Two years ago, the northeast corner of 69th Street and Cliff Avenue was among the last large parcels of available land in the rapidly developing area of south Sioux Falls. One year ago, there were hints of its promise as the first commercial buildings began taking shape. Today, it’s a bustling corner filled with retail and residential growth – plus more on the way.

“We were attracted to the potential of a new, infill development on a corner that was already seeing so much traffic,” said Chris Daugaard, a partner in Ernst Capital. “The location was destined to be attractive.” The 20-acre parcel became part of Ernst’s Signature Fund IV, which raised capital – largely from local investors – to support multiple projects for developer Clint Ackerman, owner of Signature Cos.

“There was so much activity already around this area, and the concept of retail with multifamily really brought in uses that complemented one another,” Daugaard said. “There was an opportunity to partner with others looking to build or locate businesses there, bring in some of our own retail to complement it and add in a multifamily project to capitalize on the development. We felt it could be a real win-win, and that’s definitely been the case.” Zach Neugebauer, owner of Year Round Brown, saw the potential early. He invested in a retail center called The Bloc fronting Cliff Avenue that also became a location for his tanning salon.

“Year Round Brown has seen a significant increase in traffic since moving a few blocks down the road to the new location at The Bloc,” he said. “This large space really allows us to offer our full line of services such as sunbeds, spray tanning, red light therapy and 3 Degrees infrared saunas with virtually no wait times. As for the location, the combination of a great tenant mix bringing more people to the area and easy access off Cliff Avenue makes visiting Year Round Brown really enticing.” The retail center leased quickly and now includes Gloss Nails, Starbucks and Cookie Co.

“The feedback on our strip mall has been just as positive,” Neugebauer said. “The tenants have all expressed happiness with the consistent daily traffic, visibility and tenant mix. In addition to the success we are having at The Bloc, we are also really excited with the development around us.” The corner also proved a hit for new B&G Milkyway franchisees Josh and Christie Aberson. They’re wrapping up their first season and said the location has been fantastic.

“It’s truly a neighborhood restaurant, and the surrounding community has welcomed the store with open arms,” Josh Aberson said. “It’s very approachable from either north/south- or east/west-bound traffic, but also pedestrian with a lot of families making it a destination for a walk, bike ride or after-school treat. We hear that the oversized patio space with turf, games and furniture is exactly what customers were looking for and now the double drive-thru is open and running great to ease those busy drive-thru lines. We’ll be excited to see the rest of our neighbors finish out their projects and construction to finalize the development.” That progress will be continuing through this year and into next. Casey’s General Stores is making solid construction progress along 69th Street. And soon, the first residents are expected to be living within an easy walk of the neighborhood businesses.

The Overture is a 258-unit apartment building that will offer lofted studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments. “They are very interesting and appealing floor plans,” property manager Ilaria Blackwell said. “We’re already getting interested in them in anticipation of residents moving in before the end of the year.” The apartment community will include an attached two-story clubhouse and full slate of amenities, including a swimming pool, extensive indoor-outdoor community space and a fitness center. “The walkability is incredible here,” Blackwell said. “Whether you’re walking for coffee or fitness, Sioux Falls Christian Schools or the USF sport complex, there’s such a wide variety right nearby.”

Additional retail centers are under construction with a number of tenant announcements expected soon. “We’re looking to fill in with some more businesses that are complementary to what you see already. It would be great to add some retail service businesses or office-type users. We have room for something like a day care or bar/restaurant,” Daugaard said. “We love the idea of adding amenities to the neighborhood, both for use by our apartment residents and others in the area.”

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