City Council to Make Final Vote on Mixed-Use Parking Ramp Project

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – City council members will vote Tuesday night on what could be the largest single investment in downtown Sioux Falls.

The mixed-use parking ramp would sit on east 10th Street and Mall Avenue, and could reach up to 14 stories tall, but city councilors have mixed feelings about the project.

“Its going to be a game changer for Sioux Falls. It’s really a win-win for us. We need to build a ramp, this is our land, this is where the demand is, it just so happens that we can do a private development,” said Councilor Greg Neitzert.

“This proposal is not a good fit for our citizens. This started out as a need for parking for our downtown people parking, now it’s turned into an economic development project they’re two different things,” said Councilor Theresa Stehly.

Councilors will make their final vote Tuesday on the $50 million public-private project.

Council member Stehly says she’s concerned about the intimate relationship the city would have with the private developer, the cost and funding of the project, and if it’s really what’s needed in downtown Sioux Falls.

“I think we need to be looking at new parking possibilities for people, but I think we need to be spreading across the whole downtown area not just having everything consolidated in one area,” she said.

Councilor Neitzert disagrees. He says the project will add additional parking as well as revenue.

“And rather than having a parking ramp with no property tax or sales tax, because the city does not pay property tax of course, we will have millions of dollars in property, sales tax, hotel tax and so it will be a big economic engine. And we will have a guaranteed customer on day one.”

At least five city council members will need to vote in favor of the project for it to move forward.

“At this point, I am a big fan of the project,” said Neitzert. “I would definitely be very heavily leaning towards approving the project.”

“There’s so many parts of it that aren’t adding up for me,” said Stehly “I’m not going to be able to support this.”

There will be an opportunity for citizens to address the council Tuesday during the public input portion, before the council makes their vote.

The meeting starts at 7 p.m. at Carnegie Hall.

If the project is approved, construction will begin in spring of 2018. The first full year of operation will be in 2020.

Categories: Local News, News, News Top Story