First Railyard Development Plan Unveiled

The City of Sioux Falls has reached a development agreement between the City and Black Iron Railyard, LLC for the southern parcel of the railyard redevelopment area. This is the first development agreement for the railyard land purchased by the City from BNSF Railway in 2015.

The Black Iron Railyard development is proposed to occupy 4.05 acres south of Eighth Street for a sale price of $2,614,795. The City will retain ownership of land along the east side of the property for a roadway and bike path.

"The Black Iron Railyard development will be a phenomenal addition to the skyline of downtown’s east bank," said Mayor Paul TenHaken. "This development hits all of key community land use desires for the area—retail, office, residential, dining, and green space. I’m excited to see Erika and David’s vision come to fruition."

David and Erika Billion are deeply committed in the east bank revitalization of downtown. Erika Billion currently owns and operates neighboring properties including the 8th & Railroad Center, the Crane Centre, and The Frank Building.

"David and I are so excited to be awarded the opportunity to develop Black Iron Railyard, LLC. Our vision will now become a reality," said Erika Billion, partner in Black Iron Railyard, LLC. "What began with sketches of design concepts on a napkin has come a long way thanks to collaboration with our attorneys and architects. Our continued growth is because of our quality employees at 8th & Railroad Center, local retailers, tenants, and customers that helped make this addition to the east bank possible."

The Black Iron Railyard development involves two construction phases with milestone requirements per the agreement. Phase 1 includes a minimum six-story, mixed-use commercial and residential building with a minimum of 100,000 square feet, at least 30,000 square feet of which is to be reserved for commercial space. The developer will also complete the private roadway and public bike path in Phase 1. Phase 2 development will include additional mixed-use space.

Per the development agreement, Phase 1 construction will begin by June 1, 2019, with substantial completion no later than December 31, 2020. Phase 2 of the Black Iron Railyard development must have substantial completion no later than June 1, 2030.

In January 2017, the City solicited a request for qualifications for parties interested in developing the railyard area. Those who met the minimum requirements were notified in April 2017 and asked to submit proposals for the redevelopment of the property. Several proposals were received. The remaining land within the railyard will be considered for redevelopment through future RFP processes.

The development agreement requires City Council approval. The Council will receive its initial review of the agreement at the July 17 Informational Meeting. First and second readings with the Council are tentatively scheduled for August 7 and 21.