What a difference a decade or two makes. During the 1990's, downtown Sioux Falls, like a lot of downtown areas in U.S. cities, was struggling. At times, vacant storefronts outnumbered open businesses as more and more people were doing their shopping and dining in large retail centers outside the downtown area.

However in 2017 people are flocking back to downtowns all over the country, not just to shop and eat, but to live as well.

Courtship
Dan Peters/Results Radio
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That downtown renaissance has hit Sioux Falls in a big way too, thanks to ongoing  projects like the SculptureWalk.

So big that USA Today has included the city's main downtown shopping thoroughfare - Phillips Avenue - on a list of "10 Great American Shopping Streets."

The list was complied by Robert Gibbs, an urban planner who has worked with 300 cities, and teaches at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design.

His take on Phillips Avenue:

"This small Great Plains city is home to one of the best downtowns in the country. The transformation, guided by a public-private partnership, has lined the streets with art," said Gibbs. "You’ll find five or six sculptures per block. People will drive hundreds of miles just to come see it."

The other Great American Shopping Streets:

  • High Street, Short North Arts District - Columbus, Ohio
  • Main Street - Greenville, South Carolina
  • Lake Street - Petoskey, Michigan
  • Atlantic Avenue - Delray Beach, Florida
  • First Avenue, Cherry Creek - Denver, Colorado
  • Main Street - Chatham, Massachusetts
  • Colorado Boulevard - Pasadena, California
  • Spruce, Chestnut and Walnut Streets - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Broughton Street - Savannah, Georgia

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