Posted on 09-22-2014
Work is well underway on a one-of-a-kind commercial site in Sioux Falls. Lake Lorraine is nearly 100 acres at Marion Road and 32nd Street in west Sioux Falls. The old gravel pit is about to become a premier lifestyle center.
"We're building a park. We're inviting the public in," developer Steve Van Buskirk said.
The beauty of this gravel pit turned 22-acre-lake is the prime attraction for developers. The Friessen family has owned the land for 35 years and is now working with Van Buskirk Companies on the transformation into the lifestyle center, Lake Lorraine.
"Watch our progress. It's going to be exciting as things unfold," Van Buskirk said.
Two retail buildings are already filling up. Tenants so far include a fitness center and a restaurant that's going to have a lake cabin feel, called the SandBar Grill. Carsforsale.com also plans to build its company headquarters along the lake.
"They're taking advantage of the lake and creating a work environment that you can't match anywhere else in town," Van Buskirk said.
Developers are hoping to form a public/private partnership with the city of Sioux Falls to maintain and program the park and train system around the lake. They're visiting similar communities in Minneapolis to see how it's been done there.
"We're also exploring opportunities with the city's Live Well program, which the city is promoting right now and they'd like to make this the pilot program," Van Buskirk said.
"It's a place you don't have in Sioux Falls. It's just going to be a different atmosphere," Jeff Wagner said.
Wagner, an electrician who owns a lighting showroom, will more than double his space when he moves Sioux Falls LightHouse to Lake Lorraine in January.
"I think it's going to be great for business because what they're going to draw and how they're going to make everything look; I think people are going to want to come over there," Wagner said.
Van Buskirk would also like to see a resort hotel at the north end of the lake and has plans to attract junior box stores on the east side of the lake behind Lowe's.
Van Buskirk says to expect announcements from national or regional retailers that will be locating at Lake Lorraine in the next two months.
- Angela Kennecke, Keloland News