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March 15, 2018
Sioux Steel Co. will hold the first of several chances for community input about its downtown redevelopment next week.
The manufacturer held a media tour Thursday. President and CEO Scott Rysdon walked the site and explained how redevelopment is planned to start in the northern one-third of the nearly 11-acre property.
That will stretch from Phillips Avenue, across the street from Uptown, to the upper falls of Falls Park on the east and additional parkland to the north.
“This is unique because it’s surrounded by park,” Rysdon said. “Being landlocked means we have to play well with everyone in the neighborhood to create as holistic a destination as we can.”
That’s why the development process more closely resembles a public project, he said.
The first public meeting will be March 22 with an open house starting at 4:30 p.m. and ending at 7 p.m. at Josiah’s Coffeehouse & Cafe. There will be a presentation starting at 5:30 p.m. Sioux Steel will offer several other meetings, and construction could start next spring, he said.
Public feedback has been steady since Sioux Steel announced it planned to rezone the site earlier this week, Rysdon said.
Many have expressed hopethat the iconic company sign will remain and that a warehouse would be repurposed as part of the development.
“We’re here for the highest and best use for the community and to build density,” he said.
Sioux Steel does not plan to sell the land but instead be a partner in the development.
“We’re wanting to connect the property with the community,” Rysdon said. “It could be really powerful and unique.”
Other next steps include soil testing and an assessment to see how deep bedrock goes on the property.
The first phase of the project also is envisioned to include development along the river to tie in with other nearby park and greenway improvements.
“There will be greenway development and walking and biking development,” Rysdon said. “And you’d have a great view of the falls.”
Sioux Steel has done business at the site since 1918. The company owns property in Lennox that it could use as an expansion site, but nothing has been finalized yet.
The downtown site, redeveloped in phases, could take seven to 10 years to fully transform, Rysdon said.
“It’s a long process. Longer than some people understand.”
Here’s a look at the Sioux Steel site and where development will occur first.