The Mayor held his latest Listening and Learning Session at the Moose Lodge on Burnside Avenue this past week and he predicted what will soon become some of the most valuable real estate in town.
The ARGUS LEADER reported: Huether acknowledged property along Burnside is on a new course for development as hotels, bars, restaurants and retail expected to grow up in the shadow of the events center will need building sites.
“Your property is going to be a lot more valuable,” Huether said.
The Mayor's latest prediction regarding the area surrounding the new Event Center is contrary to what everyone else has been saying about the area. What does the Mayor know that most everyone else says probably isn't going to happen?
This very area was highlighted in a SF Business Journal article back in December, 2010:
One Developer’s Perspective of the Arena Site: An Area 'Still Kind Of Limping Along' -- Doug Brockhouse grew up in the neighborhood, which has been known through the years as West Sioux. He also owns a business, Arena Storage, on West Second Street. Some of the streets are at unusual angles - such as the diagonal Burnside Street - because they were built around a huge military base. Remains of some of the barracks still are visible in the neighborhood. Today, the area "is still kind of limping along and nothing has really ever taken flight out there," said Brockhouse, a principal with Bender Commercial Real Estate. Brockhouse doesn't envision much more development if an events center is built there. "I really don't see much growth out there because of it," he said. "I really don't." (Sioux Falls Business Journal, Dec. ’10)
This is the very area that was embroiled in a controversy back in June of this year related to an ethics complaint against Councilor Entenman regarding his ownership of property near the Event Center location.
Back in June, 2011 the Ethics Board rendered its decision regarding a conflict of interest complaint filed against Councilor Entenman regarding his building on Burnside Avenue and whether he should be allowed to vote on the Event Center location due to a financial interest.
The Ethics Board ruled there was no conflict of interest and Ethics Board member Bill O'Connor stated, "Whatever we've done in that area hasn't necessarily had a good financial outcome for areas businesses. Even the ARGUS LEADER reported the board based its decision in part on the fact that land values didn't go up after the SF Convention Center was built in the mid-1990's and after upgrades were made to the SF Stadium in 2000.
Councilor Entenman was cleared of a conflict of interest so he could vote with the mayor on placing the Event Center in a place that even the Ethics Board saw as having no land value potential - at the time.
In a November 29, 2011 article in the SF Business Journal, two local developers talked about that area as well in terms of investment predictability.
I think the new events center will add a whole new dynamic to the area because of its massiveness and newness,” said developer Craig Lloyd of Lloyd Cos. “Will that attract development and entrepreneurs to go out there? I don’t know."
According to the article, AECOM estimated the events center could attract $6.7 million in new investment, which would result in $30,000 in additional property taxes. “The existing visitor-serving facilities within the complex have had little impact on business attraction to the area,” the report concluded, noting that financing projects might be difficult because the area has not shown a record of many successful developments. “It’s all true,” Lloyd said. “You’re not surrounded by residential. Rooftops drive restaurants, retail and offices. It’s just going to be tough to go out there. The first couple people are going to have to be real pioneers.”
Developer Jim Dunham of The Dunham Co. agreed. “I think the events center, long term, will be good for Sioux Falls and good for the economy,” he said. “But it’s unfortunate that due to the location it will not drive other development. It will have no impact on the immediate area. It’s not an area where you’d go build a spec strip mall or office building because you’re not going to get anybody to move out there.” The former Oaks hotel site along Russell Street might be redeveloped, but other opportunities are minimal, Dunham said. “It’s just an area nobody drives on a daily basis,” he said. “I can’t imagine what you would build out there, maybe a convenience store, maybe a liquor store. I can’t imagine what you can add that would survive on just the events center alone.”
Just give it a little time. The story keeps changing. Now we know that the property out there is going to be a lot more valuable. The mayor said, “I’m not telling the Moose to sell or put up a for-sale sign, but property around here, as the events center gets built, you will see for-sale signs going up.”
Councilor Entenman said his property was not for sale. He said he was optimistic about the investment possibilities in that area. I guess we should wait and see if a For Sale sign goes up on his property out there because, after all, it's going to be a lot more valuable out there according to the Mayor. Who knows, maybe the Mayor knows something the local developers don't know.
The Northwest is the new hotspot.