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Transform a 1905 grocery store into a coffee shop near the historic residential area of ​​Sioux Falls

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SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO) – Sioux Falls City Council is considering a unique rezoning proposal for a 120-year-old building a few blocks from the historic Cathedral District.

“I’ve driven by this property for years and years, oh it’s such a nice little building. I wonder what its story is, why does it sound like this, ”said developer Alex Halbach.

As Chairman of the Sioux Falls Board of Historic Preservation, Halbach is passionate about historic buildings.

“I started doing more research and learned that the building was built as a grocery store, around 1905. It was used as a grocery store until the 1950s,” said Halbach.

Like many houses in the neighborhood, the old grocery store at the corner of 9e Street and Grange Avenue were converted into apartments in the 1960s.

“When we became a historic district and we were South Dakota’s first historic district, they changed our zoning to single-family and decided that it wasn’t really going to be an apartment district,” Mary Glenski, owner of the historic cathedral district. noted.

Just up the street, Mary Glenski and her family have spent years restoring their 1885 home to its former glory.

“There were four apartments and a slum owner, and he was going to remove the porch because he needed repairs,” Glenski said.

She says she is grateful to see others join in the restoration of this historic district.

“I think anyone who buys one of the area’s properties, a historic property and restores it, is certainly appreciated, to be commended and will likely spend a lot of money,” Glenski said.

This is exactly what Halbach intends to do with this unique piece of history.

“It’s probably going to be close to a million dollars that goes into this corner, but you know it’s an investment not just in the building, it’s an investment in this neighborhood,” said Halbach.

He plans to replace the building’s collapsing brick facade and then start transforming the property into a neighborhood cafe and restaurant, with office space on the second floor and the addition of a rooftop patio. for the pleasure of cafe customers.

“I wish there was a building like this in my neighborhood so we could have a little gathering place,” said Halbach. “This is what I imagine to be again, a taste of light commerce in the middle of a residential area, really walkable, with lots of bike racks, again just a neighborhood gathering place . ”

While there are concerns about increased traffic and parking in the residential neighborhood, this is a revitalization project that many people in the neighborhood are excited to see.

“I think there are people who can’t wait to have a coffee,” Glenski said. “It was originally a grocery store, this building, so it’s historic to turn it back into a business.”

Halbach hopes his investment in the neighborhood will help inspire other future improvements in this historic part of town.

“I hope this will help increase property values ​​and improve care in the neighborhood. You have to devote time and money to it and hopefully saying, I will do it here, will encourage others to do the same, ”said Halbach. “I think this neighborhood deserves it.

City council will vote on zoning changes over the coming weeks. If approved, Halbach expects construction to take place in early spring with hopes of opening the cafe and restaurant by the end of May.


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