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F-Misthebest
Oct 3, 2006, 3:44 AM
I was very dissapointed with the Empire Mall. Small Food Court, no people, wierd gold mirrors and glass beams on the ceiling. Lots of space for lease. Instead of couches there were hard wood benches. Not impressed at all.

Midwesterner19
Oct 3, 2006, 4:54 AM
I have never been to a mall in Sioux Falls so I cant form in opinion.

I have to admit though that Fargo customer service and the lay-out of the malls and businesses is probubly the best ive ever been around in retrospect.
I dont think their is another city ive been in where the hospitality of the people who work and manage the businesses is as good as Fargo.

Despite the passive arrogant behaviors of some of the residents of Fargo, I kind of miss that town in the middle of the tundra. Then again any city that has come so far in the last 15 years would probubly devolop a superiority complex.

I do think alot of the reason why economic growth in Fargo has slowed from 6 percent during periods in the mid 90s, to about 1.5 percent now is because of the superiority complex in Fargo. This might be good because Fargo is more selective probubly about what industry comes in to their community, but it also stifles creative types who think outside the box.

F-Misthebest
Oct 4, 2006, 10:45 PM
Future of downtown
By Melinda Rogers, The Forum
Published Wednesday, October 04, 2006

City leaders glimpsed into the future of downtown development on Tuesday as consultants unveiled suggestions to propel Fargo-Moorhead’s core into a flourishing epicenter.

Suggestions for advancing cities’ downtown plans ranged from adding more mixed-used buildings and sprucing up gateways to implementing more student-focused housing and improving transit hubs.

Through an avalanche of ideas, one common thread emerged: Continued development is needed to draw people to a thriving downtown.

“The whole process is to take the wonderful progress we’ve had downtown and to take it to the next step,” said Moorhead City Planner Deb Martzahn. “As downtown has evolved, it’s possible to see things we didn’t see five or six years ago.”

Consultants from Minneapolis-based Short Elliot Hendrickson Inc. met Tuesday with representatives from city government, nonprofits, development firms and the public to discuss a vision for downtown projects.

The day-long charrette at Moorhead’s Kassenborg building was part of a planning study – known as the F-M Downtown Framework Plan – launched by the Metropolitan Council of Governments to prioritize downtown amenities during the next five years.

The plan, scheduled for completion in early 2007, aims to identify key actions city government and private businesses can take to advance a blueprint for downtown, said Brian Gibson, a transportation planner for MetroCOG.

The project will piggyback on a similar study completed in 2000. Both Fargo and Moorhead have carried out downtown development ideas drawn up in that plan, Gibson said.

“The natural question is what’s next?” he said.

Consultants from SEH and Camiros, a Chicago-based planning firm, offered community leaders several suggestions for improving each city’s downtown.

Fargo and Moorhead both need to work at consolidating rail operations to increase safety, decrease traffic backed up at railroad crossings and convert inactive rail corridors to trail systems linking each city’s downtown, consultants said.

Other suggestions from consultants included:

Fargo

- Converting NP Avenue and First Avenue North to two-way traffic could simplify and improve circulation between Fargo and Moorhead downtowns.

- Creating a new mixed-use building with integrated parking on Broadway between Second and Third avenues. The facility could house a cinema, niche retail or other services.

- Building a riverfront performing arts center to bring in a regional crowd. Part of the project would include constructing permanent flood control and parking into the site design.

- Redeveloping areas west of Broadway and Roberts Street to focus on university student housing. Such an initiative would expand the downtown community’s relationship with the tri-colleges.

Moorhead

- Emphasizing Center Avenue as a pedestrian-friendly corridor in downtown Moorhead. Improving traffic mobility on Main and First avenues would be part of this project.

- Forming student-focused housing and a transit center between Main and Second avenues.

Adding student-targeted retail and services such as a bookstore, music store, barber shop, pizza parlor, bike shop and outdoor apparel store could be included as part of the initiative.

- Sprucing up gateways into downtown Moorhead’s primary entrances to provide a stronger sense of downtown identity. Constructing tall masonry structures with the city’s name or other design motifs would help with visual effect.

While moving forward with consultants suggestions is far off for both cities, many who attended Tuesday’s meeting said the ideas are a good start for continued downtown redevelopment discussions.

Fargo City Planner Bob Stein said Tuesday’s meeting gave city leaders a chance to personalize consultants’ ideas.

“You need to get the people who live and work here together,” he said. “We’re getting the local input that we need.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter Melinda Rogers at (701) 241-5524
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Good news.

Ex-Ithacan
Oct 4, 2006, 10:51 PM
Hey, at least there's a solid plan. Good step in the right direction.

NanoBison
Oct 5, 2006, 1:47 AM
I really hope they don't go with the plan to turn NP and 1st into two way streets again. Broadway is already clogged up with normal traffic. The one ways handle traffic volumes quite well. I think they should add another east-west one way pair and extended both pairs into Moorhead, all the way up to Highway 10. I never understood peoples utter hate with one-ways, especially having sat at the same light on Broadway for 10 minutes because some guy, 5 cars up, wanted to turn left (we were going north), but the traffic traveling the other direction was blocked and backed up because of those stinking trains.

We need more one-ways, not the kind of thinking of "let's get these drivers trapped downtown and pray and hope that they will spend money at our shops"...

:koko:


However I firmly agree with most of that report. Especially the section that stated "no matter what, the key to turning the downtown area into the city's epicenter is CONTINUED DEVELOPMENT". That was music to my ears.

:tup:

NanoBison
Oct 5, 2006, 2:01 AM
Official backs Fargo’s plan for homeless
By Mike Nowatzki, The Forum
Published Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Fargo’s new 10-year plan to end long-term homelessness is thoughtful, sophisticated and practical, the man appointed by President Bush to lead the nationwide effort to eliminate homelessness said Tuesday.

Mayor Dennis Walaker presented the plan to Philip Mangano, executive director of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness.

Mangano also offered some recommendations of his own, urging the plan’s creators to involve the business and faith communities as they put it into action.

Fargo City Commissioner Linda Coates announced the first proposed step: a rental- assistance voucher program to place long-term homeless into housing.

About $75,000 of the city’s federal Housing and Urban Development funds would be used to provide five to 10 vouchers per year, said Jessica Thomasson, senior city planner for community development.

Tenants would have to pay 30 percent of the rent at first, with the voucher covering the difference.

“We’re realistically thinking that people will come with a modest amount of personal income,” such as veteran or disability benefits or work income, she said, adding that they’ll receive help finding jobs.

The Fargo Housing Authority, which already has 46 rental vouchers available to the homeless, would administer the program.

“It’ll really feel the same for landlords. It’s just more of those vouchers will be available,” Thomasson said.

Fargo’s Community Development Committee will hear the proposal Thursday.

Coates thanked the 40 community leaders and service providers who spent eight months working on the homeless plan. The City Commission adopted it Aug. 28.

The “Going Home” plan offers seven strategies and 38 actions to end long-term homelessness, defined as an individual or family with a disabling condition who has been continuously homeless for at least one year or who has experienced four or more episodes of homelessness in the past three years.

Fargo had 253 homeless people on Jan. 25, including 79 long-term homeless, according to a one-day survey by the North Dakota Coalition for Homeless People Inc. The Wilder Research Center will count the metrowide homeless population later this month.

Mangano praised the plan for borrowing “best practices” from around the nation. Since the council was created in March 2002, 225 cities and counties have completed or are developing a 10-year plan.

The plans carry economic benefits as well as societal and cultural benefits, Mangano said. The chronically homeless comprise 10 percent of all homeless people, but they consume 50 percent of the public resources used by the homeless, he said.

“Housed and homeless alike – the quality of life of everyone will be improved through the implementation of this plan,” he said.

-----------------------------------------------

Glad to see Fargo is stepping up to the plate and combating homelessness. It's an issue in many large cities around the country that needs to be addressed. I think Fargo can do this in 10 years with proper planning and programs. I realize we won't eliminate it 100%, but we may come close.

F-Misthebest
Oct 5, 2006, 6:07 AM
http://www.fmmetrocog.org/announcements/issuetwo.pdf READ THIS!!!!!

F-Misthebest
Oct 7, 2006, 12:11 AM
Where is everyone?

