Sioux Falls City Councilor Selberg should recuse himself from Bunker Ramp negotiations

During the informational this afternoon the council discussed what next to do with the Bunker Ramp;

A public parking ramp that took nearly a decade and more than $20 million to build in downtown Sioux Falls could be sold to a private developer.

During a Tuesday informational meeting at Carnegie Town Hall, city councilors urged Mayor Paul TenHaken’s administration to consider all options when picking a new partner to build at the Mall Avenue and 10th Street site.

And that includes selling the entirety of the seven-story ramp that opened in July 2020 and is equipped to handle up to eight additional stories. The site has gone undeveloped since a mixed-use parking ramp project fell apart in 2019.

I do agree with councilors that they should take the best deal and I also agree with councilor Soehl that we need to use a 3rd party to vet the investors properly. I am also partially in agreement with what councilor Merkouris said;

Rich Merkouris said he’s apprehensive about giving any tax breaks to the eventual buyer unless they use the space to add residential stock downtown.

“For me personally, I would struggle incentivizing anything outside of housing unless it was a part of the bigger package,” he said.

I would go a step further and say there should be NO incentives. Anyone who takes over this property is being given a site in a plum location with an opportunity to do well. The taxpayers have already incentivized this project, there is absolutely NO reason to hand out more candy. Find an honest free market developer who has a solid plan to make it successful, then you don’t need to worry about tax incentives. It was also pointed out it is in an opportunity zone which means there will be some incentives to build there without city tax payers help.

But what what really pissed me off was having councilor Selberg sit in on meetings and negotiations for future use. NO councilor that helped approve this pile of sh!t should be involved. It should either be handed over to a new councilor or Pat Starr who opposed this. It would be like hiring the guy who rear ended your car to fix it. Any councilor who approved this should not be in closed door meetings trying to cover up their mistakes. We need councilors with a clear conscience to negotiate this deal with a focus on hyper transparency.

These knuckleheads learn very little from past mistakes.



8 comments ↓

#1 ramp it up on 09.21.22 at 12:07 pm

Selberg is an empty suit with ties to development community…fox guarding the henhouse anyone?
Not sure who should be on this from the council. Cole is in Neizert’s pocket so that excludes her. Would have to be Barranco or Merkouris. Personally I don’t trust anyone involved with the city administration or council to look out for our best interests on this deal.

#2 Fear & Loathing in Sioux Falls on 09.21.22 at 12:10 pm

I’ve heard of someone trying to sell a bridge before, but never a Bunker Ramp before. Can it really be done? Hopefully, the buyer will move it. And, I would like to meet this buyer, because I’ve got a used car I would like to sell him, too:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W59U9A4xtCE

#3 l3wis on 09.21.22 at 12:27 pm

They will give away the farm to whoever makes an offer on it. I can guarantee it will be a sweetheart deal to whoever takes it over.

Funny you bring up Lake Havasou. My great uncle built that town. He retired at 50 after making millions building retirement homes there.

#4 Further Fear & Loathing on 09.21.22 at 1:20 pm

It sounds like your great uncle might have been a(n) early Taupester, huh?

#5 l3wis on 09.21.22 at 1:48 pm

Not quite. They were slab on grade, 1 bed, 1 bath, gravel yard with a cactus. I think he told me once they could build a house in 3 days. He churned them out like Model T’s.

#6 Fearing the Fuhrer & More on 09.21.22 at 2:23 pm

But there are no tornadoes in Arizona, right? But what about a derecho or a haboob?

#7 "Woodstock" on 09.22.22 at 1:15 pm

“Say, speaking of moving, did you see where people are now leaving Russia in droves?”…. “Maybe Governor DeSantis should lease some more planes and then send these Russians to Martha’s Vineyard”….

#ThatWouldBeNiceOfHim

#8 Fearing the Fuhrer & More on 09.23.22 at 11:26 pm

What is it called when you accidentally rescue yourself by excusing yourself to use the bathroom during a vote? Could a proxy help?… With the vote, that is.

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