City Of Pierre To Move Forward On Finding Developer For Old City Hall Parcel

(KCCR) — The Pierre City Commission is continuing to move forward efforts to market the old City Hall location on East Dakota Avenue. The Commission approved a request to issue a so-called Request for Qualified Developers for the parcel. Development consultant Toby Morris says many cities in South Dakota have used the process before…

“How can we encourage them to bring their capital to town? How do we encourage maybe local developers if it is something that they would want to take a look at and it’s more of bring us your dreams, what can we do with that kind of approach. It’s sort of a public-private partnership that you enter into when you work with these developers trying to decide how do we get to the end game? How do we increase those retail sales? What is it you know that the community needs but a lot of time is what is it the connection to those retailers that we don’t have.”
Morris says it can be a lengthy process…

“I will say when we did this in Brookings, we’ve been working on it now for about 2 to 3 years, but we have to start somewhere. We have to look at it and say what is it that we can do to find somebody out there like I said weather is locally where there is regional whatever maybe they’d be willing to invest in Pierre for the benefit of the community and enter into that private ship. So there’s no guarantee with this by any means. We’re trying to go out and say “Hey, you know we’re the prettiest one at the prom, please come date us. Bring us your ideas and start that process.”
Commissioner Vona Johnson wanted to know how Pierre can get that prom date…

“A lot of elbow grease, going out and personally calling them. I work a lot with them throughout the state. I clearly made it to the city and said I will open up calling, my Rolodex to help out. Spoken with Jim, he has a lot of connections, you know when he goes down to the Vegas show to make sure that he can point this out, you know working with the Sioux Falls you know as as we have that housing is it to Lloyd’s, the Hague the Van Buskirk’s the ones that have deployed their capital here in South Dakota and trying to say “Hey guys would you just come a little further west, would you just take a look at Pierre”.
Developers have until May 17th to submit a proposal to the City. Officials will review the proposals and select a developer that is most qualified to make use of the property and will provided the most benefits to Pierre.