F-Misthebest
Oct 7, 2006, 12:14 AM
I noticed that building just south of I-94 and just west of 25th Street is coming along very nicely. I am glad that Fargo continues to grow. That was a waste of a post but we got to get this thread higher on the Midwestern States list. :)

Midwesterner19
Oct 7, 2006, 3:22 AM
Redevolopment of downtown Fargo sounds good but the thing about Fargo I dont think Fargo will ever have a lively downtown. Fargo obviously has the financial resources to have a very nice downtown but the main thing is the Fargo culture. Fargoans like to go into a store and shop and look around for at most 5 minutes and leave. I know in coffee houses for example in many big cities and many college towns 80-90% of the people will grab a cup of coffee and sit in the chairs, meet new people, talk with friends, read a book and stay a few hours (and get re-fills and buy pastries) but not in Fargo they will grab a cup of coffee and head back out to their car with-in 10 minutes. In other words Fargoans go for the coffee or to buy a chair in downtown Fargo, but they dont stay stay and browse. In many cities also people will stroll from shop to shop in a slow-paced manner but in Fargo people go into perhaps one store for a few minutes to buy something and immediately head back out and drive to another place. Many people who I met in Fargo who were not from Fargo would always say "people in Fargo are always in a rush" or "people in Fargo walk fast". Culturally, being that in Fargo people have a very strict sense of direction where every thing has to be done in a fast manner I dont see downtown really materializing into a destination for shopping (they have several stores, but not many compared to college town metro's of Fargo's size). I do think Fargoans strict sense of direction is good as far alot of very smart people finish college in 3 years and know what their goals are, but its not good for a "laid-back culture" which most downtown's thrive on.

Fargo might excel at arts for a small of its size, it also excels at being a very liveable city but I dont think Fargo will ever have a downtown that has alot of pedestrian activity or a college population living in it. The "chic" place to live in Fargo is out towards the mall along 42nd street and that will not change.

The thing about Fargoans when they build a condo project downtown they park as close to the door as possible as to not associate with the people who they deem lower then them (they have quite a few rooming houses in downtown Fargo) or practically to not associate with the winter weather element. Most people live in downtowns and pay a premium for the energy element which Fargo does not have in it's downtown.

I think the best thing to do with Fargo's downtown is turn it into a "lifestyle" center that has links between the stores for when those days are -20 outside with a wind-chill of -40. I do think the only solution to downtown Fargo's lack of activity during the week is to emulate surburbia.

F-Misthebest
Oct 7, 2006, 6:55 PM
Redevolopment of downtown Fargo sounds good but the thing about Fargo I dont think Fargo will ever have a lively downtown. Fargo obviously has the financial resources to have a very nice downtown but the main thing is the Fargo culture. Fargoans like to go into a store and shop and look around for at most 5 minutes and leave. I know in coffee houses for example in many big cities and many college towns 80-90% of the people will grab a cup of coffee and sit in the chairs, meet new people, talk with friends, read a book and stay a few hours (and get re-fills and buy pastries) but not in Fargo they will grab a cup of coffee and head back out to their car with-in 10 minutes. In other words Fargoans go for the coffee or to buy a chair in downtown Fargo, but they dont stay stay and browse. In many cities also people will stroll from shop to shop in a slow-paced manner but in Fargo people go into perhaps one store for a few minutes to buy something and immediately head back out and drive to another place. Many people who I met in Fargo who were not from Fargo would always say "people in Fargo are always in a rush" or "people in Fargo walk fast". Culturally, being that in Fargo people have a very strict sense of direction where every thing has to be done in a fast manner I dont see downtown really materializing into a destination for shopping (they have several stores, but not many compared to college town metro's of Fargo's size). I do think Fargoans strict sense of direction is good as far alot of very smart people finish college in 3 years and know what their goals are, but its not good for a "laid-back culture" which most downtown's thrive on.

Fargo might excel at arts for a small of its size, it also excels at being a very liveable city but I dont think Fargo will ever have a downtown that has alot of pedestrian activity or a college population living in it. The "chic" place to live in Fargo is out towards the mall along 42nd street and that will not change.

The thing about Fargoans when they build a condo project downtown they park as close to the door as possible as to not associate with the people who they deem lower then them (they have quite a few rooming houses in downtown Fargo) or practically to not associate with the winter weather element. Most people live in downtowns and pay a premium for the energy element which Fargo does not have in it's downtown.

I think the best thing to do with Fargo's downtown is turn it into a "lifestyle" center that has links between the stores for when those days are -20 outside with a wind-chill of -40. I do think the only solution to downtown Fargo's lack of activity during the week is to emulate surburbia.

Who the heck says that. With all do respect to Fargoans, we are not a fast moving people.

Since NDSU has put the architecture and landscaping building downtown, and now has purchased two other buildings for more architecture, I'm sure the students who are studying this topic would want to live in downtown, not in suburbia Fargo. They would want to live in a closer location to where they would go every day! They would live in loft apartments for a resonable price. Then small food companies and small retailers will see how many more young people are moving to this part of town, so they would want to buy or lease a space in this great downtown area. Then more students who would want to study architecture would move downtown making more people downtown. Then larger food companies and retailers will see the giant population of students in downtown and move to downtown Fargo and Moorhead. Now as the population of Fargo-Moorhead continues to grow the three colleges will continue to grow and prosper mimicking the city. Both MSUM and Concordia College in Moorhead are very close to downtown making many compaines move to the downtown area. Now college students aren't the wealthiest people so, they would walk to where there favorite places that are downtown (PEDESTRIANS!) and walk back to their homes. I believe this makes the downtown area lively.

F-Misthebest
Oct 8, 2006, 12:00 AM
My friend's mother owns the franchise of the Radisson in Fargo. She told me that they will be renovating all of their rooms. Thank God!!!! She said they're making it all modern, sleak, and purple! Now our tallest building (and the second tallest in the state) won't be some '80's hotel, instead a beautiful modern high-rise. Also if the Performing Arts Center goes in, there will be a hotel there as well.

Midwesterner19
Oct 8, 2006, 12:23 AM
.
Since NDSU has put the architecture and landscaping building downtown, and now has purchased two other buildings for more architecture, I'm sure the students who are studying this topic would want to live in downtown, not in suburbia Fargo. They would want to live in a closer location to where they would go every day! They would live in loft apartments for a resonable price. Then small food companies and small retailers will see how many more young people are moving to this part of town, so they would want to buy or lease a space in this great downtown area. Then more students who would want to study architecture would move downtown making more people downtown. Then larger food companies and retailers will see the giant population of students in downtown and move to downtown Fargo and Moorhead. Now as the population of Fargo-Moorhead continues to grow the three colleges will continue to grow and prosper mimicking the city. Both MSUM and Concordia College in Moorhead are very close to downtown making many compaines move to the downtown area. Now college students aren't the wealthiest people so, they would walk to where there favorite places that are downtown (PEDESTRIANS!) and walk back to their homes. I believe this makes the downtown area lively.

I think they have some good niche retail in downtown Fargo. I also think
they need to put in a small lifestyle center though into east Fargo, Main would be a good idea. Main is a very underutilized street on the east side of town so they could put a bookstore chain store in there, a chain movie theatre and perhaps some specialty chain food store. Just an idea of mine, but I really think the westside of downtown is very underutilized and it should be used to its highest potential. Any retail downtown though should be connected by a walkway because of those -20 day-time highs North Dakota sometimes has in January.

Fargo and Grand Forks need to do all they can to encourage people in Winnipeg to visit. The Candian dollar has been very strong and North Dakota needs to really capitalize on that. Grand Forks economy has been very strong as of late in part because of the strong Canadian dollar. I remember alot of weekends I saw alot of Manitoba plates, it seems like Fargo does a great job with having alot of retail especially the a city of its size. Fargo most likely would not have as much retail if most of Eastern North Dakota and NE South Dakota didnt shop there. I do think Fargo because so many people shop there could use it to their advantage and increase retail offerings downtown in addition to the rest of Fargo.

I have to admit Grand Forks even though the economy is growing fast job wise its mainly hospitality sector jobs that Grand Forks is gaining, the thing about Grand Forks is the rents are higher then Fargo, so quality of life wise retail and hospitality workers dont have as much after they pay rent as somebody in Fargo would. Still Canadians shopping in Grand Forks still benefits the economy considering unemployment rates in Grand Forks seem to be quite a bit higher then Fargo.




.

F-Misthebest
Oct 8, 2006, 6:02 PM
In part of this downtown revitalization with the Riverfront Plan there would be a movie theatre in Downtown Moorhead. There also would be a bookstore downtown. Did you read this http://www.fmmetrocog.org/announcements/issuetwo.pdf ? Well you should.

