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State Plans to Consolidate Sioux Falls Offices into New Leased Facility on East Edge of City

Dream Design International, the Rapid City firm that developed and leases the new Rapid City facility that houses seven state offices, has won a similar deal to build a similar facility in Sioux Falls:

Rapid City-based Dream Design International will help develop a one-stop office building for the state of South Dakota in Sioux Falls.

The firm is teaming up with Co-op Architecture and McGough Construction for the project, which is planned to be built north of 26th Street at Dawley Farm Village.

…The Sioux Falls One Stop will be a state-of-the-art building, combining 12 state agencies previously located throughout Sioux Falls into one location, including the Department of Health, the Department of Labor & Regulation and the Department of Social Services. Like the Rapid City One Stop, the Sioux Falls One Stop will be leased to the state [staff, “State Selects Rapid City Firm to Develop Office Building at Dawley Farm Village,” Sioux Falls Business, 2023.04.11].

Leasing ensures Dream Design a nice ongoing revenue stream. Moving numerous state offices out to the edge of town, four miles east and south of the current centrally located Job Service office at 811 East 10th Street, also ensures a new ongoing cost of seeking jobs and other help from the state for folks who live downtown:

I am very disappointed to see that the new location for Sioux Falls Dept. of Social Services/Labor/Health is far outside the center of the city and will rely on public transit to get vulnerable individuals to/from appointments.

The article states that the new location “was selected because it complements the state’s services with other amenities available in the area. Additionally, the building’s location near several bus stops makes it easily accessible to residents who rely on public transportation.”

Our bus system (@SiouxAreaMetro) only runs once/hour. If someone who is staying at one of the homeless shelters located downtown that means they have to wait at a bus stop (typically with no bench or shelter) for up to an HOUR.

Once they get on the bus, they then have to pay $1.50 per ride (and per transfer!), ride for an additional 26 minutes to get to their appointment, and walk an addition .25 miles.

While that may not seem like very far to you or me, keep in mind that many of these community members use wheelchairs or other mobility aids. Departments that provide essential services for unhoused individuals need to be MORE accessible, not moved to the outskirts of town [Rep. Kadyn Wittman, Twitter thread, 2023.04.11].

Pastor and Republican city councilman Rich Merkouris is also dubious about the relocation of state offices to the eastern outskirts of his city:

This deserves more scrutiny. I’d really like to see a public release that lists the options considered and how it was scored [Rich Merkouris, Twitter response to Wittman, 2023.04.11].

Dream Design plans to start building the new facility this fall.

6 Comments

  1. larry kurtz 2023-04-14

    Future Fund recipient Shafai has plucked myriad cushy plums in Pennington County and has showered Republicans with generous campaign contributions. Shafai gave thousands maybe millions to the Governor’s Club and received millions from the Future Fund. Revenue generated with contractors’ excise tax goes into the Future Fund which became Mike Rounds’ slush fund of choice as a pay-to-play tool. Rounds showered some $75 million on cronies without ever disclosing who they were.

  2. Richard Schriever 2023-04-14

    The East side is the current booming growth area of SF. The city is expanding E 57th to the Big Sioux River (and the IA state line) starting this Spring. In a couple years it will run all, crossing the river to Royal Falls (Larchwood). Tremendous number of very large apartment complexes (100s and 100s) going up on the East side as well as about an entire square mile of single-family housing in just the past 5-6 years. Brandon, SF and Harrisburg all have schools along E 41st within a couple blocks of each other. This Eastward expansion has been long and well-planned, with a huge force-main sewer trunk installed as far South as to the Lake Alvin area in the South a decade or more ago. The consolidation move will save the state lease costs for the other several sites they lease now. But as the metro area continues to expand, I would expect to see satellite offices opening up in the fairly near future.

  3. larry kurtz 2023-04-14

    Of course Mr. Shafai was invited to Governor Daugaard’s pheasant killing contest. Shafai also appears on the Governors Hunt list and also on the invitation to the 2011 Custer State Park Buffalo Roundup.

    state.

    Richard Benda, the now-dead GOP apparatchik, appears on at least one list with Mr. Shafai. Yes, thanks to Jason Gant and Pat Powers that file is gone.

  4. P. Aitch 2023-04-14

    My way of getting around my city of three million for the last 21 years is 95% public transportation. Sometimes friends or family will give me a lift. Trains and busses here run every fifteen minutes from 4:30 am to 11:45 pm. Paying a buck and a half is reasonable although in CO people in wheelchairs and mobility impaired riders ride free. I assume the Sioux Falls busses run on a schedule so there’s little reason to wait for an hour. It’s possible to arrive at the bus stop close to when the bus will be arriving like you can arrive at a movie or ball game close to when it begins.
    The more people who ride the busses the more often the busses will run. The more often the busses run the more people will ride them.
    Mass transit is something I wouldn’t expect in SD but that it happens at all it would happen in the delightfully liberal berg of Sioux Falls.

  5. grudznick 2023-04-14

    Mr. Shafai aside, no doubt he is a fine fellow and able to shoot pheasants with the best of us, like Mr. Merkouris says:

    This deserves more scrutiny. I’d really like to see a public release that lists the options considered and how it was scored.

    We need to hold these woke bureaucrats accountable, before they get their dirty pudding fingers all over our money.

  6. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2023-04-15

    Richard, has the state always leased these facilities instead of purchasing and owning its Sioux Falls offices? Is it cheaper to rent than own such offices? Are there any legal advantages?

    It occurs to me that if a state office is operating on private property, the property is not technically open to the public, and the private owner could ban public activities like petition circulation.

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