Simplified: The city won't say if or how many developers have expressed interest in buying or leasing the unfinished downtown parking ramp on 10th Street. Here's why.
Why it matters
- Sioux Falls taxpayers have already invested more than $22 million on the ramp – which has a storied history after the first development plan failed, ultimately resulting in a $500,000 settlement.
- Now, with the previous development agreement put to bed, the city is ready to sell (or lease) the ramp to someone with a vision for the property that aligns with the city's.
- When the city initially opened up applications back in October, it set a date of Jan. 7 as the first date it'd review any submitted proposals. Now, past that date, the city says it won't release any information about applications (including the number received) until an application has been selected and negotiations are underway.
"Ultimately, this is how we set up the process," said Dustin Powers, community development coordinator for the city.
Why not release more info?
It comes down to the process the city chose for the potential sale.
- Though, it's worth noting Mayor Paul TenHaken recently told Sioux Falls Simplified there's been a "tremendous level of interest."
In the past, with projects like this, the city has used a "request for proposals" (RFP) to solicit ideas from developers.
- The RFP process is a bit more strict on the city side in that it requires set deadlines.
- RFPs also allow more information to be shared with the public along the way – including details on applicants. The city also must publicly post questions applicants have.
This time around, the city is using a "negotiated sale process."
- In this process, applications aren't made public until a proposal is chosen and negotiations are underway.
- The city is also able to answer questions from developers and chat with them along the way without disclosing those questions and conversations publicly.
The total number of proposals will be released once the city is in negotiations with a potential buyer/lessee.
"We'll continue to receive proposals until we've entered negotiations," Powers said.
What happens next?
It'll be a lot of behind-the-scenes work until the city chooses a potential buyer/lessee and makes that information public.
There's no set timeline for when this will happen.