Redeveloping the Downtown Sioux Falls railyard has been described as one of the greatest opportunities in the city’s history and there will be no rush to completion.

Six entities submitted their qualifications to the city for their worthiness to redevelop land that will eventually no longer be a railroad switching area. Mayor Mike Huether says the first phase will be crucial for planning.

“I think you’re going to find that over the next six to eight months, there will be decisions made in terms of whether we put a shovel in the ground in that very expensive piece of ten acres. We have six groups that are very interested in investing in that ten acres.”

With only 14 months left in office, Huether would love to get things started before his term ends, but his timetable is secondary to the bigger picture.

“It’s been a goal of mine to at least have one shovel in the ground before I’m done. At the same time if we have to go really slow in doing it, that’s okay. It’s a 200-year project. This is going to impact Sioux Falls like no other investment we’ve ever made before, I think, in our city’s history.”

Before any development occurs, tracks need to be removed which should take place either late this year or in early 2018.

Two sets of tracks will remain on the east side of the project as rail traffic will continue to have a path through downtown Sioux Falls.

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