Historic Beach Pay Building has new owner

By Jodi Schwan

After about two months on the market and multiple offers, the historic Beach Pay Building has sold.

The buyer is real estate investor and entrepreneur Kevin Tupy, owner of Crescent Venture Capital and a partner in several other business ventures.

Built in 1887, the building at 122 S. Phillips Ave. is believed to be downtown’s oldest.

After learning of the history, “I became really proud I was buying it,” Tupy said. “It’s just crazy how old it is. And structurally, it’s in great shape.”

It’s the first historic building he has purchased and the first one downtown. Tupy, an early player in the wireless industry, grew from a single store on West 41st Street to become the largest Verizon premium retailer in the country.

He’s now a partner in A Wireless, which includes about 1,200 Verizon authorized retail stores. His focus has shifted to real estate investing – he owns about 20 retail properties in the Sioux Falls area – and venture capital through his firm Crescent Venture Capital.

Watching the growth of downtown areas nationwide and in Sioux Falls, he has been interested in an investment there for a while.

“It’s where people want to live and be,” he said. “That ultimately benefits multifamily and retail and restaurants. It’s good to see people aren’t just sitting online in suburbia ordering off Amazon. There’s actual social interaction happening downtown.”

He’s also encouraged by new attractions, such as the future Levitt Shell, that are bringing more entertainment options.

The Beach Pay Building has strong occupancy, including a full lineup of retail tenants on Phillips Avenue, including 605 Running Co., Half Baked and Urban Archaeology. The upper floors are offices.

A group of local business leaders bought the property in the mid-1990s. Led by Jeff and Sheila Hazard, who spent many months renovating it, the group was invested in helping grow downtown at a time when not nearly as much was happening there, said Nick Gustafson, a partner in Bender Commercial Real Estate Services and the listing broker for the building.

“We tried to place the property at a number that was a good return for the owners who purchased it and renovated it and allowed the next buyer to possibly do some renovations,” he said.

Tupy offered the asking price of just under $2 million. He was one of six parties that made an offer.

“We’ll do what updates we can without disturbing the current lineup of tenants and try to add value where we can as a landlord to the building,” he said. “I’d love to remodel some of the offices, expose some of the brick, update the common space area, and who knows down the road whether we can add onto it or do something with the rooftop.”

Bender founder Michael Bender was part of the ownership group. The firm will continue to be a tenant, Tupy said.

He also is interested in more projects downtown. He anticipates having a business in The Cascade, the new mixed-use property under construction in Uptown, and is open to other investments.

“I would love to as opportunities become available,” he said.

From near dropout to wireless king, Tupy shares little-known success story

Historic Beach Pay Building has new owner

After about two months on the market and multiple offers, the historic Beach Pay Building has sold.

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