her enterprise.
And if the taxpayers don’t provide the subsidy (thank you for straight-up acknowledging that a TIF is a gift, a subsidy), the landowners will charge us what they want?!?!
How is the price of a luxury condo at Cherapa II, III or IV different with or without the gift from other property taxpayers to Scherschligt?
Answer: they are the same. Mr. Scherschligt will charge that which he can for the condo regardless.

#10 The Guy From Guernsey on 05.20.21 at 7:53 am

The TIFs being granted in Sioux Falls have strayed far from the outline you offer Mr. Zitterich.
This project has included “site work, architectural work and engineering” expenses.
The most recent TIF to Foundation Park included a $30 million slush fund (aka “economic development competitiveness fund”). $30 million!!!

Justify this – the Sioux Falls Development Foundation deserves more than do the students of the Tri-Valley Schoool District the $5 million that should be destined to the school district just in the early years of this TIF, but which is being pealed away to the pockets of those in the development foundation (then to the pockets of “who knows” by virtue of operation of the slush fund).
Scherschligt deserves more so the money from this TIF than do the kids going to Sioux Falls schools (and given free lunch) further over on the eastside.
Scherschligt can take care of himself.
Just. Say. No.

#11 Pundit on 05.20.21 at 10:14 am

Steve: re: “12th St from Grange Ave to Marion Rd has looked the same for nearly 40 years.” Excellent point. We have this favorite child Sculpture-Walk-Arch-Of-Dreams-Falls-Park DTSF . . . . and all out of town visitors who arrive by car get a predominately lousy first impression of SF when they exit I-29 or I-229. From poorly groomed/maintained urban interstate highway exchanges, to raised boulevards missing young trees that have been mowed down during vehicle accidents or died from neglect, hodgepodge old commercial properties and plethora of commercial leasing agent tacky homemade “FOR LEASE” signs. . . Sioux Falls appears to be just a backwards, hayseed prairie truck stop.

#12 The Guy From Guernsey on 05.22.21 at 11:57 pm

“… Sioux Falls appears to be just a backwards, hayseed prairie truck stop.”
A collective gasp is heard from the Arch of Dreams crowd, followed by, “we are most certainly NOT Council Bluffs!”