In 2009, South Dakota State University began exploring options for development of land owned by the university. This project was detailed in a booklet titled "Northwest Quadrant Mixed-Use Development Feasibility Study."
In its full form, the 'NW Quad' development calls for many different components. Some expand on current university offerings, such as student housing. Other components expand into areas never before served by the university and which compete directly with private industry including senior housing, grocery store, fitness center, coffee house/cafe, convenience store, conference center, hotel, and more.
This plan causes concern for several reasons.
1. BASB maintains a strong opposition to public entities competing with local businesses. We realize that any growth experienced through development by SDSU of the NW Quad will likely be offset by a shrinking of current business.
2. All new components proposed through the study would be built on public land and would not be responsible to pay any property tax which is critical to support K-12 Education in Brookings as well as local government and services.
3. Private business being forced to compete in this environment creates an uneven playing field and will almost certainly cause harm to existing (and tax paying) small businesses in Brookings.
BASB hopes to bring this critical issue back into the public discussion and to facilitate further discussion to ensure that SDSU and the Brookings community can maintain the positive partnership which has been fostered for over 100 years.
- Brookings Advocates for Small Business (BASB)
- Brookings Advocates for Small Business (BASB) is a group of local citizens and business owners who work to promote a strong Brookings by advocating for a fair and private local business environment.
Of current concern to this group is a project first presented by South Dakota State University (SDSU) in October of 2009 known as the North West Quadrant Project. The current administration at SDSU has been moving forward with development based on a document called the Northwest Quadrant Mixed Use Development Feasibility Study.
While a strong SDSU is vital to the growth and success of Brookings, a strong and vibrant private business community is also critical. The project in full form calls for housing, retail, convention center, hotel, C-store, coffee shop, fitness center - and more. All components will be built on tax exempt state land and will compete with existing taxpaying Brookings businesses. This creates an unequal playing field as well as competition between government and private business. We believe this will alter the business and economic landscape in Brookings in irreversible ways.