Jim Gilmour, the city’s strategic planner, published proposals last week from seven property developers across the region who offered plans for residential and commercial projects on three parcels of the city’s land and their costs.
The projects, which show the growing local and regional interest in the booming city center, range from pure housing estates to mixed-use structures and upscale hotel concepts.
Gilmour said he would refer the proposals to both the city’s tax-exempt review committee and the Renaissance Zone Authority for their recommendations, before referring them to the Fargo City Commission, expected in January for final decision.
The city’s strategic planner said he was surprised by some of the suggestions that came in that he hadn’t anticipated.
Projects could start later next year and most would include some sort of property tax break, with some seeking financial help through the newly created Tax Increment Financing District, which covers the east side of downtown and can help with certain phases of property development.
Here are the suggestions for the three lots.
1 Second North Street
This riverside property is on Main Avenue and Second Street next to the roundabout and near the Veterans Memorial Bridge.
Three local companies offered plans for the property, which will serve as the gateway not only to Fargo but also to North Dakota from Minnesota.
Thus, the projects all feature unique designs with apartments with dramatic river views and would fetch the highest prices in the country.
The three offers are:
- Beyond Shelter Inc. and Foss Architecture and Interior by Fargo: The nonprofit, which has developed 286 more affordable housing units for seniors in Fargo, is proposing a 51 unit. Five-story apartment building also for senior citizens, but with some commercial space on the first floor. The $ 16.3 million structure would include state housing aid to keep housing affordable for low-income residents. Underground and other closed parking spaces would be offered. They offered the city $ 650,005 for the land.
- EagleRidge Development Co.: Fargo is offering a $ 35 million seven-story building with 57 condos for sale, three stories or 3,000 square feet of office space, and one floor or 8,600 square feet of commercial space. The condos would be on the top five floors. Additional amenities include roof terraces and parking on the second level. EagleRidge has developed apartments, houses, and commercial space in cities across North Dakota. The company offered $ 1.5 million for the country.
- Epic Enterprises: The West Fargo-based company is proposing to add another mixed-use building to The Gateway building along Main Avenue, which opened in October, and The Arch, which is under construction next door. This new $ 23 million, seven-story building would have commercial space on the first floor, 37 apartments on the third and fourth floors, and 30 condos for sale on the fifth through seventh floors. Parking would be on the second level. The Gateway, home of Fryin Pan restaurant, already has 53 apartments, while the new L-shaped arch will span seven floors with 30 apartments and 34 condominiums with additional commercial space. The company offered $ 1.18 million for the country.
401 Dritte Avenue North
The abandoned building of the city’s former health department, which also includes a parking lot, is being demolished and replaced by a new building in the heart of the city center. The building has been empty for several years and was most recently used as temporary urban office space.
There were two offers for the property:
- GreenAcre companies and Lloyd companies: The Sioux Falls-based developers would build a combination of upscale hotel and residential building on the site, which also borders Fourth Street. The six-story building would include 115 hotel rooms and 108 apartments. The firms said they had discussions with Marriot about a potentially upscale AC hotel and would be using the same architectural firm, ESG Architecture of Minneapolis, to design the interior of the nearby Jasper Hotel. The plan provides for a restaurant / lounge, a ballroom and underground parking. Their offer for the property was $ 500,000.
- MBA investments: The Fargo-based development and architecture office is proposing a five-story apartment building with 68 units. The company stated that it is not planning any commercial space in order to avoid competition with existing companies and to reduce the need for on-site parking. The $ 12-13 million project would offer closed parking on the first floor instead. The offer for the property was also $ 500,000.
419 Third Street North
The single-storey former warehouse of the school district would have to be demolished to make room for two offers for large residential projects along the riverbank.
The two offers came from a so-called Public Benefit Corporation working on affordable housing and the other from the long-standing base of downtown development, the Kilbourne Group.
The two offers are:
- Authentic living: The national company based in St. Paul sent a detailed letter in which it outlined its plans for affordable housing, long-term perspectives and environmental aspects. The $ 51 million project would include 181 units overlooking the Red River. They would apply for federal and state housing aid to make the housing more affordable. The company suggests paying the land at its appraised value with a sales contract.
- Kilbourne Group: Fargo, which has been downtown for the past 15 years, offered three options for the property, including a 75-unit project for $ 15 million, a 115-unit structure for $ 25 million And a massive $ 67 million project that would also include purchasing the former Fargo School District Administration Building next door. The company emphasized that the apartments would have dramatic views of the river to the east and the downtown skyline to the west. The company’s offer is $ 162,984 for the land. They said the school district office building was listed at $ 4 million.