Laura Bonsness often admired the vacant Serenity Springs Funeral Chapel on Sheridan Lake Road and wondered how her growing physical therapy practice might fit into the unique, semi-circular building with a stunning view of the Black Hills.

“I drive by that area all the time,” she said. “I saw the (for sale) signs and thought ‘gosh, that would be a great place.’”

Bonsness did more than just think about it. Two years of negotiations recently culminated in a deal with the current owners, listed in county records as a corporation operated by Michael and Lisa Carlsen of Aberdeen.

Bonsness, principal owner of About You Physical Therapy, is slated to close on the property at 3808 Sheridan Lake Road in May.

Renovation of the 7,745-square-foot space will continue through the summer, with plans to move into the building this fall, she said.

Part of the sale process included a request to rezone the property from medium-density residential to office commercial. The Rapid City Council gave final approval of the change on March 18.

Since opening About You Physical Therapy in April of 2011 at 5622 Sheridan Lake Road, Bonsness has expanded into an adjacent suite and added a second location with a 2015 merger with SOAR Physical Therapy.

Bonsness shares ownership with therapists Karen Schumacher, Katie Steevers, Erin Fiedler and Jesse Ham. Matt Dormann operates SOAR Physical Therapy. Both offices employee 16 people, including nine therapists.

SOAR will remain at 2822 Jackson Blvd., while the Sheridan Lake Road office will move into the Serenity Springs building.

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The change will mean more than double the space for her staff, which she said has been tripping over each other in the current 3,180-square-foot leased space.

“It’s a good thing we like each other a lot. We’re literally on top of each other in the space where we do administrative work or do our medical notes. We’ve got seven or eight people in a not very big room,” Bonsness said.

The new space will allow About You to expand its physical therapy services, along with the addition and expansion of wellness, education and prevention programs and other interdisciplinary offerings, including massage therapy and programs to help those suffering from Parkinson’s disease.

“Now, we’ll be able to do what our whole vision was, physical therapy along with wellness and prevention and education,” she said.

Bonsness is especially excited to be working in a building boasting a southwest panorama of the Black Hills skyline.

“It’s really a gorgeous building with a gorgeous view,” she said. “Just a great place for what we’re doing with health and wellness, with that view of nature.”

Elsewhere in downtown Rapid City:

  • Heroes Sports Cards at 513 Main St. is expanding next door into what was Zoom Soda & Candy. The vintage candy and soda shop closed in mid-January. Heroes store manager Jason Starkjohann said the expansion will allow the display of more sports memorabilia and collectibles and allow room for more tables for their popular fantasy game leagues.
  • Reflections of South Dakota, a western-themed fine art and gift shop at 605 Main St., closed its doors on Feb. 23 after a month-long clearance sale, according to the store’s Facebook page.
  • Also apparently closed is RTR Woodcarvers at 627 Main St. Refined Reef, a store specializing in tropical fish and coral at 2050 West Main St. Suite 6. was listed “permanently closed,” according to a printed sign on the door.

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