Century-old Gage Brothers property sells to local developers

Jan. 31, 2020

The landscape along West 12th Street is about to change.

Sioux Falls land developers Jim Soukup and Al Spencer have purchased nearly all of the former Gage Brothers Concrete Products location at 12th Street and Interstate 29.

The brothers-in-law are equal partners in the 26-acre purchase. Soukup Construction will start demolition Monday.

“We’re west-side people. We’ve done most of our development on the west side, so that was an attraction,” Soukup said. “We think we understand the west side as well as anybody.”

The family has been involved in a number of west-side housing developments, including Cherry Lake Reserve and Prairie West. They donated the land for Family Park and also have done a number of warehouse projects and mobile home developments.

“We’re tickled that it’s another big, Sioux Falls, longstanding-business family,” Gage president Tom Kelley said. “They will do good things and do the right things with it, and I’m sure they will make a nice development out of it.”

The closing of the transaction Thursday was a memorable one filled with emotion, those there said.

“It was kind of surreal,” Soukup said. “Tom Gage and Tom Kelley were in the room, and I hold the highest respect for them, and when Tom Gage was talking about how that was part of the family homestead and has been in the family 100 years, it gave you the feeling that it’s more than a piece of property. It was their life, their family. I really appreciate them trusting us on this piece of property that we’ll make it right and do something good with it.”

Raquel Blount of Lloyd Cos., who marketed the property and will market the redevelopment, agreed.

“There was meaning for both parties. A lot of times, they (closings) are very transactional or all about the financial aspects, but there’s history between these two companies,” she said. “It was history for the seller, for the buyer, and they think it’s a neat opportunity given the business they are in. They can use the site to showcase some new ways of redevelopment. They want to very intentionally do the demolition of the site and recycle the materials for new construction.”

Demolition likely will take a few months, Soukup said.

“There are multiple buildings on it, and there is a lot of product on the ground that needs to be picked up and demolished,” he said. “We plan on recycling as much if not all of the concrete on-site, so instead of hauling materials to the landfill, much of it will get recycled. The steel will get recycled and hauled to a recycler, and the concrete will get turned into aggregate and stay within the property. We have space to pile the concrete and crush it, and most of our projects don’t.”

It’s a nice project for his company during the slower winter months, but progress will depend on the amount of snow. Soukup has about 50 snow-removal contracts that will come first as needed, he said.

The total Gage property was about 30 acres. The land not bought by Soukup and Spencer was purchased by neighboring Bierschbach Equipment & Supply, which will use it for expansion.

The site was on the market for about 18 months and drew a variety of interested potential buyers, Kelley said.

“We had a developer out of Minneapolis look at it seriously for a high-end housing project, but they didn’t move forward. We’ve had various people from hotel standpoints looking at parts and pieces, a couple different car dealerships, so we had offers, and along the front we had some from small restaurants and coffee shops,” he said. “We always wanted to sell it as a whole piece, but we did entertain bits and pieces. It’s great they got it and we got it sold and can concentrate more fully on what we have here.”

Gage moved into its new 200,000-square-foot headquarters in late 2018 in northeast Sioux Falls.

Once the West 12th Street property is ready for development, Blount said she anticipates renewed interest.

“People will finally be able to see what an opportunity and what a large-scale area this is in the middle of a major intersection,” she said. “We foresee it as an excellent opportunity for a large-scale corporate office, a company that wants a strong presence in the market, a large box retailer, certainly a hotel and restaurants.”

It’s also going to be “a huge improvement for that heavily trafficked area,” she added. “People driving by will have a completely different visual.”

Because the new owners can handle demolition and site preparation, and know land development, the deal became an ideal fit, she continued.

“I don’t think we could have found anything better.”

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Century-old Gage Brothers property sells to local developers

The landscape along West 12th Street is about to change.

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