I remember many pages back that Smiley said that he has talked to many Manitobans in the mall and how they said they would rather prefer going to Fargo instead of Grand Forks.

NanoBison
Oct 9, 2006, 2:57 AM
Redevolopment of downtown Fargo sounds good but the thing about Fargo I dont think Fargo will ever have a lively downtown. Fargo obviously has the financial resources to have a very nice downtown but the main thing is the Fargo culture. Fargoans like to go into a store and shop and look around for at most 5 minutes and leave. I know in coffee houses for example in many big cities and many college towns 80-90% of the people will grab a cup of coffee and sit in the chairs, meet new people, talk with friends, read a book and stay a few hours (and get re-fills and buy pastries) but not in Fargo they will grab a cup of coffee and head back out to their car with-in 10 minutes. In other words Fargoans go for the coffee or to buy a chair in downtown Fargo, but they dont stay stay and browse. In many cities also people will stroll from shop to shop in a slow-paced manner but in Fargo people go into perhaps one store for a few minutes to buy something and immediately head back out and drive to another place. Many people who I met in Fargo who were not from Fargo would always say "people in Fargo are always in a rush" or "people in Fargo walk fast". Culturally, being that in Fargo people have a very strict sense of direction where every thing has to be done in a fast manner I dont see downtown really materializing into a destination for shopping (they have several stores, but not many compared to college town metro's of Fargo's size). I do think Fargoans strict sense of direction is good as far alot of very smart people finish college in 3 years and know what their goals are, but its not good for a "laid-back culture" which most downtown's thrive on.

I'm going to have to agree with you on the "people in Fargo walk fast", "people are always in a rush", and most of Fargo has a strict sense of direction. However, that's all I am going to agree on. Most of the times when I go into the coffee shops in downtown Fargo or Moorhead, people sit down, read the paper, get their "refills", and just relax, especially if it's after 5:00pm or it's the weekend. However, during the 8:00am-5:00pm hours, yes it's true that people are very much in a rush, but that's expected, especially if the main clients are students and business people.

When you say '''' "laid-back culture" which most downtown's thrive on '''', I have to say, that when I think of most major urban downtown cores, New York City, Chicago, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, etc... I don't tend to think laid back. I tend to think fast paced, non stop, rush rush, etc... Once it gets after 5:00pm and the nightlife starts up, or the weekends, then sure it's laid back, but not during business hours.

Sure you want to keep people downtown as long as possible. The best way to do that is by offering places to live downtown. Fargo is just beginning to see a revitalization in this area. It's only going to continue to boom as NDSU moves forward with plans to develop the two new buildings they have just purchased. If plans go as expected, almost 2,000 NDSU students will be taking a majority of their classes at the expanded downtown campus. Surely with those numbers, some of those students will probably want to live downtown and be closer to where their classes are, not to mention get farther away from the main campus and it's rules.


Fargo might excel at arts for a small of its size, it also excels at being a very liveable city but I dont think Fargo will ever have a downtown that has alot of pedestrian activity or a college population living in it. The "chic" place to live in Fargo is out towards the mall along 42nd street and that will not change.

Midwesterner, I'm not so sure that the "chic" place to live in Fargo is along 42nd St. Let's see what's along there starting at Main Ave. We've got industrial, moving farther south, it's apartments, goobs and goobs of apartments. Approaching 9th Ave, more and more glorious apartments, ironically located in the section of the ciy termed "circle 9", due to it having the largest amount of police calls every year. Moving farther south, West Acres. Great for shopping, not so great for living. More and more apartments as far as the eye can see, all the way down to 40th Ave S. Ahhhh finally we start seeing housing developments. Not really next to West Acres, more really next to Microsoft/Great Plains area.

I don't know about you, but I wouldn't say that's the "chic" part of town to live in. It's mostly apartments and businesses, no really unique neighbors or the such.

Now the development adjacent to this section of the city, Urban Plains by Brandt hopefully will inject some new ideas into developments in that area, especially with the ideas of a "city within a city". A nice, walkable neighborhood, with several thousand people living there.


The thing about Fargoans when they build a condo project downtown they park as close to the door as possible as to not associate with the people who they deem lower then them (they have quite a few rooming houses in downtown Fargo) or practically to not associate with the winter weather element. Most people live in downtowns and pay a premium for the energy element which Fargo does not have in it's downtown.

I'm going to have to disagree. Sure Fargo's downtown doesn't have the "energy" of a downtown from a city like Chicago, or Minneapolis, but it's actually quite good compared to some other cities, of similar size, I've recently visited. Heck it's got more happening on the weekends than a downtown like Philadelphia's does. All I saw on the weekend in Philly was druggies and peddlers. Monday was a totally different story, but the weekends in that city's downtown urban core must just suck. At least in Fargo/Moorhead's downtown area, you've got the young crowd in the coffee shops and pizza joints as well as the more trendy crowd doing some weekend shopping.

Of course, I wouldn't expect it to turn into anything that could compete with West Acres for at least a decade. It's going to take alot more work and development and coming up with solutions to normal issues like the weather (what to do when it's freezing outside, and how to got people to still go about the shops, maybe a skyway system?, I don't know). But at least there is now a significant attempt to better the downtown area. Every single project just adds to the critcal mass of what the downtown area is to become. In my 10 years here, never have a seen such an effort, as those put forth in the last 5 years.


I think the best thing to do with Fargo's downtown is turn it into a "lifestyle" center that has links between the stores for when those days are -20 outside with a wind-chill of -40. I do think the only solution to downtown Fargo's lack of activity during the week is to emulate surburbia.

Emulate Surburbia? Good god, that is what the downtown area is trying to get away from. I think what would be best, is basically create a sophisticated, hip, chic, tech-savvy neighborhood, composed of both downtown areas and create enough housing/retail/commerce that basically you wouldn't have to leave the downtown area. In fact it should be so convenient, you should be able to walk anywhere, or take public transportation, if it's deemed necessary, other than that you're own legs or a bike should get you around fine.

That's what we need downtown. That's just the tip of the iceberg though. I haven't even touched on making downtown a destination for those in the city and those in the region, if not the entire tri-state region, by adding a grand performing arts center, more musuems, science museum, indoor water park, larger convention center, more hotels, etc. etc. etc.....

I won't expand on it right now, I just wanted to address the points of Midwesterner's post, which I thought were slightly biased....

:yes:

SmileyBoy
Oct 10, 2006, 5:29 AM
Well, it won't be ready until the end of the decade, but here's some BIG news I'd thought I'd NEVER hear for Downtown Fargo again in my lifetime:

NEW CONSTRUCTION of a 3-storey, 17,700 square-foot mixed-use building on Broadway.

New building on tap for Broadway
By Mike Nowatzki, The Forum
Published Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The parking lot next to the Fargo Theatre has a new role on Broadway.

The City Commission on Monday approved a proposal from Kilbourne Group to turn the lot into a three-story brick building with 12,000 square feet of loft space on the top two floors and 5,700 square feet of retail on the first floor.

Plans call for 12 loft-style condos ranging from $150,000 to $250,000 in price, said Michael Allmendinger, project manager. Construction will start in 2008 and last 12 to 18 months, he said.

Margie Bailly, the theater’s executive director, said the project will boost foot traffic and residential capacity in the area, which is important to building and sustaining the theater’s audience.

The parking lot previously held only 30 cars for shows in the 870-seat theater, Bailly said.

“It is much more valuable to us as a developed space than it is as a parking lot,” she said.

Kilbourne Group will pay the city $170,000 for the lot.

According to its development proposal, the lofts will feature balconies overlooking Broadway and a “pocket park” between the building and theater, where tenants and theatergoers can gather.

City Commissioner Mike Williams praised the project for the green space and the 19 parking spaces that will be available behind the building.

“This is really a nice concept,” he said.

The building’s architecture will fit in well with the historic character of Broadway and help build on the momentum of other projects happening in that area, Planning Director Jim Gilmour said.

The City Commission voted to issue a request for proposals for the parking lot on Aug. 28 – the same day it took the lot back from the theater.

The city helped the theater buy the lot in 1995, using $170,000 of its federal Community Development Block Grant funds. The theater pitched in $30,000.

The grant agreement required the theater to build an addition within three years or give the lot back to the city. The addition wasn’t built, but city officials forgot about the contract until it resurfaced last year, so the theater kept the lot.

Proceeds from the sale of the lot will go back into the city’s CDBG fund.

