For the past five years, development in both the City of Sturgis and Meade County has been on a phenomenal fast track that encompasses commercial, residential and industrial growth. At the center of much of the momentum is the private, non-profit Sturgis Economic Development Corp (SEDC), along with City, County and other vital development partners.
In 2015, SEDC assisted 10 businesses as they expanded and relocated. They include a diversity of manufacturing, retail, food and automotive services located throughout Sturgis and the Sturgis Industrial Park. The 125 jobs associated with HiQual, Landsport, Domino’s, Big D, Arby’s, Jake’s Collision Center, BH Laundry, J&P Cycles, Indian Motorcycle Sturgis and Scott Peterson Motors comprise a $5 million payroll which generates a larger economic impact as it circulates throughout the area.
Also in 2015, SEDC worked with developers and the City of Sturgis to encourage construction of new residential units to address the housing needs identified in the City’s 2014 housing study. Construction soon started on Dolan Creek Estates, Canyon View Estates and Sierra Vista apartment homes. When fully complete, they will provide a mix of 173 single-family, twin-home and multi-family housing to support the growing Sturgis and Meade County economies.
With funding assistance from the USDA, State of SD and Meade School District, SEDC built the industrial incubator in the Sturgis Industrial Park. This 5,100 sq. ft. building is designed to encourage start-up businesses by offering flexible lease space. Only 3,360 sq. ft. is currently available as the remainder of the building is occupied by Meade School District’s machine tool technology course. This course introduces students to the skills required to be successful in metals-related manufacturing, a high-demand industry in Sturgis and Meade County.
With the recent addition of manufacturers HiQual and Landsport to the Sturgis Industrial Park, as well as land sales to three businesses, the 45-acre Park is nearly full.
Much of the tremendous growth the City of Sturgis is experiencing today began with the 2008 Future Sturgis initiative funded in part by SEDC. This landmark effort defined a grass-roots movement charged with identifying areas of improvement to enhance Sturgis’ live-ability index. Its recommendations were incorporated into the Sturgis Comprehensive Plan and today form the platform for many of the City’s business- and growth-friendly decisions.
Meade County implemented their new discretionary formula in 2010. In South Dakota, it was an unprecedented incentive program offering 5-year tax relief on new commercial construction. Since its inception, commercial construction starts throughout Meade County have surpassed $31 million, an amount only dreamed of previously. As SEDC markets the many assets of our area, this remains an important development tool.
With all this behind us, what lies ahead? SEDC plans continued collaboration with development partners to implement initiatives that enhance our area’s growing assets. These key initiatives include residential developments for independent seniors and affordable workforce housing, childcare services with Pre-K programming to support residential growth and prepare children for the classroom, continued commercial expansion to generate services and tax revenues, and further industrial growth through construction of a spec building and development of a new industrial park.
SEDC’s 15-member volunteer board and staff remain committed to their vision of shaping our future by being the catalyst and collaborative leader in responsible development for Sturgis and Meade County.