Progress is moving forward on plans to renovate a historic building in the cathedral district of the city center into a restaurant or cafe.
Alex Halbach, lawyer and business owner in Sioux Falls, purchased the Effting and Co. grocery store earlier this year, which was built in the early 1900s. He plans to convert the building into a commercial space. to revitalize the neighborhood.
Halbach held a neighborhood public meeting last week to hear comments on the project. He will present the project at the city’s rezoning planning committee meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday. The project will then be submitted to City Council for approval at 6 p.m. on December 7.
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Halbach plans to start construction in January 2022 and open up the redesigned space, with terrace seating on the ground floor and on the roof, corner parking and a redone brick exterior by May 2022.
Since Halbach began working on the project, he discovered that the stucco applied to the exterior of the building in 1960 had disintegrated the original brickwork on the facade of the building. To reapply the original brick, it will cost around $ 1 million, according to its contractor.
“I want to make sure it’s still 100 years,” said Halbech. “These neighborhood destinations, once they’re gone, you can’t rebuild them because nobody’s going to build a million dollar building there. It would be a loss to the neighborhood without it.”
Neighbors who attended the Thursday evening meeting were generally supportive of the project, although they were concerned about traffic and parking issues.
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Halbach said he plans to make the store a walking destination for neighbors and offer several bike rack locations on site. Instead of building a parking lot on the adjacent lot, its design only provides four corner parking spaces on the street, which could be a potential ground for denying the zoning change request, Halbech acknowledged.
“If you add a parking lot, it would do more damage to the neighborhood,” he said.
Neighbors are hoping that crosswalks, flashing lights or other traffic tools can be used to slow traffic in the area.
Overall, the neighbors are thrilled to have such a destination close by, said Bob Trzynka, who owns a property near Ninth Street and Duluth Avenue. Black Sheep Coffee was nearby before it closed in 2017.
Trzynka plans to spend her mornings at the cafe or breakfast restaurant. Halbech has yet to secure a lease with potential tenants, but hopes to announce who will fill the space by spring 2022.
“I am excited about the idea because it will foster a sense of community in our neighborhood,” said Trzynka. “These little neighborhood cafes that you see in big cities offer people opportunities for more interpersonal relationships.”
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