Kilbourne Group submitted the only proposal for the lot. The Fargo-based group consists of DJR Architecture Inc. of Minneapolis, the Land Elements landscape architecture firm of Fargo and the Meinecke-Johnson Co. construction firm of Fargo.

Kilbourne Group rescued the former Northern School Supply building at 650 NP Ave. from demolition in 2000. The building now houses North Dakota State University’s downtown campus.

City commissioners authorized staff to work with Kilbourne Group on a developer’s agreement, which must be approved by the commission. According to its proposal, Kilbourne Group plans to seek Renaissance Zone tax credits for the project.

The group also has purchased the adjacent building at 309 Roberts St. – formerly home to Knights Formal Wear – and plans to turn it into 14 housing units, according to the proposal.

Allmendinger noted that only four new buildings have been built on Broadway in the past 40 years.

“It’s going to be a good project for a great neighborhood that’s already existing,” he said.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Mike Nowatzki at (701) 241-5528

SmileyBoy
Oct 10, 2006, 6:54 AM
I also dug up these little goodies from the FAR website.

Renderings of the new $15.5 million airport terminal expansion:

http://www.fargoairport.com/Arrival%20Lobby.jpg

http://www.fargoairport.com/Passenger%20Screening%20Area.jpg

http://www.fargoairport.com/Departure%20Lounge.jpg

F-Misthebest
Oct 10, 2006, 1:24 PM
You beat me to it!! Yeah I've seen those pictures like a month ago and never thought to put them on here. Awesome news on the Building!!!!!!!!!

NanoBison
Oct 10, 2006, 2:22 PM
That expansion is going to look very nice on the airport. I can't wait to fly out of it again when I goto Portland in August. Glad to here they are putting a new building in that parking lot next to the Fargo Theatre. We need more of this development downtown. More more more!!! I'm going to get some pics today before Winter sets in and ALL the leaves fall off the trees...

:tup:

NanoBison
Oct 10, 2006, 2:38 PM
Alien marks grand opening
By Teri Finneman, The Forum
Published Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Alien Technology has signed multiyear deals with six companies to supply up to 840 million of its “smart tags,” company officials said Monday.

The announcement came in conjunction with the grand opening of the company’s Fargo manufacturing plant at the North Dakota State University Research and Technology Park.

Alien, state and local officials attended the event to discuss the company’s progress and future.

Under its new agreements, Alien will supply radio frequency identification tags to industry label suppliers.

These companies will then incorporate the tags into labels for supply chain, asset tracking and item-level identification uses.

Alien also announced the availability of its new Alien Gen2 RFID integrated circuit, a drop-in replacement for current Gen2 chips.

The new technology offers a 30 percent longer read range and 10 times faster write speeds, said Keith McDonald, Alien senior vice president of sales and marketing.

Alien also has expanded its family of Gen2 RFID tags. The new “world tags” are designed for uniform use around the globe. Small form-factor tags are ideal for cost-effective, high-performance item level tagging, the company said.

Alien provides RFID products and services for the retail, consumer goods, manufacturing, defense, transportation and logistics, and pharmaceuticals industries.

Using RFID as a tracking device improves effectiveness, efficiency and security, McDonald said.

The Fargo Alien plant is the most advanced RFID tag manufacturing center in the world, said Glenn Gengel, vice president of operations.

Using its “global state-of-the-art technology,” Alien can create cost-effective, high-volume tag production, he said.

The Fargo plant can produce 500 million RFID tags per year and has the capability to reach 10 billion per year as the market expands, Gengel said.

The Fargo plant employs 35 people, with the goal to reach 40 by the end of the year, Gengel said.

The company hopes to have 75 Fargo employees by this time next year, depending on the market, he said.

Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., introduced Alien leaders to state and local officials in 2003, when the company was looking for a site for its new plant.

He said Alien’s tags are an “unbelievable technology.”

“I want this to be the epicenter of RFID technology in our country,” he said.

Alien’s Acting CEO Bob Eulau called the Fargo plant’s grand opening “a huge day for us.”

Eulau has served as acting CEO since mid-September, when former CEO Stav Prodromou assumed a new company position.

Eulau said the search for a new chief executive will take months. In the meantime, the company plans to make progress and move forward, he said.

The Morgan Hill, Calif.,-based company has made a capital investment in excess of $10 million in its Fargo plant and is impressed with the capability here, he said.

“We look forward to growing.”

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

It's good to finally see that building open up. I now I've heard whisperings from people nervous about whether or not the building was actually going to open after Alien's IPO pullback last month and the CEO stepping down to take another position in the company. However with the new orders for 850 million smart tags (300 million more than current Fargo capacity), I think this will mark the start of faster growth for the company and also growth for the NDSU Tech Park. I predict at least 3 new buildings, centered around RFID, to pop up in the tech park in the next 3-5 years. I can't remember, but I think after they are finished with the Tech Incubator, they have another building project in the pipeline......

:notacrook: :banana: :banana: :banana:

NanoBison
Oct 10, 2006, 10:51 PM
Alien Technology® Opens World’s Most Advanced UHF RFID Tag Manufacturing Facility in North Dakota

Alien® Manufacturing Center, Fargo to provide capacity to produce up to 10 billion low-cost, high-quality RFID tags per year

October 9, 2006, Morgan Hill, Calif. – Alien Technology Corporation today officially opened its 48,000-square foot Alien Manufacturing Center in Fargo, North Dakota, the world’s most advanced and sophisticated UHF RFID tag manufacturing facility. With the current capacity to manufacture up to 2 billion RFID tags per year, and 10 billion tags per year in the future when fully equipped, Alien’s Fargo facility represents a milestone in the RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) industry’s ability to produce high volumes of affordable, high-quality tags, and will be instrumental in extending Alien’s long-standing price/performance leadership

“The wide-spread availability of low-cost RFID tags is vital to the continued rapid adoption of this truly transformative technology,” said Bob Eulau, acting CEO, Executive VP, and CFO, Alien Technology. “The result of six years of RFID manufacturing R&D and expertise, the Alien Fargo Manufacturing Center greatly enhances our ability to meet the mounting demand for affordable, high-quality tags and to help drive further RFID market growth worldwide.”

Continued Eulau, “Alien’s tag manufacturing roadmap for the future is simple: faster, cheaper and better. In this way, we will propel faster, more substantial returns on investment for Alien customers around the globe.”

Over a typical 10 year RFID project life cycle, RFID tags typically represent 70% of an end users total project expense. With its proprietary manufacturing techniques, Alien has been able to continually supply low cost RFID tags to the industry. To this end, Alien has invested heavily in developing advanced tag manufacturing technologies and processes, and has been issued more than 30 manufacturing patents to date with another 30 in process. This is in addition to Alien’s numerous RFID technology patents. Ten people, including eight PhDs, are currently employed full time in Alien’s manufacturing research and development efforts, working to define improved techniques.

Proprietary techniques for low-cost, high-volume tag production
The new facility will apply sophisticated manufacturing processes to help produce Alien’s extensive portfolio of tags optimized for a wide range of applications, including supply chain visibility, asset and baggage tracking, item level tagging, and public safety. This includes tags based on the newly announced Alien Gen2 RFID IC. These advanced processes encompass the use of an advanced Micro Electronic Mechanical System (MEMS) fab for silicon processing, and a proprietary process for removing dies from silicon wafers that enables Alien to obtain 15% to 20% more RFID chips (NanoBlock® ICs) per wafer than any competitor – a unique cost advantage and thus a key factor in Alien’s ongoing leadership.

After these chips are processed in Fargo, they are shipped in solution to Alien’s Morgan Hill, CA facilities to be packaged into “straps” via Alien’s patented FSA® (Fluidic Self Assembly) process. This revolutionary assembly technology enables efficient, cost-effective placement of very large numbers of small components across a surface in a single operation. To date, Alien has produced over 120 million straps in the FSA process. Rolls of FSA straps are then returned to Fargo for final assembly into RFID tags using Alien’s HiSAM (High Speed Strap Attached) machines, designed exclusively to package Alien FSA straps. Greatly speeding and improving the accuracy of the packaging process, each HiSAM machine produces 10 Alien RFID tags per second, or 250 million units per year – representing a substantial yield advance over conventional tag packaging methods.

