Riverline District would expand downtown Sioux Falls footprint to the east
Business and community groups announced coalition to purchase land adjacent to Drake Springs Pool.
SIOUX FALLS — A coalition of business, government and community groups launched a push on Tuesday, Jan. 31, to spread the footprint of downtown Sioux Falls across the Big Sioux River to the east.
The Sioux Falls Development Foundation, with contributions from five other organizations, has secured a purchase agreement for eight acres of land near the intersection of 10th Street and Cliff Avenue.
The project is called the Riverline District.
The next question is what is it?
The answer is there are no firm plans for the space. During an announcement in front of a packed Belbas Theatre in the Washington Pavilion of Arts and Science, the organizers said the next stage is to find out what the residents of Sioux Falls would like to see at the location, emphasizing that sports or recreation is a prime focus .
“We need you to dream big and let us know what you want this area to look like,” said Lynne Keller-Forbes, co-chair of the Friends of the Riverline District.
People are encouraged to complete a survey at www.riverlinedistrict.com . The survey will be live for the next several weeks. That will give leaders the direction to pursue the planning, financing and design of the project.
The building at the site was once a Sears department store but today houses offices for the state government. The land is privately held.
The groups pooled $250,000 in earnest money for the purchase agreement, said Keller-Forbes, who is the executive director of the South Eastern Council of Governments. That organization also oversees Dakota BUSINESS Finance and South Eastern Development Foundation, two of the partner groups that contributed to the earnest money pool.
The other three are Forward Sioux Falls, Downtown Sioux Falls and Experience Sioux Falls.
The final financing for the project, whatever it becomes, is yet to be determined. But the backers and Mayor Paul TenHaken stressed that it will be shared between government and private investors.
“It’s time we reimagine what the next opportunity for that location is,” TenHaken said. “Our downtown has seen tremendous growth and success over the last several decades but with that success we are outgrowing what we typically think of as downtown.”