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Monday, February 5, 2018

BestGen Modular's New Factory in South Dakota

State government plans to give a $3.2 million building to Branden Bestgen, a Black Hills, SD businessman, for conversion to a novel kind of manufacturing plant, in exchange for his agreement to demolish 125 mobile homes he owns near the Ellsworth Air Force Base runway.
Branden Bestgen

The property will be given to Branden Bestgen, who plans to locate his new Best GEN Modular company there.
The plant will produce steel-constructed “volumetric modular” units, such as individual hotel rooms, that will be shipped to building sites and stacked together to make completed structures. The plant is projected to employ 100 or more people at starting wages of $14 per hour, plus benefits.
Proponents of the multifaceted deal say it will help protect Ellsworth Air Force Base from closure while growing the local economy. But the deal will also displace the residents of the mobile homes.
Legislation covering part of the deal was recently approved by the state House and Senate and is awaiting the governor’s consideration as soon as Monday. The legislation, Senate Bill 40, directs the state’s commissioner of school and public lands, Ryan Brunner, to transfer a state-owned former Western Dakota Technical Institute property at 1600 Sedivy Lane in Rapid City to the Ellsworth Development Authority. The property includes a main building, which is 100,000 square feet, plus 10 acres of land and some smaller structures. Brunner said the property was originally appraised at $4.1 million, but the appraisal was adjusted lower after it was discovered that the property — which Brunner said was annexed into the city after originally being built outside of city limits during the 1970s — did not meet some city codes and will need an estimated $900,000 worth of upgrades.

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