“Now online, the Alien Manufacturing Center, Fargo represents the state-of-the-art in the high-volume production of RFID tags,” said Glenn Gengel, vice president of Manufacturing, Alien Technology. “The cumulative effect of Alien’s advanced manufacturing systems and proprietary techniques is the ability to provide predictable volumes of high-quality RFID tags at a very low cost. We will continue to invest selectively in assembly capacity to match market demand growth, and in technologies that will allow even greater manufacturing efficiencies going forward in order to sustain and extend our competitive advantage.”

About Alien Technology
Alien Technology provides UHF Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) products and services to customers in retail, consumer goods, manufacturing, defense, transportation and logistics, pharmaceuticals and other industries. Organizations use Alien's RFID products and services to improve the effectiveness, efficiency and security of their supply chains, logistics and asset tracking operations. Alien's products include RFID tags, RFID readers and related training and professional services. Alien's patented Fluidic Self Assembly (FSA) technology and related proprietary manufacturing processes are designed to enable the manufacture of high volume, low cost RFID tags.

Alien was founded in l994. The company's facilities include: its corporate headquarters in Morgan Hill, CA; an RFID tag manufacturing facility in Fargo, ND; the Alien RFID Solutions Center, in the Dayton, Ohio area, and sales offices in the US, Europe and Asia. Alien is a member of EPCGlobal. More information about Alien is available at www.alientechnology.com.

Alien, Alien Technology, the Alien logo, NanoBlock, and FSA, are trademarks or registered trademarks of Alien Technology Corporation in the United States and other countries.

Copyright 2006 Alien Technology Corporation. All rights reserved.

--------------------------------------------------------------

What I am wondering, is how long will it take until the demand is there for the company to ramp up to 10 billion tags/year. At 500 million/year for the current capacity that means 20 times more than is currently here in Fargo... I know of initial plans to basically double the size of the building they just finished, and add more lines, but I'd really like to see the "Grand Scheme" of their plans. This may get really interesting in the next 3-5 years.

:tup:

JoeJoe
Oct 12, 2006, 7:43 PM
NDSU announces final plans for downtown expansion
By Amy Dalrymple, The Forum
Published Thursday, October 12, 2006

About 4,000 college students will attend class in downtown Fargo by the fall of 2008 under plans unveiled today by North Dakota State University.
President Joseph Chapman announced the university’s finalized plans for the two downtown buildings the NDSU Development Foundation has acquired – the Pioneer Mutual Life and Lincoln Mutual buildings.

The Pioneer building will house the College of Business and the Department of Agribusiness and Applied Economics.

The NDSU Development Foundation had been raising money to build a new College of Business on the west side of the main campus.

But locating the College of Business downtown will cost $3.5 million less and provide 11,000 more square feet than the original plans, Chapman said.

In addition to remodeling the six-story Pioneer building, NDSU will add an education wing with classrooms, an atrium area and a two-story auditorium.

The project is estimated to cost $13.5 million to $14.5 million, said Jim Miller, executive director of the Development Foundation.

Architect Terry Stroh said work could begin this spring on the 12- to 14-month project.

The two-story Lincoln building will be remodeled to house studio space for architecture and landscape architecture students. That project is estimated to cost $1.5 million to $2 million, Miller said.

Plans also include a large amount of green space and walkways between the buildings to create more of a campus feeling.

Fargo officials said they’re excited about NDSU’s plans.

“It’s only going to enhance downtown Fargo,” said Mayor Dennis Walaker.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Amy Dalrymple at (701) 241-5590

------
Downtown Fargo just keeps on getting better. It'll be interesting to see what developers will come in and try and fill in the demand that will be created by this for apartments for the students as well as other retail for them. I also have heard that the new Atomic Coffee on Broadway will have a rooftop area similar to the HoDo's. Don't know if that's been mentioned here yet so thought I'd throw it out there. :)

Wolfmanfromsufu
Oct 12, 2006, 8:45 PM
I was very dissapointed with the Empire Mall. Small Food Court, no people, wierd gold mirrors and glass beams on the ceiling. Lots of space for lease. Instead of couches there were hard wood benches. Not impressed at all.
The mall is seems to be having trouble keeping stores full. The food court has about 4 openings. One restaurant closed mainly due to bad management and poor service. Some long time vacent stores are now getting filled. A vacant spot in the old food court area is going to be home to a Cariboo Coffee.
Hopeffully there will be enought demand for the 2 major retail complexes planned for the east side (Dawley Farm and Galleria at Rivers bend), but only time will tell. I can't say much to compair SF growth to Fargo since I've haven't spent any time in Fargo.

Justin_144
Oct 12, 2006, 9:50 PM
Also alot of stores that have openings are out of the way, which is the reason the stores that were there have closed. There is not enough foot traffic for people to know whats down there....out of sight out of mind.

SmileyBoy
Oct 13, 2006, 5:19 AM
The mall is seems to be having trouble keeping stores full. The food court has about 4 openings. One restaurant closed mainly due to bad management and poor service. Some long time vacent stores are now getting filled. A vacant spot in the old food court area is going to be home to a Cariboo Coffee.
Hopeffully there will be enought demand for the 2 major retail complexes planned for the east side (Dawley Farm and Galleria at Rivers bend), but only time will tell. I can't say much to compair SF growth to Fargo since I've haven't spent any time in Fargo.

Well, just for comparison's sake, there are about 5 or 6 vacancies TOTAL inside West Acres.

I went to the Empire Mall website one day, and clicked on the interactive map, and couldn't believe how many spaces in the mall said "Now Available".

SmileyBoy
Oct 13, 2006, 5:20 AM
NDSU announces final plans for downtown expansion
By Amy Dalrymple, The Forum
Published Thursday, October 12, 2006

About 4,000 college students will attend class in downtown Fargo by the fall of 2008 under plans unveiled today by North Dakota State University.
President Joseph Chapman announced the university’s finalized plans for the two downtown buildings the NDSU Development Foundation has acquired – the Pioneer Mutual Life and Lincoln Mutual buildings.

The Pioneer building will house the College of Business and the Department of Agribusiness and Applied Economics.

The NDSU Development Foundation had been raising money to build a new College of Business on the west side of the main campus.

But locating the College of Business downtown will cost $3.5 million less and provide 11,000 more square feet than the original plans, Chapman said.

In addition to remodeling the six-story Pioneer building, NDSU will add an education wing with classrooms, an atrium area and a two-story auditorium.

The project is estimated to cost $13.5 million to $14.5 million, said Jim Miller, executive director of the Development Foundation.

Architect Terry Stroh said work could begin this spring on the 12- to 14-month project.

The two-story Lincoln building will be remodeled to house studio space for architecture and landscape architecture students. That project is estimated to cost $1.5 million to $2 million, Miller said.

Plans also include a large amount of green space and walkways between the buildings to create more of a campus feeling.

Fargo officials said they’re excited about NDSU’s plans.

“It’s only going to enhance downtown Fargo,” said Mayor Dennis Walaker.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Amy Dalrymple at (701) 241-5590

------
Downtown Fargo just keeps on getting better. It'll be interesting to see what developers will come in and try and fill in the demand that will be created by this for apartments for the students as well as other retail for them. I also have heard that the new Atomic Coffee on Broadway will have a rooftop area similar to the HoDo's. Don't know if that's been mentioned here yet so thought I'd throw it out there. :)

This might be a VERY huge catalyst for downtown growth. Already, new loft-style apartments like Bristol Place, etc. are being rented out like hotcakes to NDSU students downtown.

Ex-Ithacan
Oct 13, 2006, 9:40 AM
All those students living downtown should really give it a major boost, congrats to Fargo.

F-Misthebest
Oct 14, 2006, 1:43 PM
Well, just for comparison's sake, there are about 5 or 6 vacancies TOTAL inside West Acres.

I went to the Empire Mall website one day, and clicked on the interactive map, and couldn't believe how many spaces in the mall said "Now Available".

No, there's only three vacant in West Acres.

F-Misthebest
Oct 14, 2006, 1:50 PM
Downtown Fargo zone recognized
By Mike Nowatzki, The Forum
Published Saturday, October 14, 2006

Six years of intense efforts to revitalize downtown Fargo paid off this week with international recognition.

The International Downtown Association presented city officials with a merit award for economic development in the city’s Renaissance Zone.

The award was one of just 16 handed out during the IDA’s annual conference Monday in Portland, Ore. Other winners included Phoenix, Milwaukee, St. Louis and Vancouver, B.C.

“When you look at who we’re keeping company with, I’m impressed,” said Dave Anderson, president of the Downtown Community Partnership.

Anderson and Fargo Senior Planner Bob Stein submitted a narrative and PowerPoint presentation to the IDA in May to nominate Fargo’s Renaissance Zone.

