Mixed-Use Parking Ramp Project In Downtown SF Far From Dead

Last year, the city announced that it had chosen private developers to design and construct a mixed-use parking ramp in downtown Sioux Falls. With higher than expected costs, the plan fell through, but that doesn’t mean the project is dead.

City of Sioux Falls Director of Community Development Darrin Smith said, “It’s really the perfect location because it’s a nice, good size, square, flat piece of property in the heart of downtown.”

The project planned for East 10th Street and South Mall Avenue was known as ‘The Banks’. It included hotel rooms, apartments, retail space and parking. A construction company and architecture firm had been chosen; even a consulting firm. Unfortunately, city officials say construction costs were just too high.

Smith said, “We reassessed the situation, went back to the drawing board to some extent.”

After talking with downtown stakeholders, the city says there’s still interest and believe a mixed-use parking ramp is still the way to go.

“Right now our parking system, which is nearly 2,500 spaces strong in our parking ramps and surface lots downtown is over 90 percent full,” said Smith. “this is on the radar of a lot of large development companies, which is really good. A lot of that is because of what’s going on in Sioux Falls right now. It’s a very hot market.”

But this time around, the city will do things a little different. It’s looking for a private partner through a ‘Request For Qualifications’ rather than a ‘Request For Proposals’. They say the process is less detail specific and won’t put so many limitations on the developer.

“This one will be more focused on development experience. We’ll work together to develop those proposal concepts and details and budgets and so forth,” said Smith. “We’ve had an outpouring of interest both before and again so I’m very we’ll have several express interest, probably several proposals.”

The city says they’re looking for a project that is mixed-use, consists of 600 parking spots, and fits the look and feel of downtown. City officials hope to launch the RFQ process as early as June and break ground on the project in 2017.