City: 15-story building is still on track

Aug. 1, 2018

The city’s 15-story mixed-use project is moving forward following a vetting by Mayor Paul TenHaken and his staff, city leaders announced today.

“We wanted to make sure this is the right project and we follow the right process,” he said. “Contractually, we have, and the partners involved have.”

The city looked at pausing, continuing or ending the project, he said.

“It’s easy to be an armchair attorney,” TenHaken said. “I didn’t like how the process went but loved how it ended up. While it was something we considered, once we got to the end we’re more rock solid and excited about the project through meeting with Jeff and determining the guarantee side of the project.”

Jeff Lamont, CEO of Aberdeen-based Lamont Cos., appeared at the news conference to emphasize his role as majority owner and managing member of Village on the River Group.

“I make all the decision for this company. No one else can make any decisions at all.”

The project will include 215 rooms between two hotels: AC Hotel by Marriott and Residence Inn by Marriott.

“We feel Mariott is the strongest franchised brand in the world, so we’re excited to be partnered with them,” Lamont said, adding he feels the market needs those additional hotels.

The property will include five restaurant-lounges, six conference rooms and three rooftop venues, he said.

There’s 7,500 square feet of retail space on the main level mostly spoken for, Lamont said.

“So that’s good. We’ve had a lot of interest in that,” he said.

He said while no leases are signed, a restaurant is interested in half the space and a retail service business is interested in the rest. Lamont Cos. is handling the leasing.

Lamont mentioned media reports tying the hotel-parking ramp project to others involving Legacy Developments, including the collapsed former Copper Lounge building and stressed that they are separate from Village on the River.

“They’re a small partner in this project and have no control,” Lamont said. “They can’t make any decisions on this project.”

He estimated Legacy’s ownership in the limited liability company at less than 10 percent. Legacy has no involvement in the construction and is not doing the leasing.

Legacy’s proposal was the one selected by the city and called for partnering with a hotel developer on the project. That partner became Lamont, which also is involved in 44 other hotels nationwide.

“All the project decisions, steps, criteria that need to be followed are the sole responsibility of Lamont Cos.,” TenHaken said. “Sioux Falls needs hotel space, we need convention space, we need downtown parking. We need retail. The retail of this development is almost entirely spoken for. There’s demand.”

Construction remains on schedule, Lamont said. He plans to begin work on the hotel next spring. Journey Group is the general contractor for the ramp and hotel shell. Journey might also build out the hotel, or Lamont’s construction team might do it, he said.

City: 15-story building is still on track

The city’s 15-story mixed-use project is moving forward following a vetting by Mayor Paul TenHaken and his staff, city leaders announced today.

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