They pointed out that since the zone was created in 2000, more than 125 properties with a total value of $11.5 million in the 35-block zone have benefited from more than $58 million in project improvements. Those who invest in zone projects may receive five-year property tax and state income tax exemptions.

Just since May, the level of investment has increased to $61.8 million for 130 active projects, Stein said Friday.

The investments have raised property values downtown and improved blighted properties. Downtown’s median household income is also on the rise thanks to the development of owner-occupied residential condos, they said.

Anderson, a member of the IDA board and public policy committee, said downtown Fargo should gain attention from the award. The IDA will produce and distribute DVDs with the award information for anyone who wants it, and it will also be available online, he said.

The IDA has more than 330 members in the United States and 37 in Canada, plus international members from 11 countries including England, Japan and Australia, according to its Web site.

Accepting the award in Portland were Fargo Renaissance Zone Authority Chairman Roger Gilbertson, Mayor Dennis Walaker and Richard Gray, Renaissance Zone manager for the North Dakota Department of Commerce.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Mike Nowatzki at (701) 241-5528
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Downtown shuffle
By Craig McEwen, The Forum
Published Friday, October 13, 2006

Downtown Fargo’s version of musical chairs is playing out with businesses hopping all over the place.

Three stores have landed in the former Fargoan hotel: O’Day Cache, The Red Shoe and ShannaLee, a new women’s boutique.

What’s for Dinner has moved from 1450 25th St. S. to the former Red Shoe location at 518 1st Ave. N.

Isabella’s Ristorante is moving from the Howard Johnson Inn at 301 3rd Ave. N. to the former PD’s on First site at 612 1st Ave. N. Owner Brent Lorenz plans to open a new family eatery, Big Joe’s Sport Cafe, in the Howard Johnson, he said.

Northern Home Furniture and Design and sister company InterOffice recently moved from 300 NP Ave. to the former Kaye’s Printing building at 505 Broadway, which is being refurbished by Mutchler Bartram Architects.

“Broadway has become so desirable as a commerce corridor,” said Dave Anderson, president of the Downtown Business Partnership.

“It’s true to the plan,” he said, referring to advice from consultants to emphasize Broadway for retail space.

The Fargoan’s terrazzo floors and art deco architecture lured O’Day Cache owner Cindy O’Day.

“It was a perfect fit. It felt right,” said O’Day. She opened her business two years ago just a few blocks away at 515 3rd Ave. N.

O’Day Cache sells jewelry, clothing and household furnishings purchased abroad, many from China.

“I love the location, being across from the Fargo Theatre and being on Broadway,” said O’Day, who has watched downtown Fargo become a magnet for new businesses.

“The past month the enthusiasm is like – bam – for people wanting to locate downtown,” she said. “I’m excited for new shops to come in. I think we can really create our own little heart of the city.”

Co-owners Ruth Olson and Jan Scott are moving The Red Shoe next door to O’Day.

“We needed more room.” said Olson, who said that The Red Shoe will open Monday.

The Red Shoe sells high-end shoes, boots and handbags.

“We’re excited about what’s happening downtown,” said Olson, whose family also owns Royal Jewelers. “I’ve been a downtown person for 50 years.”

Bismarck native Shanna Lee moved back from Texas to open the store that bears her name on the opposite side of The Red Shoe. Walk-through entrances connect the three stores.

Bar stools, coffee and a wall-mounted flat-screen TV greet ShannaLee customers at 313 Broadway.

“I just want people to come in and hang out,” Lee said. “That’s something that’s missing in big-box retail.”

After three years in the Market Square Mall, Jean Ostrom-Blonigen and Debbie Evenson decided to move their take-home dining business – What’s for Dinner – downtown.

Evenson said she was informed by Barb Saucke, owner of Barbara’s 1st & Deli, that The Red Shoe was moving.

“We’re going to kind of complement each other,” said Evenson, whose store will be next door with a walk-thru to Barbara’s.

“Downtown has changed,” Evenson said. “We’re really excited to be a part of it.”

Former Moorhead business Funky Junque recently moved into 516 Broadway, where owner Kriss LeCocq will sell new and old architectural decor.

“It’s so fun to be down here. I love it,” LeCocq said.

Other signs of movement include renovations under way on the Interior by France/Knights of Columbus building at 222 Broadway. Atomic Coffee, a furniture consignment store and Spider & Co., an arts and communications business, are slated to move into that building.

“The key strip of shopping, dining, entertainment and buzz seems to be Broadway,” Anderson said. “The same thing is happening down on Main (Avenue).”


Readers can reach Forum Business Editor Craig McEwen at (701) 241-5502
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
There was a neat picture in the paper yesterday that had the NDSU rendering but it's not on the web.

F-Misthebest
Oct 15, 2006, 2:13 PM
Numbers confront F-M area
By Mike Nowatzki, The Forum
Published Sunday, October 15, 2006

Something is creeping up on Fargo-Moorhead, threatening to send the thriving metro area into a stagnant state.

It’s called death. And by the year 2020, it will be more common than birth in the metro area, according to a new population study.

When that happens, the only thing that will prevent the metro area from losing population is a big jump in net in-migration, which occurs when more people move into an area than move out, the study says.

On Oct. 4, Fargo city, school and business leaders huddled in a small room at City Hall to begin talking about how to deal with the pending predicament.

The challenge was plainly stated on the title page of a PowerPoint presentation: “Fight the Future: How the city of Fargo can act deliberately to counteract projected population trends.”


http://img294.imageshack.us/img294/2576/1015populatonvu7.jpg

City Administrator Pat Zavoral stressed the importance of not waiting to tackle the issue.

“This is just a start,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of work to do if we want to turn this around.”

In trying to do so, city officials are dealing with a soft target. They’re juggling no less than four different sources’ population projections for Fargo for the year 2035, from a low of 125,170 people to a high of 181,188.

The gap is important. Planners use those projections to figure out when and where to do public works projects – how big a water pipe should be, how wide a street should be and so on.

Concerns about population aren’t unique to Fargo-Moorhead. Cities across the nation are grappling with the looming effects of baby boomers dying off, said Brian Gibson, transportation planner for the F-M Metropolitan Council of Governments.

“If you want to continue to grow, you’re going to have to get people to move to your community from someplace else,” he said.

Growth at risk

The latest population projections for the F-M area come from a study that MetroCOG commissioned after it found the last study, conducted in 2001 by the State Data Center, was under-projecting growth by as much as 4.5 percent.

MetroCOG hired Ulteig Engineers Inc. of Fargo and McKibben Demographics of Rock Hill, S.C., to create new projections for the F-M metropolitan statistical area, which includes all of Cass and Clay counties.

MetroCOG’s steering committee signed off on the study Friday, but it still must be approved by two other committees and the local jurisdictions.

Using basic assumptions, the demographers project that Fargo’s population will jump from 90,599 in 2000 to 125,170 in 2035, while the population of the metropolitan statistical area will grow from 174,367 to 247,520 during that same period.

The study found that over the past 20 years, the number of live births per year was about twice the number of annual deaths.

Births will continue to increase through 2020, but will then decline through 2035 in the metro area. During that same time, the number of deaths – primarily in the baby boomer generation, those born from 1946 through 1964 – will increase.

“By about 2020, the total number of deaths will begin to surpass the total number of live births, resulting in a net loss in natural increase,” the study says.

The only way to offset that net loss, it says, is to boost in-migration by having more people move into the area, less people leave the area or both.

“The real challenge is this increased need to become a destination,” said Jessica Thomasson, Fargo senior planner for community development.

From 2000 to 2005, in-migration accounted for 59 percent of Fargo’s population growth, while natural increase accounted for 41 percent of growth, said Ulteig’s Joel Quanbeck, the study’s author.

Fargo’s population grew at a rate of 2.3 percent annually from 1970 to 2000. The 2005 census estimate for Fargo was 90,672 – a figure city officials argue is too low. The MetroCOG study puts Fargo’s 2005 population at 97,020.

The city is expected to grow 1.1 percent annually from 2000 to 2015 and 0.6 percent annually from 2015 to 2035, Thomasson said.

Meeting the need

Why the drop in growth rates?

For starters, college students will have less impact on the city’s rising population as enrollment growth flattens out, the study says.

The age makeup of the population will also change. By 2010, 16 percent of Fargo’s population will be 60 or older. That figure is expected to jump to 28 percent by 2035.

