Despite being the second most populous county in South Dakota, Pennington County ranks 30th in the state for median household income. Combine that with the facts that the U.S. just reached a four-decade-high-level of inflation and that Rapid City is one of the most expensive places to live in the state, and we have a recipe for economic difficulty. It’s clear why many people are struggling.

Dream Design International, Inc.’s President has a vision of how to change that. Hani Shafai’s goal is to ignite the diversification of the local economy and bring more high-paying jobs to Rapid City. His hope is that South Dakota maintains its strong ag and tourism economies while also building up a third sector in the area of manufacturing so the region’s economy is more multi-dimensional.

“We want to build a future where more of our children and their children want to stay here and can stay here in Rapid City because of the economic opportunity,” Hani said.

One way Dream Design is living out that vision is by building the Black Hills Industrial Center. Located at the southeastern corner of the city, the site will check all of the boxes for manufacturing companies by having a reliable, high-quality power source nearby as well as rail that will run through the property. Being adjacent to the Heartland Expressway and near I-90, businesses will have easy access to transport goods to various markets.

What exactly will be included in the industrial park? The preliminary map below reflects the interested users that are currently being considered and the types of industries that could fit in the open spaces. Though still in its early stages and not a final plan, the map gives an indication of the vision of the nearly 700-acre industrial park.

Black Hills Industrial Center Map

There are still many bridges to cross before Hani’s vision for the Industrial Park – and for western South Dakota – becomes reality. But Dream Design is taking steps forward one day at a time to bring it to life, all while keeping that vision as the driving force.

As Hani put it, “We want fewer parents to have to work multiple jobs so they can spend nights and weekends with their kids. We want people who have worked hard their whole life to have enough money to retire comfortably. And we hope that the high-paying jobs that result from this project mean that even when the price of gas goes up or the food bill is higher than anticipated, more folks in Rapid City are able to afford their living expenses.”