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Sioux Falls Downtown Hailed by Harvard Professor

FILE: Sioux Falls, Downtown
Anthony Wright/KSOO-AM

Inner city areas are the most crucial parts of many U.S. communities. One expert says Downtown Sioux Falls is among the best.

Sometimes when you want to get better you need an outside voice. Brienne Maner of Downtown Sioux Falls tells about nationally renowned retail and urban planner Robert Gibbs who gave high marks to the city’s core.

“We saw him speak at the North Dakota Downtown Conference. He was (giving tips to) Fargo about what they needed. We wanted to bring this guy into our community and let him let us have it. He told us that we were actually doing a pretty good job. In fact, (his assessment) put Sioux Falls among the top ten of the thousands of downtowns he’s visited.”

Since Downtown Sioux Falls is doing so well, Maner says the goal is to continue improving.

“Things like having more anchor stores in Downtown Sioux Falls (such as) Duluth Trading Company and MacKenzie River Pizza. They have been huge for downtown Sioux Falls and the business community is rallying around it. We should also be thinking about things like lifestyle centers which are killing downtowns and do our best to compete.”

Lifestyle centers compete with downtown businesses because they combine retail and leisure activities which cater to upscale consumers and are typically located in suburban areas. Additionally, Maner points out that downtown business engagement at their member meetings has grown more than five hundred percent over a five-year period.

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