Sioux Falls has been awarded a $1.25 million grant from the Economic Development Administration (EDA) to assist in constructing a street in an industrial park.

At a media announcement Monday July 8th, Darrin Smith from the Sioux Falls Community Development office; Slater Barr from the Sioux Falls Development Foundation; Lynne Kellar Forbes of the Southeastern Council of Governments (SECOG); and Mark Cotter, City Public Works Director, explained how the grant was obtained, and how and when it will be used.

In the Northeast section of Sioux Falls, on the east side of Interstate 229 between Benson Road on the south, and 60th Street on the North, is about 270 acres of land which is zoned light industrial. Most of the land is owned by the Development Foundation. What we see as we drive by this land is pasture with livestock grazing. That pasture is officially called Development Park 8.

There are a few businesses on the east side of the park which are not visible from the interstate. The grant money will be used along with funds from the Development Foundation to build a three lane street called Bahnson Avenue thru the middle of the park from north to south. Access to I-229 will be from Benson Road on the south. Mark Cotter stated the street will be similar to Lewis Avenue in the park to the west.

According to Slater Barr the road will open up development sites, which when built upon could create nearly 3000 jobs, based on past experience with acreages of similar size in Sioux Falls.

The plan and hope is for technology and research companies, similar to Poet and Sanford just across the road to fill the space. According to Barr there are very few available, build-able, industrial sites in Sioux Falls today. The road to be constructed in 2014 will change that.

Lynne Kellar Forbes explained this is the third attempt made by SECOG to obtain funds from the EDA region which serves this area and 10 states, and only has about $10 million a year available.

Apparently, the third time is the charm.