A stellar year of growth in Lennox



The city of Lennox recorded just shy of nine million dollars in building permits for 2021.

The breakdown, according to City Administrator Nathan Vander Plaats, was a value of $6,290,483 for new residential construction permits, a value of $1,226,999 for commercial permits, and a value of $1,459,586 for existing residential permits.

Economic Development Specialist Ryan Solberg said, “Residential growth remains strong. The LADC (Lennox Area Development Corp.) was instrumental in getting the Countryside development started, and we’re starting to see the fruits of that labor. With several homes going up. The housing market generally is strong; listed homes in Lennox are not staying on the market for very long and inventory remains low. Lennox remains an attractive option for families looking for a small-town experience with access to the job opportunities and amenities in Sioux Falls.”

However, the job opportunities in town are also plentiful with Lennox’s existing manufacturing base robust and growing with companies like Wilson Trailer and Sioux Steel locating and then expanding their operations in the community.

Solberg said, “We’ve received a lot of inquiries from companies looking to come here. Lennox is right in this sweet spot where we have easy access to the Sioux Falls labor market and state and federal highways but we’re far enough away where the cost of doing business is a little bit lower. In 2021, the LADC helped broker a deal with Wilson Trailer to expand here in town, but in the process, we sold the last of our industrial land. Finding more land and getting it ready with the proper infrastructure will be key to landing more industrial businesses in the future.”

Also on the commercial side of development, Lennox has seen retail growth start to pick up. With businesses like Chuck’s Drive-In, Maple Drip, and Thyme Cafe (delivery) all starting here in the past year. Sales tax growth over the past year increased by around 10%.

“I think Lennox’s population is now big enough to support these businesses, but a big challenge to future retail growth is a lack of affordable retail space,” said Solberg. “There’s only one spec retail space for sale or rent in town, and the cost of building space, purchasing equipment, etc. is prohibitive to many entrepreneurs looking to get started. Finding a solution to these challenges will be a key priority for LADC in 2022.”