- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 2, 2015

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - The largest industrial park in South Dakota’s history will span more than 800 acres in the northwest area of Sioux Falls and has already attracted a roughly $70 million business facility, officials involved in the project said Tuesday when they announced the development.

The roughly 820-acre industrial park, in its early stages of development, is backed by a mixture of public and private financing. The financing includes $11.5 million from the state plus funds from the Sioux Falls Development Foundation to back about $20 million in land purchases for the “mega site,” as it has been dubbed.

Officials from the mayor of Sioux Falls up to South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard celebrated the new, spacious project as a major draw for large businesses that wouldn’t otherwise be able to expand or relocate to the growing metropolitan area of roughly 250,000. The first development is a $70 million, roughly 600,000 square foot warehouse to be shared by a logistics company and a firm that transports fruit to consumers.

The industrial park is dedicated in phases: one for firms such as large manufacturers, food processing outfits and logistics companies, and another as a site for a single “mega project.”

“Today’s announcement is so wonderful,” Sioux Falls Mayor Mike Huether said. “It will prove to be an economic development and job creation juggernaut for generations to come.”

A state economic development board on Tuesday approved an $8.5 million low-interest loan for the industrial complex that will be located near Interstate 29 and Interstate 90. The state is also providing an additional $3 million grant for the project, dubbed “Foundation Park.” The city of Sioux Falls will help construct infrastructure estimated at about $10 million for the park, which has access to a full-service rail line that runs through the development.

Scott Lawrence, chairman of the board of directors for the Sioux Falls Development Foundation, praised the local, private and state partnership that spawned the “game-changing” development. Daugaard said significant state tax revenue and economic activity is dependent on the Sioux Falls area.

“If Sioux Falls does well, then the state will generally do well,” he said. “Yet there are still some projects that are difficult for the community on its own, standing alone, to be able to manage, and this is a project like that.”

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