Railyard Flats has this incredible warmth that so many new buildings lack,” said Pendar Properties partner Anne Haber. “The warmth comes from the historical location and the use of modern mass timber, which has never been done before in this state. There is a feeling of so much love.” 

Located across the street from downtown Sioux Falls’s 8th & Railroad Center, the newly constructed Railyard Flats brings an industrial urban flair to the area with apartments, offices, and a cocktail bar called Highball

Trading Tracks

The building sits on what once was a railyard, evident in its name. There, the trains would swap from one set of tracks to another. 

In an effort to allow more space for downtown Sioux Falls to expand, the city partnered with the railroads to make a change, according to Haber. 

“That consisted of finding a new location for the switchyard, and in turn, freeing up many acres of developable land in downtown,” said Haber. 

“Before they could signal the conductor, they would utilize a pulley system with a big white or red ball on it. If that ball was up, that was called a highball, and the train could proceed through the platform without stopping. If it was down, they’d have to come to a stop.” -Anne Haber on the mechanism that the Highball bar is named after.

With the switchyard moved to a different location, construction began on Pendar Properties’s Railyard Flats, building where it once was. 

“There is still an operating railroad next door, but they are no longer switching,” said Haber.

Construction + Commercial

“It was a little bit touch-and-go in the beginning that we were taking on this risk and doing this, but in the end it did work out,” said Haber.

The pandemic did raise some concerns, but ultimately the architectural building design of CO-OP Architecture and the landscape architecture of Confluence brought together the industrial-modern Railyard Flats building.

She says the best compliment she’s gotten on the building was that it looked as though it simply had been rehabilitated rather than recently constructed. 

“I’m most excited for people to enjoy the outdoor spaces before the snow flies and to experience the views.” -Anne Haber

“It just shows what new construction can be,” explained Haber. “It’s not just the white box. It’s not just the cheap materials that are seen in new buildings.”

The structure and many accents of the architecture are made from mass timber, a more sustainable alternative to steel and concrete.

“It creates noise dampening and a warmth I’ve never experienced in a new building,” she said. “The posts and beams came from Austria, and the floorplates and the ceilings came from British Columbia.”

Connecting the flats to the surrounding buildings, the exterior is constructed of brick. 

“Just building with noble materials makes a difference that people can see and feel,” she said. 

In a few places, corten steel ties everything together. 

Haber’s Downtown Must-Sees

+8th & Railroad Center
+Covert Artisan Alles & Cellars
+Monks Ale House
+R Wine Bar
+Queen City Bakery
Ode to Food and Drinks
+Arc of Dreams
+Bike Trails

“It’s a nice balance between the industrial nature of our location and the warmth of the mass timber,” said Haber. “It’s a wonderful combination.” 

Housed inside the downtown addition are the offices of CO-OP Architecture, Confluence, Pendar Properties, and the bar group with Highball.

Residing on the Rails

For those looking to move into the urban lifestyle downtown, they can seek residence in Railyard Flats. 

Apartments range from studio layouts to a three-bedroom option. 

“In the apartments, we utilized custom cabinetry from Showplace [Cabinetry],” said Haber. “We have done beautiful luxury finishes, heated tile bathroom floors, balconies on every unit, and we’re pet friendly.” 

Other building amenities include a courtyard, an extension of Downtown Sioux Falls’s Sculpture Walk, a bike trail, the Urban Fitness Room, a common space for entertaining, and a rooftop deck. 

“That rooftop includes a gas fire pit, tons of seating options, pergolas, dining areas, a gas grill, and some gardens,” she explained. 

She says that living at Railyard Flats allows people to experience an urban lifestyle, while maintaining some connection to nature. 

Haber expanded, “Instead of living in a crowded urban environment, you’re able to step outside and hear the birds and walk your dogs on a beautiful path.” 

For more information, visit RAILYARDFLATSDTSF.COM.


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