Two major developments along Yankton’s Broadway Ave. are looking to pick up steam this summer.
Community & Economic Development Director Dave Mingo told the Press & Dakotan that the Fairfield Inn & Suites hotel project on the south side of the Yankton Mall parking lot has a green light to move forward again.
"We’re being told that all of the documentation is in place for the project to commence again," Mingo said. "That’s good news as far as we’re concerned."
He said that, after starting the project in late 2017, the developer ran into an issue.
"It was a private contractual issue they had to work through," he said. "I don’t even have all of the details, but it was a private marketplace issue they had to work through. They got all of that resolved, so we’re being told they’re going to start up again shortly."
The hotel is planned to have 70 rooms and three stories. Dirt work had originally started in December 2017 with completion expected in 2018. However, by the following spring, work had ground to a halt.
Mingo said that visible progress will still have to wait a bit.
"There’s still going to be a little bit of lag time here while they mobilize their contractor and get through a little bit of a redesign plan review process," he said. "You might not see activity at the site tomorrow or next week, but it’s still in process."
He said no solid completion date was discussed.
"I’m sure they’d want to get things going so they could be able to work inside through the winter," he said. "They’ve got a plans review process to get through, so that will take a little bit of time."
Two blocks to the north is another project that officials expect to ramp up as the summer continues.
In May 2018, it was announced that Casey’s General Store would build a new store, which would complement the three already in Yankton, on the former Bomgaar’s site at 23rd St. and Broadway Ave. The new store will include more pumps and a diesel island as well as a larger convenience store. Expectations had been for the project to begin later that fall or early this spring.
This spring, the site has seen the destruction of the abandoned Bomgaar’s and grading of the land on the northeast corner of 23rd St. and Broadway Ave.
Mingo said the city has heard good news on this project as well.
"We’ve been in contact with their corporate officials and the project is still greenlighted by Casey’s corporate," he said. "They have specific contractors that they work with, so that and the weather may be the reasons they didn’t start a month ago. That project is greenlighted and I’d expect to see activity there later this summer, too."
The hotel and Casey’s are far from the only construction projects that have found themselves behind. According to Mingo, Mother Nature has been a hindrance since last summer.
"It’s not just public projects, but private projects also —you’ve got contractors that have had obligations to finish up projects last fall and it was too wet even last fall to finish and they were hoping to get to those early this spring," he said. "Then we had the wet spring on top of it, so we’ve still got contractors finishing up things — in both the public and private sector — that would’ve been planned to be done last year. And of course, this part of the country, we always lose three or four months."
In spite of the weather woes, Mingo said he still sees a positive summer ahead for construction projects.
"Things are looking pretty good right now," he said. "Based on the number of permits issued, even for homes, we’re going to be above our 10-year average. Maybe not as high as we have been the last couple years, but it still looks strong. Hopefully, if the weather holds, we’re looking at a pretty good year."
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