And, finally, in-migration will occur, but it won’t overcome the loss of natural population increase. The MetroCOG study shows population gains steadily falling in the metro area, from 14,710 people between 2005 and 2010 to 4,010 people between 2030 and 2035.

Surrounding rural counties will still be a source of people moving into the metro area, but the migration won’t be as strong as in the past due to their declining populations, the study says.

“For years, we’ve sucked up the kids from Wahpeton, Casselton, Barnesville. Well, those towns are kind of cleaned out,” Gibson said.

Attracting more people to the area will require a greater focus on services, good job opportunities and quality of life – especially for senior citizens, said Thomasson, who has taken a job with Fannie Mae and worked her last day at City Hall on Friday.

Zavoral suggested forming a task force to get the discussion going and to create a plan of action.

“We’re certainly going to discuss it,” Mayor Dennis Walaker said.

Taking control of Fargo’s image was one strategy mulled during the Oct. 4 meeting among Zavoral, Thomasson, Walaker, F-M Chamber of Commerce President David Martin, Fargo School District Assistant Superintendent Lowell Wolf and Heather Mitzel, the city’s public information officer.

Thomasson suggested dressing up the city’s newly redesigned Web site with points of interest such as “best of” food rankings and 10 great things to see and do in Fargo. The city also must celebrate and promote activities for all four seasons – even winter, she said.

Catering to the senior population with health care, transportation, housing and other services also will be crucial to bringing people into the community, Thomasson said.

Plenty of projections

Of course, the MetroCOG study is just one source of projections. Others have predicted stronger or weaker growth for Fargo.

The city’s internal projection, based on the 2 percent annual growth rate of the past 100 years, puts its population at 181,188 by 2035 and 243,073 by 2050.

The federal Bureau of Reclamation made its own projection during its analysis of the Red River Valley Water Supply Project, which would bring Missouri River water to Fargo and other cities in the valley. The bureau projected Fargo would hit 159,200 people by 2035 and 204,300 by 2050.

Vancouver, Wash.-based Northwest Economics Associates conducted backup projections for the bureau, predicting Fargo would grow to 170,315 by 2035 and 190,743 by 2050.

Fargo officials point to the projections to make their case for the water supply project.

“If our growth is any one of these and the water demand stays the way it is, there isn’t enough water in the river to meet our needs,” Zavoral said.

The conflicting projections mostly stem from philosophical differences between demographers, said Steve Burian, CEO of Advanced Engineering and Environmental Services Inc.

The Grand Forks-based company was hired by Fargo in 2001 for a three-year water and wastewater engineering study. AE2S, working with consulting firm Black & Veatch Corp., is now in the second year of its second three-year contract with Fargo, studying the city’s water needs through 2050.

When planning water supply projects with the city, Burian said the company has been more apt to use higher population forecasts because of the downside risk if their numbers turn out to be too low – and miles and miles of pipeline end up being too narrow.

MetroCOG’s study projects out to 2035 because the North Dakota Department of Transportation requires a 20-year planning horizon, and the numbers will be used for the next five years, Gibson said. MetroCOG uses the population forecasts to project traffic flow.

“But that’s all we use them for,” Gibson said.

The MetroCOG study also includes a “high growth” forecast that puts the metro area’s population at 281,460 by 2035 – about 34,000 more than the projection under the basic assumptions.

However, the study says the forecast won’t be reached unless certain changes occur soon in the F-M area’s growth patterns, including:

- Foreign immigration must match the national average, increasing from the current rate of 1,000 people every five years to 3,000 people every five years.

- North Dakota State University and Minnesota State University Moorhead must receive a greater proportion of out-of-state students.

- The metro area must retain more college graduates after they graduate from local colleges and universities.

- The metro area must become a major growth center for geriatric services, bringing in retired people and the workers who serve them, especially in the service industry.

- Economic expansion must continue over the next 30 years at the same rate of the past 10 years.

Quanbeck used those specific assumptions to create the high-growth forecast, but there are other ways to accomplish it, he said.

“We need to find some kind of economic engine that will bring in more people,” he said.

If metro leaders want to achieve higher growth, they shouldn’t wait to act, Gibson said.

“To get here, these changes have to happen now,” he said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Mike Nowatzki at (701) 241-5528

F-Misthebest
Oct 16, 2006, 1:36 AM
Moe's Southwestern Grill opened up on Monday (I think) in the South Creek Center on the corner of 25th and 32nd. Another restaurant.:rolleyes:
There are also three buildings being built on 42nd Street south of I-94. A bank, an office park, and something else that looks like another bank. Geez, you bank guys, build some mid to high-rises downtown. Hey does anyone know when the Crossing will be started? The one with the Pottery Barn, Comp USA and the Starbucks. The city opened up 40th Ave South and is now four lanes for like 100 feet. My goodness, maybe they could widen the whole thing. Duh:stunned: Wait, no, that's impossible.



:banaride: I just thought that sums it up.

Paintballer1708
Oct 17, 2006, 11:51 PM
Interesting article about the natural growth in Fargo.

F-Misthebest
Oct 19, 2006, 3:13 PM
Do you remember that piece of land in West Fargo on 13th Avenue just west of the Pioneer Center Mall that Smiley was wondering why it wasn't developed and now I know what it is going to be. Apparently it's going to be the West Plains Mall, it's a strip mall no doubt. At least it's something. Just some more developments.

F-Misthebest
Oct 19, 2006, 3:17 PM
Menards withdraws growth-plan request
Forum staff reports, The Forum
Published Thursday, October 19, 2006

Menards has withdrawn its request to change Fargo’s long-range growth plan to allow for more commercial space at Interstate 29 and 52nd Avenue South.

Fargo Senior Planner Jim Hinderaker said he received the notice from Menards in an e-mail message Tuesday. He said he expects the company to submit a revised plan for the northwest corner of the interchange, possibly in time to get it on the December agenda of the Fargo Planning Commission.

Last week, the commission rejected Menards’ request to expand the commercial area from 50 acres to roughly 100 acres on the 149-acre site. City planning staff also had recommended denial. During the meeting, Menards proposed reducing the commercial area and putting more housing on the site, which sits next to the Woodhaven development.

The withdrawn request means Menards won’t appear before the City Commission in November.

F-Misthebest
Oct 19, 2006, 3:18 PM
VA hospital opens expansion project
Forum and wire reports, The Forum
Published Thursday, October 19, 2006

The Fargo Veterans Affairs Medical Center officially opened a $1.6 million expansion and remodeling project Wednesday.

The project includes improvements to a specialty care clinic, the gastrointestinal clinic and an ambulatory surgical suite.

“We always have space issues,” said spokeswoman Peggy Wheeldon. “These are needed updates.”

Waiting rooms were improved. A procedure and recovery room were added to the gastrointestinal clinic.

Also, rooms for patients being seen by specialists such as podiatrists and urologists were increased from five to 14.

NanoBison
Oct 19, 2006, 5:46 PM
Menards withdraws growth-plan request
Forum staff reports, The Forum
Published Thursday, October 19, 2006

Menards has withdrawn its request to change Fargo’s long-range growth plan to allow for more commercial space at Interstate 29 and 52nd Avenue South.

Fargo Senior Planner Jim Hinderaker said he received the notice from Menards in an e-mail message Tuesday. He said he expects the company to submit a revised plan for the northwest corner of the interchange, possibly in time to get it on the December agenda of the Fargo Planning Commission.

Last week, the commission rejected Menards’ request to expand the commercial area from 50 acres to roughly 100 acres on the 149-acre site. City planning staff also had recommended denial. During the meeting, Menards proposed reducing the commercial area and putting more housing on the site, which sits next to the Woodhaven development.

The withdrawn request means Menards won’t appear before the City Commission in November.


I've never really been in support of that particular development. It's too close to residential and Microsoft. Besides Menards is building a huge development "Superstore" over in Moorhead on I-94...

SmileyBoy
Oct 20, 2006, 12:28 AM
I've never really been in support of that particular development. It's too close to residential and Microsoft. Besides Menards is building a huge development "Superstore" over in Moorhead on I-94...

Yeah, when Menards announced they were going to build a THIRD F-M superstore over on 52nd, I thought that might have been overkill. BTW, When in the HELL is construction of that Menards and Home Depot on 34th and I-94 in Moorhead supposed to begin???

Also, word is (rumour) that the District At The Lakes developer is trying to woo Lowes into that development.

We might have a total of 2 Home Depots, 2 Menards and 2 Lowes by the end of the decade.

