SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO) – Startup Sioux Falls has a new future home in downtown Sioux Falls thanks to a new partnership with the city.
“We’ve been considering moving downtown for five years,” said Brienne Maner, executive director of startup Sioux Falls.
It’s been a season of change for startup Sioux Falls, officially the Zeal Center for Entrepreneurship, as the nonprofit organization works to meet the evolving needs of new business owners.
“The pandemic has really opened up the opportunity and people’s mindset to entrepreneurship and the idea of innovation in a way that our organization has never been more relevant,” Maner said. “We see all kinds of requests.”
According to Maner, since the pandemic began, startup Sioux Falls has seen an increase in people interested in starting their own business, but also a change in their needs.
In the past, the nonprofit has helped provide office and meeting space, which it still hopes to do at its new facility, but the primary goal of moving to the historic building at 6th and Phillips in downtown Sioux Falls is momentum to create more innovations in the community.
“Downtown Sioux Falls has always been the heartbeat of our community, just like entrepreneurship has always been the heartbeat of our community, so those two things come together,” Allie Hartzler, City of Sioux Falls Culture and Innovation Officer and Startup Sioux Falls board member said.
The Sioux Falls City Council recently approved a plan that would allow startup Sioux Falls to lease the former parks and recreation buildings for a dollar a year, with the nonprofit paying for taxes and upkeep.
Startup Sioux Falls says a major revamp will take place over the next year that will help transform the space into a hub for area entrepreneurs.
“What would a new space look like and what does today’s entrepreneur need?” Manier said.
According to Maner, startup Sioux Falls is still in the design phase and is working to move its organization from the 45,000-square-foot Zeal Center to the less than 6,000-square-foot historic building in the heart of downtown. But as they move forward with the design, Maner says they’re getting creative to completely revitalize this downtown corner.
“It’s going to be open to the public, they’re going to have these amazing events there, it’s just going to be a more vibrant and accessible part of downtown than it’s ever been,” Hartzler said.
The building is already on a prominent corner of downtown Sioux Falls, but the north end of Phillips Avenue is becoming busier, especially as the Steele District crosses the parking lot of startup Sioux Falls’ future home.
“I can’t wait to see what happens for us to become visible in this emerging booming area,” Maner said. “And hopefully our presence on this corner bodes well for others trying to bring new businesses and industries to our neighborhood.”
Startup Sioux Falls hopes to be in the building early next year. The lease with the city runs for the next 10 years, and the property in a booming downtown corner is only expected to increase in value.