$2.5M plaza development planned for downtown

The Aberdeen Development Corp. has announced a $2.5 million plan to create a new plaza area where Malchow’s Home Furnishings previously was on South Main St. Construction is expected to begin later this summer. Courtesy renderings

ABERDEEN, S.D. (By Elisa Sand esand@aberdeennews.com) – A new plaza area is planned for downtown Aberdeen.

Come summer 2021, the city’s four promotional organizations will all be downtown, and a new business selling Aberdeen-made products will be open, under a plan announced Monday.

Mike Bockorny, CEO of Aberdeen Development Corp., announced the Malchow Plaza development at the city council meeting. In an interview with the American News prior to the meeting, he said part of the $2.5 million development has already begun.

The plan involves renovation of the former Anchors of Faith business site on South Main Street, an open plaza with seating and landscaping, and the construction of a two-story building on the west side of the plaza.

The plaza will feature some existing organizations and businesses as well as a new addition. Here’s what will happen:

  • The Aberdeen Convention and Visitors Bureau will move into the former Anchors of Faith building at 510 S. Main St.
  • The Aberdeen Development Corp. and the South Dakota Small Business Development Center will be on the second floor of the new building.
  • Dakota Broadcasting will be on the first floor.
  • And a new business, The Market on the Plaza, will open on the Fifth Avenue side of the building.

The Aberdeen Development Corp. and Small Business Development Center are now in the industrial park on the northeast edge of town. The Convention and Visitors Bureau in already on South Main, but a few blocks farther north.

According to a statement from Dakota Broadcasting, the company is excited about the move from North U.S. Highway 281 to downtown.

“By moving the stations to the Malchow Plaza we can better serve the community and have our fingers on the pulse of Aberdeen. We are very excited about the Malchow Plaza project and for the future and growth of Aberdeen,” it reads.

Bockorny said The Market on the Plaza will feature multiple businesses in one place, an idea spearheaded by Brodie Mueller, owner of Dakota Territory Brewing, and Carly Pochop, owner of Colorful Creations.

“They’re going to sell Aberdeen-themed items,” Bockorny said. “They’re also going to have regional foods.”

He said a selection of food items will also be available for lunch. Seating be available outside and upstairs.

Bockorny said the plaza development will bring to reality a concept that’s been discussed for some time in which the development corporation and the community promotion groups — the Aberdeen Area Chamber of Commerce, Aberdeen Downtown Association and Aberdeen Convention and Visitors Bureau — be closer.

The chamber is already in 500 block of South Main where the plaza is planned.

“We were in the process of looking for something, then the fire occurred,” Bockorny said, referring to the fire that destroyed Malchow’s Home Furnishings in October.

That left downtown with a open, undeveloped lot, but also gave Bockorny an idea that sparked a discussion that eventually became the plan for Malchow Plaza.

Malchow’s Home Furnishing is now operating at 309 S. Main St.

Development of the plaza, which he describes as an investment in the community, includes electricity for outdoor entertainment, Bockorny said.

Construction will begin this summer, with completion expected by July 1, 2021.

(visit www.aberdeennews.com)