SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO) – The Town of Sioux Falls just added a six-story parking ramp with approximately 525 spaces downtown in 2020
Now it appears to be on track to do away with a flat surface parking lot at 400 S. 1st St. in the downtown core of the city.
City council on Oct. 18 approved stopping use of the parking lot to make way for a $ 28 million mixed-use development project on the site.
Flat-surface parking is generally not the best use of downtown properties, said Dustin Powers of the city’s Planning and Zoning Department in an interview with KELOLAND News.
“We like to see more density in the downtown area,” Powers said. This means increasing residential development like apartments, he said.
It is also important to add business and commercial development to further stimulate the economy of the inner city, town and county, Powers said.
If the city removes the 50 spaces from the 400 S. 1st St. lot, there will still be parking available for those renting spaces in the lot, Powers said. The lot is around 70% occupied, he said.
Lot license holders would move to another lot, Matt Nelson said at the Oct. 18 council meeting. Nelson is the manager of the city’s public parking lots
In the parking pattern, “it’s not a lot of spaces,” Powers said of above ground parking.
According to Downtown Sioux Falls and the City of Sioux Falls, the downtown area has over 1,000 on-street parking spaces and 2,500 off-street parking spaces. Many of these off-street spaces are in ramps such as the new ramp. In addition, in general, there is a charge for parking in off-street spaces Monday through Friday until 5 p.m.
As of May 19, the 2020 parking ramp for the failed Village on the River project “was performing exactly as expected,” Nelson said in a KELOLAND News article. “We were planning to have over 300 leases and we have about 300 leases.”
The proposed development for the above ground parking would include 150 apartments and 5,000 square feet of retail space on the first floor, Powers said.
Renter parking would be underground, Powers said.
The development would be a major addition to the south-eastern part of downtown. By comparison, much of the recent development has taken place north near 8th and Railroad Center and towards Falls Park.
“We are delighted to have other developments close to our store,” said Zane Hoffelt, manager of Norberg’s Ace Hardware downtown. Ace Hardware is across from the 400 S. 1st St. parking lot.
The additional retailers will be good for Ace but also for other businesses nearby, Hoffelt said.
“If there are 150 residents across the street, that’s exciting for us,” Hoffelt said.
Powers said metered off-street parking is available in the proposed development area along with a parking ramp.
Hoffelt said Ace has his own parking lot, but shoppers come all day to get change for the meters.
“They are already using the metered parking spaces and the parking ramps,” Hoffelt said.
He does not expect the proposed development to insist on available parking.
“I realized there were people renting spaces but there was a parking ramp a block away,” Hoffelt said.
The town has a second lot for sale at 301 N. Main St. downtown.
The decision to try to sell the two parking lots stems from the Downtown 2025 plan, the 2014 parking needs analysis by Walker Parking Consultants and a 2014 downtown market study.
The 2014 Walker study identified nearly 3,000 unoccupied parking spaces during peak weekday needs in the city’s downtown core. “Many unoccupied parking spaces are located in areas with low development density and beyond what some people may consider an acceptable walking distance from the central core.
Business district, ”says the study.
The 2014 market study predicted that at least 1,900 new homes, at least 190,000 square feet of retail and restaurant business, and at least 1 million square feet of office space would be added downtown over 20 years.
Walker’s study also indicated that if the projected 190,000 square feet of retail space and 1.0 million square feet of office space were added downtown over the next 20 years, parking needs would also increase. The study recommended adding spaces to meet future needs.
Powers said at the Oct. 18 meeting that elements of the expected growth are occurring and the city is meeting parking needs.
The Downtown 2025 plan was developed when Mike Huether was mayor. It identifies specific areas of attention and potential growth.
The Downtown 2025 plan called for three distinct neighborhoods “to add to the vitality of downtown over the next ten years.” These neighborhoods are Falls Park, Phillips Avenue and River Greenway.
The plan also identified the Railyard and Weber corridor and several other areas as potential areas for development.
Powers said the proposed four-story project over an existing parking lot meets the needs and goals identified in the Walker study and the Downtown 2025 plan.