North Sioux City gearing up for major expansion

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NORTH SIOUX CITY, S.D. (KCAU) – The first phase of a land deal, between North Sioux City and Graham Field, is just about complete. A near $13 million deal to buy land from Graham Field would mean the start of a major revamp for North Sioux City.

In 2015, Stephen Jones acquired Graham Field with plans to expand the 100-year-old airport.

“Throughout the expansion process, we’ll be adding lights and landing systems to allow larger corporate aircraft to be able to come in and out of the airport footprint. We’ll be adding hangar buildings, and we also are going to add a residential airpark neighborhood,” Airport Manager Stephen Jones said.

Recently, the City of North Sioux City has gotten involved. The plan is to turn an airport revamp into a city overhaul.

“We’ve got about 470 acres out here. A sizable piece of that is obviously going to be infrastructure for road and levy structure. But the balance is going to be about 300 and some acres of industrial property and about 100 acres of workforce housing,” North Sioux City Administrator Eric Christensen said.

Work has already begun on the expansion project.

“We’ve started working with our engineers on a master plan for it. Phase one, which is going to be an initial industrial area of about 95 acres, we’re hoping to get started on sometime late next spring. We’re hoping to get the residential area started in 2023. Outside of that, the additional phases are all industrial and it’ll kind of depend on the rate at which we sell the land in the previous phase,” Christensen said.

“Overall, the design plan is a, you know, 15, 20-year design plan. We would like to see airport progress start within the spring of 2022,” Jones said.

North Sioux City’s head of economic development said when it’s all done, the community will benefit.

“It’s also a really exciting opportunity on the workforce housing end of things as well. We need it, it’s a huge demand, we hear it from the business community all the time. I will say that the projects that we’ll be targeting, the businesses that we’ll be targeting are going to be the types that are good for the community. That’ll create high-quality, good-paying jobs with benefits. You know, we want to make sure we grow the community in the right way,” North Sioux City’s Head of Economic Development Andrew Nilges said.

Christensen said the City of North Sioux City is paying half the land’s cost, and the rest of the financing is coming from the South Dakota Governor’s Office of Economic Development.

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