HURON — A significant amount of dirt has been shifted and the vague outlines of streets and sidewalks can be seen in a new development on the east side of Highway 37, between Coborn’s and the United Methodist Church.
It is the first stage in a process that began more than five years ago, when Beadle County got the property back from a failed development project, according to Jim Borszich, the executive director of the Greater Huron Development Corporation (GHDC), which is the developing the property.
“The county did get the property back and held a sale where nobody came forward to purchase it,” Borszich said earlier this week while discussing the new project.
Now, GHDC, the City of Huron and a development company in Harbor Springs, Mich., own the property as far east as Idaho Ave, in the development.
“We are working right now on the first step,” Borszich said. “Water mains, sewers and storm sewers are in process, as well as the street and the sidewalk work that you can see.”
When the infrastructure work is completed, the area will be fully prepared for the next step.
“Right now, there are two lots on the south and west that are owned by Iverson Motors,” Borszich said. It is the area where the car dealer has prominently displayed cars, trucks and trailers during the S.D. State Fair.
“The other development company is a firm called Haan Development,” Borszich said. Haan Development owns the property on the west side of Idaho Avenue, from 21st Street, south to where 24th Street will bisect the new development.
“I can speak on the record that Haan intends to construct a 48-unit subsidized senior living area,” Borszich said, “as they have requested letters of support from GHDC and from the City of Huron. It is a matter of public record with the city, so we can talk about it.”
Borszich added that trees between where the development will take place and the existing Coborn’s store, where there is also a small pool of water, will be reworked to eliminate what is right now a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
“As far as the remainder of the properties,” Borszich said, “all I can say is that we are in discussions with many entities who have expressed an interest in the area. As you can imagine, those discussions are held in the strictest confidence until completed.”
Borszich said that he hopes to be able to discuss the fruits of those discussions in the coming months, as agreements are finalized.
The whole development is costing GHDC $3.4 million and will be repaid through a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District that was approved earlier this year by the city.
“The TIF requires that construction begin within the first five years,” Borszich said. “The amount of the TIF for GHDC is repaid by the difference in the property tax as it is now and what it becomes after it is developed. The life of a TIF is 20 years,” he said. “With the discussions we are having, we are forecasting that we will have our TIF paid off in 16 or 17 years.”
The quicker that a business moves into the site, makes improvements and raises that property’s value and thus its property tax, the quicker the GHDC obligation is paid off.
“I am very enthused about the talks we have had with the different entities,” Borszich said. “I think this will be a great thing for the city when it gets up and running.”
The addition of 250 jobs at Dakota Provisions that was announced earlier this week, along with the payroll influx that it will bring, makes a strong impression on the potential businesses as well, Borszich said.
“When you hear about 250 jobs, you can generally tack on about 10 percent for other ancillary jobs - jobs that will come from having more people,” Borszich said. “Plus, it shows prospects that Huron has a viable economic base.”