Families, businesses migrate to Box Elder

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - When you think of Box Elder, most people just think of Ellsworth Air Force Base but developers and city officials are looking to change that perception, while more and more people are heading to Box Elder to build commercial properties and homes.

"We have a lot of younger couples with young kids they want to just get started. They can get more for their money probably out here more than in Rapid," says Larry Larson, the mayor of Box Elder.

Along with the cost, the terrain and soil in Rapid City is different than Box Elder. It's more expensive for developers to make the land usable for their plans in Rapid City.

Some construction company owners also say that Box Elder's city government makes it easier and more time-efficient to build within city limits.

"When you have a city government who is truly partnering with you and standing side by side to walk you through the process and make sure it's not only good for the developer but good for the community that encourages that developer to continue developing property in that municipality," says Daene Boomsma, owner of Boom Construction.

Box Elder officials are also looking to the future. With the B-21 bringing in more military families, they want to welcome them with open arms.

"We're trying to develop more of a more of a main are where retail businesses will be and have a center to this city we want to lay out some of the areas and get them zoned correctly so that'll help," says Larson.

Box Elder officials also plan to upgrade their baseball fields, bring in a soccer field, more playground equipment, a BMX track and other amenities to attract more people to the city over time.