Equity Square opens offices, adding bank

By Jodi Schwan

Financial service businesses are starting to fill up the newly named Equity Square building in downtown Sioux Falls, including a bank opening its first branch in town.

The building on the southeast corner of Eighth Street and Phillips Avenue was vacant for years after DM&E moved out.

Legacy Developments and Gil Haugan Construction have been renovating it for the past several months.

The first tenant – Ohio-based Equity Trust Co. – moved into second-floor offices last week.

“We selected that building after looking at lots of options, downtown and not downtown,” president Mike Dea said. “At the end of the day, we took that location because of its convenience and really felt once we built out the space it would provide us the opportunity to attract talent in the Sioux Falls metropolitan area.”

Equity Trust Co. has moved into Equity Square.

Equity focuses on enabling self-directed IRA investors to diversify through alternative asset classes, including real estate, tax liens, private equity and precious metals. Equity Trust has grown to more than 300,000 accounts in all 50 states with $30 billion of retirement-plan assets.

The business has had a presence in Sioux Falls since 2011 at the Zeal Center for Entrepreneurship.

“Zeal Center was really good to us,” Dea said. “We donated all our equipment to Zeal, so they got all the desks and cubicles and conference tables, and I know were appreciative of all that furniture.”

Companywide there are more than 400 Equity Trust employees. Sioux Falls is the second-largest office with 15 people and plans to grow.

Equity Trust

“We’re always looking for auditors and compliance professionals and good call center personnel,” Dea said. “Hopefully, people start to recognize the Equity Trust name. We have a commitment to the community as a corporate citizen and look forward to our presence there.”

Equity spent more than $1 million renovating its new office, which has a modern, airy feeling and is surrounded by windows.

“We fully expect we’ll be hiring and continue to grow every year as a company,” Dea said.

Equity Trust

Heritage Bank opening branch

Equity soon will have new neighbors on the first floor of the renovated building.

Heritage Bank, which is charted in Spicer, Minn., is leasing 3,000 square feet.  The bank has four branches in Minnesota, eight in Iowa, and a handful of staff members are already working remotely in Sioux Falls.

“We’ve been working on the right location and really wanted to be downtown,” market president Dave Brown said. “I love the area.”

Future Heritage Bank

The bank will focus on commercial and mortgage lending initially, he said.

“Our focus is not just building a branch. Our focus is that our business bankers are out seeing people and have all the connectivity to do everything at the locations.  In banking, we’re giving everybody all the resources, so it’s convenient and they don’t need to come into the branch.”

The location will use modular walls for flexibility, and while there will be some offices, “the focus we have is more conference rooms and meeting rooms,” Brown said. “It operates with a reception area and teller area, but it’s not a traditional teller line.”

The plan is to open in May.

More space available

Other interest in the building includes office tenants looking at space on the third or fourth floors, developer Norm Drake said.

“On third floor, we have letters of intent for 8,000 to 9,000 square feet, and fourth floor is wide open, and we’re kind of saving that for tenants we have started conversations with,” he said.

Equity Square

Future office space at Equity Square.

The first floor might include a coffee shop, and additional space along the Big Sioux River is intended for a restaurant.

“The windows all along the east side of the building are foldable, so you can open that to the river and enjoy the sounds of the river and fresh air,” Drake said. “Aesthetically and as far as the quality of the building, we just are super excited with how it’s turning out. We’re still looking for the right restaurant tenant, but we think it will be awesome.”

Equity Square opens offices, adding bank

Financial service businesses are starting to fill up the newly named Equity Square building in downtown Sioux Falls, including a bank opening its first branch in town.

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