When eight Sioux Falls banks collaborated to create a $16 million financing package to help build out infrastructure in Foundation Park, they were demonstrating the kind of pro-active leadership that has driven the Sioux Falls economy for the past decade.
Too often in the past, when large companies requiring substantial acreage checked out Sioux Falls, the best we had to offer was undeveloped, unsecured land on the edge of the city. Today, thanks to the creation of Foundation Park, we have multiple large sites available in a prime location. It’s no coincidence that the Development Foundation is currently in negotiations with three of those large companies, each of which require over 50 acres in developed and build-ready sites with excellent transportation connections. Thanks to the $16 million fund created by eight Sioux Falls banks, we can rapidly make our available sites build-ready.
Foundation Park not only serves as an attraction for larger projects, it also gives us the opportunity to grow an essential segment of our region’s economy—middle-income jobs. Our area has seen tremendous growth in households at the upper and lower ends of the earning spectrum, but we really need to create a strong middle class so that Sioux Falls does not become a community of haves and have-nots.
Large projects like the ones now in negotiation create earning potential across the entire spectrum. Foundation Park has the potential to create middle-class production jobs to give all those people in lower wage ranges a “trajectory” of job growth opportunities to advance their earnings.
The Sioux Falls financial community has a unique perspective on the complex picture that is the regional economy. Understanding the importance of growth and disparate elements that drive that growth, the banks have collaborated to ensure that Foundation Park can more rapidly address the needs of our community, its residents and our future economic success.
By Slater Barr, President
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