Rail yard project faces unexpected delay with design adjustment

Aug. 22, 2018

A Sioux Falls City Council vote that would clear the way for the first development at the downtown rail yard has been delayed until Oct. 15.

The Black Iron Railyard LLC project is planning to redevelop 4 acres east of the 8th & Railroad Center.

As David R. and Erika Billion have met with potential contractors and consultants, it has prompted them to rethink the design, said their attorney, Jim Wiederrich of Woods, Fuller, Shultz & Smith PC.

“As a result of those meetings and the ability to start understanding some of the costs of construction, the biggest challenge with this development is the parking,” Wiederrich said. “By far, that is the most significant challenge.”

The initial proposal was to provide most of the parking underground.

“The situation with the underground parking and some of the environmental remediation and the fact that there is a significant amount of bedrock in that area has caused the Billions to re-evaluate the design of the project,” Wiederrich said.

Alternatives include a structure similar to Washington Square with above-ground parking and a ramp within the building, additional surface parking and “also looking at perhaps switching phase one and phase two and just flip-flopping them.”

Phase one was going to be a six-story building combining commercial and residential space. The full site plan shows multiple buildings with green space, water features and gathering areas.

“We are not asking for a deferral because we want to change anything about the purchase agreement – the price, the street that we would put in, the bike trail that would be constructed, the amenities, none of that – but what we’re looking at is trying to figure out a way at this point to make the parking work,” Wiederrich said.

Black Iron also is looking at ways to better tie its project into the 8th & Railroad Center, which Erika Billion also owns, to enhance the neighboring properties, he said.

“There is every intention to enhance the project even more fully than what we’ve been able to present, which really has been an amazing project to begin with,” Wiederrich said. “There’s going to be a cool design coming back.”

First project announced for downtown rail yard

Rail yard project faces unexpected delay with design adjustment

A downtown redevelopment is rethinking its approach, prompted by parking-related costs.

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