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Streetscape feature coming to downtown Mitchell intersection despite concerns over parking spots

The bump out features that are set to be built on the Third Avenue and Main Street intersection could eliminate up to eight parking spots.

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Shown here is the bump out feature on the corner of Sixth Avenue and Main Street that will mimic the Third Avenue and Main Street bump out.
Republic file photo
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MITCHELL — Third Avenue and Main Street could soon be welcoming a new look in the near future and bring more aesthetic appeal to downtown Mitchell.

As part of the city’s downtown streetscape project, the intersection of Third Avenue and Main Street would become the next spot on Mitchell’s Main Street to usher in bump outs and landscape features. The bump outs will mimic that of what’s at the Sixth Avenue and Main Street intersection across the street from the Corn Palace.

While the project design received the green light, several parking spots along Main Street will be sacrificed to make way for the Third Avenue and Main Street streetscape.

According to Public Works Director Joe Schroeder, the bump outs on the intersection could result in a loss of a handful of downtown parking spots.

“We would probably lose at least one per corner, potentially two,” Schroeder said of the parking elimination. “We’ll have to reroute some water mains and storm sewers to accommodate the bump outs.”

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The Third Avenue and Main Street streetscape project is estimated to cost $700,000.

Prior to the Mitchell City Council approving the project at its Sept. 6 meeting, council member Dan Sabers questioned how many parking spaces would be eliminated due to the project. He then made the lone vote to deny funding the design phase of the project.

In recent years, downtown parking has been an issue for some Main Street businesses and apartments. Although there are a swath of public parking lots scattered throughout downtown, some property owners in the area say there is a lack of close proximity parking spots along Main Street.

The Third Avenue and Main Street area is a busy portion of downtown, with a mixture of clothing shops, jewelry stores and apartments. It could become a lot busier in the near future, as a real estate developer is transforming the former Crafty Fox building on one of the corners into apartments lofts where a bump out will take away some parking spots.

However, the developer has plans to utilize a portion of the vacant lot across the street for tenant parking.

Looking at the big picture of the entire streetscape project, Stephanie Ellwein, City Administrator, said the Third Avenue and Main Street intersection is planned to be the only area in downtown Mitchell that welcomes the bump out features like Sixth Avenue. The Fifth Avenue and Main Street intersection that's been torn up this summer for road construction work will integrate some landscape features along the sides of Fifth Avenue, a scaled-down version of the full bump out look slated for Third and Main.

“This is what they considered as the enhanced intersection out of the streetscape plan. The rest of them will be green space. You won’t lose the Main Street parking,” Ellwein said.

The streetscape project was an idea brought forward by Mitchell Main Street and Beyond roughly a decade ago as a way to revitalize an aging downtown.

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Since then, progress has been made on implementing designs of the streetscape, including the Sixth Avenue and Main Street bump outs, a pedestrian crosswalk connecting tourists and visitors to the Corn Palace, benches and landscape features.

More coverage on downtown Mitchell improvements and projects...
“This project would bring a lot of big improvements to the areas in focus. The streetscape would be very similar to what you see at the intersection of Sixth Avenue and Main Street where the Corn Palace Plaza sits,” said Public Works Director Joe Schroeder during Monday's special City Council meeting.

Sam Fosness joined the Mitchell Republic in May 2018. He was raised in Mitchell, S.D., and graduated from Mitchell High School. He continued his education at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, where he graduated in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in English. During his time in college, Fosness worked as a news and sports reporter for The Volante newspaper.
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