Debate Over Proposed Affordable Housing In Southern SF

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – This week the Sioux Falls City Council unanimously approved the first reading of a zone change on the south side of town.

The change would allow Costello Companies to build an affordable housing apartment complex on the lot.

The construction company says since the area is expected to grow in the next couple of years, it’s a perfect spot for the complex.

But some neighbors disagree.

“I’m just a little shocked,” says Matt Edwards who lives near the lot.

“I was quite surprised when I initially found out about it,” agrees Jason Bosley, also a resident in the area.

Neighbors near the 5 acre empty lot on 85th and Brett Avenue weren’t expecting to have an apartment complex proposed in their back yard.

“Normally between a single family home it transitions to twin homes and then an apartment complex,” explains Bosley.

Many in the area say they’re concerned about increased traffic.

“I have children two and five years old that play in the neighborhood and we have many small children that are in the neighborhood,” says Bosley.

As well as a possible decrease in their property value.

“Maybe not the cost of the home,” says Edwards. “But it will sit on the market twice as long as one down the street.”

But owner of Costello Companies, Dan Costello, says since this area will grow in the next couple of years, property values will actually increase.

“There’s been a lot of talk about how the retail and commercial capacity in this area from Tall Grass to the interstate and through, it will be a kin to the Empire Mall area,” says Costello.

The three-building apartment complex would look similar to the Chasing Willows apartment complex on E. 54th Street.

Costello Companies built the Chasing Willows apartments so the design will be very similar.

Costello says the complex on 85th street would be geared toward those in the workforce.

He says having an income less than $15 would be a requirement to live in the complex.

“We’re already at a shortage from low income type of housing and there’s always going to be more demand,” says Costello. “Everyone in town is looking for help, whether its restaurant help, and construction help. A lot of jobs are needed, but we have to have places for folks to live that are affordable for their income.”

“I understand the need and why Costello is looking to do it, but I think there could be some better use out of that land than an apartment complex,” says Bosley.

City council will vote on whether or not to rezone the lot allowing the complex to be built for the second and final time on March 7.

If they vote “yes” the land will be rezoned to from agriculture district to apartment residential.

Costello says if approved, they won’t start construction until 2019.

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