Harrisburg civic leader: ‘We don’t see building slowing down anytime soon’

This piece is presented by the Lincoln County Economic Development Association.

From a new grocery store to a boutique to an indoor trampoline park and lots of new housing, there’s no question Harrisburg is a hotbed of activity this year.

We caught up with Adrienne McKeown, who is the president of the Harrisburg Economic Development Corporation and Chamber of Commerce, to learn more about what’s happening in this growing community.

Adrienne McKeown

You have so many new businesses opening this year! Were you expecting it?

We knew that once we secured a grocery store, other retailers would likely follow. Additionally, the population in our community continues to grow; we had more than 5,700 residents as of our April 2016 special census. With the ever-increasing population, those residents are going to need and want more services and options, so we do expect that the trend of new businesses coming to Harrisburg will continue.

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What do you think is generating this level of interest in Harrisburg?

Harrisburg has the small-town feel with all of the added amenities of a larger city just a few minutes away. Many people in Harrisburg grew up in small towns and want that same kind of lifestyle for their families — where neighbors know and take care of each other. At the same time, we are a community with a young median age, so people are also looking for entertainment opportunities for themselves and their children — things like a zoo or a science center or a performing arts center — that are close by. Harrisburg really provides the perfect blend of peacefulness and proximity.

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Even with all the new businesses, every community still has businesses it would like to attract. Would other types of businesses could you use in Harrisburg?

We continue to hear from residents that they would like to have more dining options, especially the fast-casual or family-friendly kind. In a young community, people are on the move and want to be able to grab a quick bite to eat between kids’ activities. Having Fareway in our community will certainly make it easier to grab the essentials, but we would also benefit from a business like a dollar store or a drugstore that would offer a broader selection of nongrocery items.

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How’s your housing market? Are there homes available or are they selling fast? Are new homes being built?

Our housing market is very active and strong. More than 80 homes have sold already this year, and they are selling fast! We currently have 42 homes under contract and 52 active homes for sale, but look quickly because many sell within a few days of listing. On the new-home front, we have issued building permits for 31 new homes so far in 2017 as well as seven permits for 33 multifamily housing units. According to our city planning and zoning officials, this is an above-average building season for us.

What’s next for Harrisburg? Are there other projects or opportunities ahead?

We don’t see the building slowing down anytime soon, and there are several projects in the works that will come to fruition in the next year. We are always open to working with developers and retailers to bring in new projects and are committed to doing what we can to make projects beneficial for all parties involved — our residents, the developers and the city. Outside of the business sector, we are also happy to welcome community partnerships like the Sioux Falls Catholic Diocese, who is currently forming a new worship community within Harrisburg. Businesses certainly play an important role in developing a city, but we are committed to creating a complete lifestyle,  including partnerships with churches, our fantastic school system and nonprofit organizations. All of these groups working together makes Harrisburg a great place to call home.

Harrisburg civic leader: ‘We don’t see building slowing down anytime soon’

Harrisburg Chamber and Economic Development Corp. leader Adrienne McKeown says the city is trying to create a “complete lifestyle.”

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