Jan. 23, 2023

This paid piece is sponsored by Sioux Metro Development Alliance.

He went in to observe his swing at a golf simulator and ended up turning into a restaurant proprietor.

“It simply sort of occurred,” mentioned Carson Stemper, proprietor of The Workplace Bar & Grill in Madison.

“I used to be in there {golfing}, and I talked to the proprietor, and he mentioned he was promoting, and one factor led to a different.”

Stemper put his culinary training to work at The Workplace Bar & Grill, which opened in 2019 at 201 S. Egan Ave., a downtown avenue crammed with native companies.

“Clearly, COVID was powerful, however our fundamental factor is pizza, and that’s an ideal to-go merchandise, so we acquired via COVID very well, and now every part’s nice,” he mentioned.

However fixing up his century-old constructing and turning it from a bar with golf simulators right into a full-service restaurant took a chew out of his funds. That’s the place a facade easement grant from the Lake Space Enchancment Company, which awarded it as a part of its Downtown Facade Enchancment Grant program, helped.

It allowed him in 2021 to rework the constructing’s outdated model into one thing that seemed extra trendy.

“It actually made the constructing look good and alluring,” Stemper mentioned. “We’d needed to do it, however then they got here out with this system. Our grant didn’t cowl the full price, but it surely made the choice to spend the cash a lot simpler.”

Right here’s a take a look at the earlier than and after:

And prospects took discover.

“Folks cherished it,” Stemper mentioned. “We had a complete bunch of individuals are available in as a result of they mentioned they noticed it from the road and it seemed so good, so we acquired a complete new batch of consumers simply because the skin had an interesting look.”

This yr, communities within the Sioux Falls metro space are launching comparable applications.

The Dell Rapids Financial Improvement Company and Lennox Space Improvement Company are each providing as much as $5,000 in matching funds for Major Road companies and constructing homeowners to make enhancements to awnings, signage, home windows, doorways and different parts of their facades.

Whereas the Dell Rapids Financial Improvement Company has centered totally on industrial development within the Fiegen Improvement Park, board president Dan Klein mentioned: “We acknowledge how essential our historic downtown hall is to Dell Rapids.

Our downtown units us aside from our neighboring communities.” Downtown Dell Rapids is an official historic district designated by the Nationwide Register of Historic Locations.

The Lennox Space Improvement Company supplied a group survey in 2021, and residents repeatedly talked about the necessity for the central enterprise district to turn out to be extra of a vacation spot.

“Lennox residents would really like a spot the place they’ll collect with family and friends and have distinctive experiences,” mentioned LADC president Sharese Ihnen. “With this program, we hope to begin a wider revitalization of the realm and make it an much more engaging place to stay, work and play. A vibrant Major Road helps entice new households and encourages them to turn out to be invested and concerned in our group.”

The method is an accessible, efficient manner for communities to revitalize their downtowns, mentioned Jesse Fonkert, CEO of the Sioux Metro Development Alliance.

“It is a high-impact technique that has a giant ripple impact,” he mentioned. “Not solely does it improve business exercise, but it surely fosters a downtown atmosphere that we all know residents and guests are on the lookout for in communities of all sizes.”

In Madison, the response to this system has been so robust that further funds have been allotted. After investing $50,000 in 2020 into the facade enchancment program, the group noticed greater than $250,000 invested in its downtown hall.

“It was superior,” mentioned Stemper, who’s increasing his restaurant. “There have been a whole lot of locations downtown that did it, and it made downtown look quite a bit higher.”

Each Lennox and Dell Rapids have acquired curiosity from companies trying to apply and are excited to see the enhancements to their downtown areas.

If companies or constructing homeowners in both group are serious about making use of for this system, they’ll attain out to their respective SMGA financial growth specialist: Ryan Solberg, [email protected], in Lennox and Sheldon Jensen, [email protected], in Dell Rapids.

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