SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — A development company is planning to turn a blighted area of Sioux Falls into a $43.5 million area of apartments, office and retail space.

Lloyd Companies was awarded the 2.5-acre Uptown Sioux Falls project from among five applicants, the Argus Leader reported . The plan includes 200 residential units, 20,000 square feet of commercial and office space, and more than 250 underground parking spots.

“I think the heart of a city is a vibrant downtown,” said Chris Thorkelson, president and CEO of Lloyd Companies. “We just wanted to be a part of that.”

The project includes $4.1 million in tax increment financing from the city, which community development director Daren Ketcham said will be used for removing contaminated soil and tearing down dilapidated buildings.

“Investments like this span multiple generations,” Ketcham said.

The development will include an outdoor swimming pool, a courtyard for outdoor dining and recreation, and easy access to the Levitt Pavilion’s entertainment across the street.

Mayor Mike Huether said the investment is one of the greatest downtown enhancements in the last decade.

The city plans to finalize a purchase agreement and project terms this month, and the City Council will consider the project in September. Work is expected to begin in October and finish in 2019.

“By Halloween, we’ll have a hole in the ground,” Huether said Tuesday. “These buildings will no longer exist.”

Information from: Argus Leader,

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