Betting on progress
The intersection of Koehn Avenue and Walnut Street in Luverne’s industrial park will likely be the next 41st Street and Minnesota Avenue, according to Sioux Falls developer John Beck.
With plans for truShrimp and the National Guard Armory in Luverne’s rapidly growing industrial park, Beck sees investment potential for future growth in that area.
“There’s got to be a million types of businesses to help feed the business in that area,” Beck told the Luverne Economic Development Authority Monday morning during a public hearing.
The LEDA agreed to sign a development agreement with Beck, who plans to construct $750,000 to $1 million incubator building — depending on site work and finishing options — that would allow for multiple potential tenants.
According to the agreement, Beck will pay $25,000 for the property, which has water, sewer and electric hook-ups available to the property line, and he must begin construction within a year.
The public hearing was necessary to facilitate the sale of the public lot, but Beck is not receiving any city incentives for purchasing the lot.
According to plans reviewed Monday, the 7,500-square-foot pre-engineered metal building would be 60 feet by 125 feet by 28 feet, with a possible option for a wood frame building with sheet metal finish.
Depending on the number of tenants, the building has the structural capacity to subdivide into four or five spaces. There will be overhead doors on the south and east sides, including a dock-high door.
The building could be used as a staging site for truShrimp and National Guard ancillary businesses, but in a broader sense, Beck envisions more specific spin-off businesses utilizing the property.
For example, he said possible tenants could include a supplies distribution center, uniform cleaning service, lawn maintenance service, food catering services, eating or gathering assembly area, equipment and materials supply service, and more.
“This project is expected to create new jobs and contribute to the tax base,” he told the LEDA.
“The economic impact to Luverne may be that this building can serve as an outpost to serve other business development in the Walnut Industrial Subdivision and other development in the community.”
Mayor Pat Baustian said he’s encouraged by Beck’s interest in Luverne’s industrial park. “That’s definitely going to be a busy intersection,” he said. “The type of business, we don’t know yet.”
Beck is the son of Richard Beck of Beck and Hofer Construction, which has completed several major local projects, including the GrandStay Inn and Suites, Papik Motors and Herman Motors. The firm is also handling the John Deere implement expansion south of Luverne.
In Sioux Falls, he developed a lot on speculation (similar to the current one in Luverne’s industrial park) about 10 years ago at the corner of 26th Street and Marion Road, now known as CorTrust Plaza.
In addition to CorTrust Bank, a beauty salon and the Breadsmith restaurant are longtime tenants. An art and wine business recently replaced longtime tenant AnyTime Fitness.
Beck said he’s been watching Luverne’s industrial park activity for several years for an opportunity to participate in growth.
“I’ve kept an eye on it, and this spring I decided I wanted to make a commitment,” he said.
“We’re excited for this opportunity and look forward to many years of business in Luverne.”
He intends to break ground on the building as soon as February and have it operational by fall of 2019. However, he’s already promoting the space for future tenants, and if there’s enough immediate interest, he said he’d start construction this fall.