Expanded restaurants, new store designs await with Plaza 41 rebuilding

Jan. 9, 2020

Some of the businesses most severely damaged in the September tornadoes will be gaining space and getting brand-new looks when they reopen later this year.

Construction is starting on several spaces at Plaza 41, the retail center at 41st Street and Kiwanis Avenue where many businesses have been closed for months.

“There were trees through windows, cars turned over in the parking lot,” said property manager Linda Dunham of Jim Dunham & Associates. “We demolished everything inside. We’re down to stud walls, exterior walls basically. So we got rid of all that debris piled everywhere, and we boarded up the windows right away to secure the building. Even though that doesn’t sound like a lot, it took quite a bit of time just getting everything out.”

The building was assessed by two structural engineering firms to determine what was salvageable and what needed to be replaced, she said.

“It’s completely gutted,” she continued. “We’re replacing all the doors and windows. We replaced the roof on the building that faces 41st Street, and the parapet on the building was damaged, so we had to cut that down. So the exterior look will be slightly different.”

By essentially returning to a wide-open building, tenants have been able to reconfigure spaces and in some cases expand.

The Original Pancake House is expanding into the former Cost Cutters space, which Dunham said will add about 900 square feet. The hair salon’s lease was expiring, and it didn’t renew.

Next door, Pizza Ranch was able to gain about 2,000 square feet.

“Now that we can reconfigure their floor plan, they can expand,” Dunham said. “It’s fantastic for them and for the building.”

Tuesday Morning and JoAnn both have new prototypes and will debut those designs when they reopen in Sioux Falls.

“Within days of the tornado, Tuesday Morning had sent us their new prototype blueprints … and I believe we’ll be the first ever for JoAnn’s,” Dunham said. “Everything will be fresh and new and modern, and I think it will be wonderful.”

The businesses in the building that faces 41st Street, games store Warhammer and The Rush bar and restaurant, likely will be among the first to reopen. Warhammer is targeting the end of March, and The Rush is looking at sometime in May, Dunham said.

Dreamer’s Outlet also is looking at a spring opening, she said. The hope is for the remaining tenants also to open in spring or summer.

“The original projections right after the tornado we were hearing August or September for the first tenants. Reynolds Construction Management has been a godsend keeping everything going full steam ahead,” Dunham said. “They cut four to six months out of our construction schedule. They brought all their resources and put their heads down. And our insurance company, Acuity, has been a tremendous blessing to work with.”

She plans to document the rebuilding efforts and share looks at tenant spaces as they come together.

“I think there will be an exciting story to tell,” Dunham said. “There was a lot of fear initially. Tenants didn’t know what to do, and this is the first time we’ve been in a disaster like this. So it was an unfortunate but great learning experience for everyone involved. We have the perfect team on this rebuild.”

Expanded restaurants, new store designs await with Plaza 41 rebuilding

Some of the businesses most severely damaged in the September tornadoes will be gaining space and getting brand-new looks when they reopen later this year.

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