Rapid City may not house new packing plant
Multiple newspapers reported recently that Western Legacy Development Corp., the name behind the much-talked-about potential $1.1 billion Rapid City, S.D., packing plant has not made a deal with the Black Hills Industrial Center.
Dream Design International, who is said to be developing the Rapid City industrial park, did not return a call to answer questions.
Farm Forum reported that Rapid City officials said that the packing plant plans have been rejected.
Travis Lasseter, a Pennington County commissioner and cattle rancher, said it’s his understanding that the new industrial park could have provided sufficient room for the plant itself, but probably not for the added ventures hoping to be built alongside the plant such as rendering plants, etc.
The industrial park, which is set to be built off of Highway 79 on the south side of Rapid City, could have been a good location for several reasons, Lasseter said — the fact that two power grids are available, as well as a railway access, and Interstate 90.
Megan Kingsbury, the voice for the proposed packing plant, and the CEO of the Western Legacy Development Corp. and the managing partner of Sirius Realty, the company that is financing the packing plant project, said the corporation is looking at possible sites from Georgia to Texas, to South Dakota, to Idaho and beyond.
“The development parameters for a campus of this size, with all the co-locates in addition to the packing facility itself, self-eliminates a number of sites immediately,” she said.
“That being said, the Black Hills Industrial Park is the most ideal site in West River South Dakota. The owner of the park has opted to not play ball with Western Legacy Development Corp. for an unknown reason, which has pushed us to less desirable second and third site options within the state of South Dakota. I am focused on putting the first site in South Dakota because I am South Dakotan and want to see the tremendous economic boost this project will give the state in which it sites,” she said.
Her company has so far spent about $2.5 million in developing building plans, she said.
She is not considering a smaller plant because she believes “scale is needed to take back market share for the producers’ benefit.” Kingsbury added that “Size is not the issue in Rapid City. Desire of the state and local landowner to work with us is the issue.”
She also said that her company is close to signing a deal with a global energy company that will co-locate and collaborate with them. “We are also working closely with our federal delegations from each state that we are siting. We continue to have strong commitments from the best and largest feedyards nationally as well as working with our regional barns for cash market procurement,” she said.