Sioux Falls, SD
The Sioux Falls City Council learned about the proposed Downtown parking ramp project during its informational meeting Tuesday afternoon.
The $50 million mixed-use parking ramp, which has been in the works for a while, will include a hotel as well as have room for restaurants and businesses.
"We've had studies in 2007, 2014, that have said we need to expand our parking opportunities of downtown Sioux Falls," said Daren Ketchum, the Director of Community Development.
The plan is to have the City of Sioux Falls invest $20.6 million and a private investor will cover the remaining $30 million. $4.1 million of the city dollars will come out of the parking system cash fund and the other $16.5 million will come from bonds that will be repaid by the parking system in the future.
"We're not going to be using tax dollars to pay for this so property tax payers or sales tax that you pay on a purchase at a retail store, those dollars are not going to go to this," said Ketchum.
Even though the feedback from the first meeting was mostly positive, council member Theresa Stehly doesn't think it's needed right now.
"I've been discussing this proposal with citizens for many months now and I have yet to hear from a citizen who thinks this is going to work for our city," said Theresa Stehly, council member.
The underlying issue for her is that it's not transparent enough.
"They won't tell us who the investors are, we're partnering with them. We found out tonight it's $20.6 million for 390 new spaces," said Stehly.
Ketchum says those agreements are kept confidential for a reason.
"For one, developers aren't going to jeopardize the millions of dollars they have invested in these types of projects, simply to garner an investment from a public official," said Ketchum.
If passed, the parking ramp at 13 stories will become one of the tallest buildings in downtown Sioux Falls.
The spokesmen say it will be an iconic and striking landmark for the downtown Sioux Falls skyline.
The proposal now has to make it through two more city council readings and a vote could happen on Dec. 5.
If approved, the entire project could be complete by the fall of 2020.
You can learn more about the project and see more photos on the city’s website.
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