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Salem purchases 12 acres for housing devlopment

Another small South Dakota community is ready to expand. People representing the city of Salem say it’s the perfect balance between rural charm and city access.

The Salem Economic Development Corporation has bought 12 acres to develop into future housing for the community.

Sheldon Jensen is an economic development specialist with the Sioux Metro Growth Alliance. He said this plan goes back a half-century to a plot of land owned by the local nursing facility.

“They have continually owned that property over the course of the last 50-plus years, and it’s always been seen as an opportunity for development in the community," Jensen said. "It’s already inside city limits, there’s some adjacent utilities, they wouldn’t have to be annexed or rezoned. It’s been on the radar of the community for 50 years.”

The local EDC purchased the complete plot after last year’s derecho rendered the facility unusable.

“We’ve been in contact with them over the past year and came to an agreement in April that we would buy the building as-is, along the rest of the land so that we can get this going," Jensen said. "Originally, we weren’t trying to get 12 acres, we were really hoping just for eight.”

Jensen said Salem is a town with a bright future.

“Salem I would say is primed for growth," Jensen said. "It hasn’t had a ton of growth recently because of that lack of singular housing stock. It’s in a great location, it’s 30 minutes from Sioux Falls, 30 minutes from Mitchell, 30 minutes from Madison, but it has a lot of its own amenities. It has beautiful ballfields, a great school district, and it’s the county seat of McCook County. Which I don’t think a lot of people realize is a plus, all of your county resources are right there as well.”

People interested in purchasing a lot should contact the Sioux Metro Growth Alliance.

C.J. Keene is a Rapid City-based journalist covering the legal system, education, and culture