National retailers, growing businesses snapping up sites in Tea

Nov. 1, 2018

This paid piece is sponsored by the Lincoln County Economic Development Association.

When Fareway opens in Tea next year, it will be a store six years in the making for the Iowa-based grocer.

“Tea has been on our radar since coming to Sioux Falls in 2013,” said Garrett Piklapp, general counsel for Fareway Stores Inc.

“It is a strong community, with good leadership and clear vision. We have a long history and an ongoing commitment to communities like Tea.”

The opportunity to enter the market came up recently when Sunshine Foods owners Kyle and Deb Svanda decided to sell their location to Fareway.

The store is “an important piece” of what Piklapp calls Fareway’s “long-term vision for the Sioux Falls market and its surrounding communities.”

Tea gained its grocery store in 2006, and keeping one was critical, Mayor John Lawler said.

“Kyle did an awesome job owning and running Sunshine, and we’re happy to be keeping a grocery store. Fareway was a good fit,” he said. “They told us they had their eye on the area for a long time … but Sunshine was locally owned, and they didn’t want to disrupt that, and I appreciate that. A lot of out-of-town companies wouldn’t think about that.”

Other retailers also have taken notice of the opportunity in Tea, which now has more than 5,000 residents.

After years of showing interest in a store in Tea, Dollar General is under construction near the Casey’s General Store and will open soon, Lawler said.

O’Reilly Auto Parts also will be breaking ground in the area.

“O’Reilly took us by surprise when we first got the call there was interest. That came out of the blue,” Lawler said. “There continues to be interest in commercial development, looking at Tea and the surrounding area. There’s a lot of good and exciting things happening.”

The Bakker Landing development is positioned to become a gateway to the growing city.

Owned by Sundowner Investments Group, led by Dan Lemme, it encompasses 270 acres from 85th Street to County Road 106 between Sundowner Avenue and Interstate 29.

“There are three parcels under contract, and we’ve closed on one,” Lemme said.

That one is a 10-acre site for Wheel City Auto, which is moving its headquarters from Sioux Falls to Tea and constructing a 17,000-square-foot building.

“They’re not going to move the retail lot off 41st Street, but they will move their corporate office, the service end of their business and another concept they’re thinking about rolling out,” said Brad Gullickson of Harr & Lemme Commercial Real Estate, who brokered the deal.

“They’re planning on breaking ground within the coming days, so we’re going to see some changes out there.”

Bringing infrastructure to the property has been challenging with this year’s wet weather, Lemme said.

“Everybody wants to know when we’ll have the roads in,” he said. “If we don’t get more moisture and weather stays decent, we hope to have curb and gutter and asphalt in in November.”

Other businesses interested in the area include a bank, fast-food restaurant and event-related business.

“It will change things drastically when people can drive out there and see lots,” Gullickson said. “But I get inquiries daily. I really do.”

National retailers, growing businesses snapping up sites in Tea

From national names to growing local businesses, commercial activity is taking off in Tea.

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