Planning Commission to take action on proposed Main Street renovation project

The former Fabric and Textile Warehouse building is located at the corner of 4th Avenue and North Main Street in Mitchell. (Matt Gade / Republic)

A major renovation is in the works for an old Main Street building, which could bring a shot of life to downtown Mitchell.

The plan -- which will be discussed and voted on by the Mitchell Planning Commission during Monday's meeting at City Hall -- calls for the property owners to rehabilitate the 401 N. Main St. building into a modern office and retail space. According to City Planner Neil Putnam, Puetz Corporation is the contractor set to structurally repair and rehabilitate the former Fabric and Textile Warehouse building on the corner of Fourth Avenue and Main Street.

Jeff Danielson, the building owner and chief manager of JDan Properties, LLC, drafted the letter, which provides an outline of the rehabilitation plan. The building was constructed in 1940.

According to Danielson’s letter, two separate structural engineering reports indicated that the original design of the roof, along with the roof trusses are "significantly overstressed," and "there is a significant risk of failure" in the event of heavy wind gusts or snowstorms.

Because of the damaged interior space of the structure paired with the stressed roof, Danielson emphasized the importance to begin working on the desired renovations in hopes of avoiding the demolition of the building.


"In its current condition, the building has no value," Danielson wrote. "This has been evidenced to us by multiple potential buyers, who upon being advised of the structural issues, would not purchase the building for a minimal consideration."

Danielson wrote the unique curved entrance of the building -- which faces Main Street -- would remain after the renovations are complete. The remainder of the building would retain the existing brick facades that are in place, along with repairing and painting them to present a clean, well-kept appearance.

The change would allow for three tenants, each with their own entrance to the 6,722-square foot building. The proposed building project has instilled plenty of excitement for Mark Vaux, executive director of the Mitchell Area Development Corporation and Chamber of Commerce, who said the proposed plan could add more appeal to downtown Mitchell.

“This is really exciting to learn about,” Vaux said. “This could really benefit downtown Mitchell.”

City Council to discuss two other Main Street sites Friday

While one property owner is making strides to upgrade Main Street, the city of Mitchell’s battle to strike an agreement with a property owner of the neglected 301 N. Main St. building wages on.

After two long years of working to address the corroding building that’s caused the street closure of a section of Third Avenue for two years, an 8 a.m. Friday special council meeting will aim to put an end to the ongoing Main Street eyesore.

According to City Attorney Justin Johnson’s council documents, the new agreement considers two scenarios; demolishing all of property owner David Finnell’s buildings -- which includes 301 N. Main St. -- at a cost of $570,000, or demolishing all of the buildings on the corner of Third Avenue and Main Street at a cost of $179,000 (plus certain other costs not specified). The purchase agreement documents did not specify all of the buildings Finnell owns that made up the $570,000 cost estimate.

In addition, Finnell would transfer the building to the city for $1, while agreeing that a judgment be placed against him for the total costs of the project, depending whichever option is pursued by the council, according to Johnson’s documents.


According to the agreement Johnson is proposing to the council, the agreement establishes the judgment amount must be at least $210,000, making it clear that Finnell will be responsible for at least the costs of the cheaper project, should it be pursued. However, the costs could increase if the cheaper project cannot be pursued, according to Johnson’s document.

Prior to making a motion on the Third Avenue and Main Street building, the City Council will consider an agreement to sell the empty lot at 701 N. Main St. for a total cost of $900.80. The council purchased the lot, which used to be a Casey's General Store, in December 2018, for $1.

According to the purchase agreement document, Doerr Properties, LLC, is the company who is seeking to purchase the empty lot, should it be approved by the council during Friday's special meeting. The city transferred the empty lot to the Mitchell Are Development Corporation (MADC), an entity of the Chamber of Commerce. But under that agreement, the city has the right of first refusal if the MADC can sell the property and the council will decide on waiving that right and allowing the sale on Friday.

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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