Happy Friday! Megan here.

Weather check: Blizzard-y

Win a weekend away: I'm giving away a three-night stay in the Black Hills to one lucky Sioux Falls Simplified member. Have you entered yet?

A quick personal note: For those of you who've been reading for some time, you may remember last January when I announced the birth of my second daughter, Juniper. Well, she turns ONE tomorrow. Time is a thief.

  • Anyway, thank you for everyone who's supported this local news outlet – I count myself extremely lucky to have been able to continue to work while having sweet little Junie with me all year. I couldn't have done it without you. And thanks to everyone who's been gracious of my tiny assistant during meetings, interviews, press conferences and phone calls.

This weekend, I've got a look at how the city is looking to help preserve historic homes with a new loan program. You'll also see just how fast our city is growing via the latest population and building permit data. Plus, catch some Super Simplified Stories, and, of course, find our weekly roundup of local events.

And now, news:


What did growth in Sioux Falls look like in 2023?

Simplified: The City of Sioux Falls is seeing growth normalize after a couple of years of "anomaly," officials said Friday morning. That said, 2023 brought over $1 billion in building permit valuation and more than 5,000 new residents.

Why it matters

  • The city surpassed $1 billion in building permits for the first time in 2021, and then nearly hit $2 billion in 2022. Construction leveled out more last year, with just over $1.1 billion in permits.
  • Mayor Paul TenHaken said he's trying to be realistic about projections for 2024, citing some "economic headwinds" like inflation and rising costs, as well as other outside forces like the upcoming presidential election that could influence the local economy. He said he'll be happy to see the city hit the billion dollar mark again.
  • On the population side of things, Sioux Falls added 5,007 new residents and now has more than 213,000 people – about a 2.4% increase over last year. Again, it's less of an increase than in the last couple of years – another indication growth may be leveling off after some particularly big years, TenHaken said.
“Our strong 2023 numbers are evidence of how great Sioux Falls is to live, work, play, start a business, and raise a family," TenHaken said.

Tell me more about the latest data


How a new loan program will help preserve historic homes

Simplified: The city announced this week a new pilot program to offer zero-interest loans to rehabilitate homes in Sioux Falls' historic districts. Here's what you need to know.

beige 2-story house
Photo by Jessica Furtney / Unsplash

Why it matters

  • The new Historic Preservation Loan Program is an effort to help preserve homes in Sioux Falls' five historic districts: All Saints, Cathedral, Hayes, McKennan Park, and Sherman. The loans can also be used to fund projects for any property listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • As a pilot program, the city has allocated $100,000 for at least four different projects at a maximum of $25,000 each.
  • The loan will only cover work on the outside of the historic homes – windows, doors, roofing, masonry, siding, trim, etc. Only single-family, owner-occupied homes qualify for the program.
"We believe this opportunity supports homeowners to make necessary repairs and helps maintain safe, accessible housing in the community," said Diane deKoeyer, the city’s neighborhood and preservation planner. "Oftentimes investments in homes brings energy to an entire neighborhood—everyone benefits.”

Tell me more about the loan program


Super Simplified Stories

  • Eat ice cream. Ok, yeah, it's very cold outside, but you can also be cold inside. The Washington Pavilion on Thursday officially opened the newly renovated WP Cafe on its main floor and Parlour House in the Kirby Science Discovery Center. Find hours and other details here.
  • Protect yourself from cervical cancer. January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month, and Sanford Health is encouraging folks (everyone age 9 and up) to get their HPV vaccine. The hospital system was also recently recognized by the American Cancer Society for its vaccination rate.
  • Applications open for AARP grants. AARP South Dakota is now accepting applications for its 2024 Community Challenge Grant, in which money is award to help make communities more livable and support those age 50 and older. Learn more and apply here.


Stuff to do: Jan. 12-18

Here's a look at what's happening this week:

  • *🎵You say I am loved. Lauren Daigle's The Kaleidoscope Tour is coming to Denny Sanford PREMIER Center in Sioux Falls, SD on May 11. Joining the tour for the Sioux Falls show is special guest Ellie Holcomb. Tickets to the show start at just $29.50 (plus applicable taxes and fees) through AXS. Tickets can also be purchased in-person at the KELOLAND Box Office, located within Denny Sanford PREMIER Center, Tuesdays and Thursdays 10AM-5PM.
  • ";p'[Support local art AND local middle schoolers. Whittier Middle School students will showcase a variety of art at the Little Stone Church on Friday evening in a "heART of the city" event. The annual art show will feature 2D, 3D, and wearable art created by local artists of all ages and disciplines. This year the art is made from snack bags and boxes. Full details here.
  • Go vegan. Overdo it on the burgers this month? Take a little beef break, and join an all vegan potluck starting at 2 p.m. Sunday at Full Circle Book Co-op downtown. Find more details here.
  • Catch some local theater. The Washington Pavilion's "Live and Local" series for January features the Good Night Theatre Collective. Performers will be singing a variety of songs from Broadway shows that have toured at the Pavilion in the last 25 years. Details and tickets here.
  • Sneak in some quiet shopping. Now that the holiday hubbub is settled, you've got a chance to shop in a relaxed environment at Seasoned Style's "Quiet Winter Market" running Thursday through Sunday. Details here.
  • Get ready to laugh. The annual Sno Jam Comedy Festival kicks off Thursday with the Frost Bite Showcase at Club 224 in Lucky's Bar. Find a full schedule of events for the multi-day comedy festival – which includes comics from across the country – here.

*Denotes a sponsored event listing. Want to see your event featured here? Email megan@sfsimplified.com.


More Simplified Stories

Here’s what Mayor Paul TenHaken is watching in 2024
Mayor Paul TenHaken sat down with Sioux Falls Simplified to get into the specifics of what he expects the city will be working on in 2024.
How Noem’s legislative priorities could impact Sioux Falls
Gov. Kristi Noem kicked off South Dakota’s 99th legislative session on Tuesday with a State of the State address focused on the top 10 ways that “freedom works here” – also the tagline for a recent state-funded marketing campaign to recruit workers to South Dakota.
How the library is expanding access across the metro
Siouxland Libraries has a long history of serving the rural communities in the Sioux Metro. Now, they’re expanding services and programming to make it even easier for people in the region to take advantage of library resources.


What I'm falling for this weekend:


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Reach out

What story do you want to see simplified? Falling for something local? Send any news tips, attaboys, missed typos or tips to cope with my baby turning one to megan@sfsimplified.com.

Thank you

Thank you to Sioux Falls Simplified sponsors, including the Sioux Falls Development Foundation, Sioux Empire United Way, the Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation, Barre3 Sioux Falls, Midco, the Great Plains Zoo, the Sioux Metro Growth Alliance and Voyage Federal Credit Union. When you support them, you're also supporting Sioux Falls Simplified.