F-Misthebest
Oct 20, 2006, 2:39 AM
That's cool. But I really don't think that we need that many Lowes' so close. There's a billboard in Moorhead that says that Menards Superstore Coming Soon. So we know it's "soon".

F-Misthebest
Oct 20, 2006, 2:40 AM
Dupe.

F-Misthebest
Oct 20, 2006, 5:28 PM
Well, by birthday is on Monday so I think I'll probably try out Moes Southwestern Grill for dinner. Then I'm gonna watch some more "Lost" season two. I'm excited about Moes though. Smiley, your birthday was in September right? Did you go to Texas Roadhouse? Anyways, happy late birthday.

F-Misthebest
Oct 21, 2006, 11:46 PM
I'm in Minot right now and am staying at the Grand International Hotel. It's decent, the hotel. Minot isn't that bad it's just it's mainly industrial and far away from everything!
Where is everyone????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? I'm barking in the dark here.

F-Misthebest
Oct 21, 2006, 11:50 PM
Oak Manor waits for OK$11M project under review
By Mike Nowatzki, The Forum
Published Saturday, October 21, 2006


Time is running out for the owners of the former Oak Manor Trailer Court in south Fargo if they want to take advantage of tax breaks for a senior housing project.

Jim Knutson, vice president of project developer Valley Realty Inc., applied last week for a building permit to construct a 126-unit facility on the site at 1709 25th Ave. S.

If the permit is approved, construction will start this fall on the $11 million project, called One Oak Place, Knutson said.

City commissioners granted tax increment financing for the project, allowing for a15-year tax break of up to$1.75 million for improvements on the property.

Fargo Planning Director Jim Gilmour said the tax agreement requires the developers to start construction by the end of this year.

http://img241.imageshack.us/img241/2905/102120oak20manor20permit20copygt7.jpg

“So it’s important that we do that,” Knutson said.

Knutson said the agreement is just one reason to break ground as soon as possible.

“The driving force really is the need for senior housing in the Fargo market,” he said.

Some site work has already taken place, including soil sampling, said Gorman King, the attorney for Old Oak Partners LLC, which owns the land and will own the housing complex.

“We have been in the process for some time,” King said.

The complex will provide underground parking so the footings and foundations will take a good portion of winter to complete, Knutson said.

The building permit is for the first phase of the project, which consists of 126 units in three buildings with common areas for dining, exercise and health checkups, Knutson said. The plat approved by city commissioners allows for up to eight buildings and 288 housing units.

Eighty-nine people were given about six months to vacate the trailer court in 2004. Old Oak Partners helped pay relocation costs.

Frances Monson, 70, said it was “devastating” when she and her 89-year-old mother, who has since died, had to leave the park.

“Then to see nothing happening, it made me wonder what was going on,” said Monson, who added she’s happy with her new home in the Edgewood Trailer Court in north Fargo.

The project plans were changed in May to replace 228 units of market-rate apartments with senior housing. Then, a zoning change in June that allowed for 4 acres of commercial property along 21st Avenue South “changed the entire complexion” of the project, King said.

Dr. Susan Mathison, a facial plastic surgeon and ear, nose and threat specialist at Fargo’s Center for Specialty Care, bought the 4 acres and plans to build a 14,000-square-foot medical facility there, she said Thursday.

The Center for Specialty Care has outgrown its current digs at 2700 12th Ave. S., Mathison said. The new facility will also house the Catalyst Center of Aesthetic Medicine and Wellness, she said.

“We’re very excited because we think it’ll be a very nice building along the freeway,” she said.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Mike Nowatzki at (701) 241-5528

NanoBison
Oct 22, 2006, 2:01 AM
Hey Fmisthebest,

I think the majority of the city of Fargo was in the cities this weekend rooting for the Bison. They had a hell of game against UofM Gophers. They should have won since they were the better of the teams out there, but Minnesota got lucky at the last second of the game. 10-9 was the final score. Still proud of the team...

I saw a Jimmy John's is going up over next to IHOP.
The office complex next to Ruby Tuesday is coming along nicely (25th St).
Other than that, construction is starting to slow down a little bit as projects come to their completions. Of course, some of them will be going through the winter (everything at NDSU, etc...)

That's what I know....

SmileyBoy
Oct 22, 2006, 7:35 AM
Hey Fmisthebest,

I think the majority of the city of Fargo was in the cities this weekend rooting for the Bison. They had a hell of game against UofM Gophers. They should have won since they were the better of the teams out there, but Minnesota got lucky at the last second of the game. 10-9 was the final score. Still proud of the team...

I saw a Jimmy John's is going up over next to IHOP.
The office complex next to Ruby Tuesday is coming along nicely (25th St).
Other than that, construction is starting to slow down a little bit as projects come to their completions. Of course, some of them will be going through the winter (everything at NDSU, etc...)

That's what I know....

Jimmy John's?? Are you positive that's a Jimmy John's?? I haven't been by that building in over a week (10 days or so), but I do know that looks to be like a small strip mall with 2 or 3 spaces they're building. A Jimmy John's is going up in Moorhead by the new Starbucks and Qdoba, so it'll be nice to finally have another trendy, popular chain in F-M (that should have concieveably been here 6 or 7 years ago). You know how the F-M area is with popular, trendy new chains. Every small city under the sun gets at least one, and then F-M gets one three years after that.:hell:

ON EDIT: I just checked the Jimmy John's website, and not a damn indication of any location in Fargo-Moorhead.:hell:

F-Misthebest
Oct 22, 2006, 8:28 PM
I watched the game with the Bison and the Gophers and thought they could have won. I was very dissapointed but if you think of it like the Bison losing, really didn't hurt them at all but if the Gophers lost then that would have hurt them majorly. But clearly the Bison were a better team out there and the next time they play each other the Bison will kick some gopher butt. But the Bison had a GREAT effort.

My Minot trip was okay, not the most attractive city, but it's better then Jud, North Dakota. :)

NanoBison
Oct 22, 2006, 8:34 PM
FM, I warned you about Minot didn't I.......

Yes, the Bison were the better team yesterday. I'm still getting over the humbling loss that should have been our win. Even good ole Sid Hartman says Minnesota didn't deserve that win....

Smiley, I drove by again, there is a sign that says Jimmy John's coming. So yep, I'm pretty sure that's what's going in there. I just wish they would build some of these downtown...

By the way, where is that downtown Starbucks supposed to be. I'm getting sick of driving to South Fargo to get a cup of Starbucks Frap....

JoeJoe
Oct 23, 2006, 12:35 AM
I was at the Bison-Gophers game in what Mike McFeely termed "Fargodome South". It was an awesome game, up until the blocked field goal. Here's what the Star Tribune sport page headline and bylines were: "A Not-So-Great Escape" "Outplayed at every turn, the Gophers didn't take the lead over their Div I-AA foe until the fourth quarter." "Only a blocked field goal as time expired spared a major humilation, as the Bison played with spirited tenacity." I think we got more positive press from the Minneapolis papers than we did from the Forum (and the Forum was pretty Bison positive for once).

Why is it worth mentioning this game here? It helps put Fargo on the map and makes us look more respectable and raises the areas profile. :)
On a side note I heard that Coach Mason flipped off the Gopher's student section after the game when they chanted "fire Mason". I know that isn't development related, but still funny.

Oh, and what type of restaurant is Jimmy Johns?

SmileyBoy
Oct 23, 2006, 12:40 AM
I was at the Bison-Gophers game in what Mike McFeely termed "Fargodome South". It was an awesome game, up until the blocked field goal. Here's what the Star Tribune sport page headline and bylines were: "A Not-So-Great Escape" "Outplayed at every turn, the Gophers didn't take the lead over their Div I-AA foe until the fourth quarter." "Only a blocked field goal as time expired spared a major humilation, as the Bison played with spirited tenacity." I think we got more positive press from the Minneapolis papers than we did from the Forum (and the Forum was pretty Bison positive for once).

Why is it worth mentioning this game here? It helps put Fargo on the map and makes us look more respectable and raises the areas profile. :)
On a side note I heard that Coach Mason flipped off the Gopher's student section after the game when they chanted "fire Mason". I know that isn't development related, but still funny.

Oh, and what type of restaurant is Jimmy Johns?

Jimmy John's is a trendy, new gourmet sub sandwich chain.

And I haven't said anything about the game online since it ended, but I'm DEEPLY proud of how our team played yesterday, and I'm still shocked a little that we had a chance to win the game but blew it. It's kind of weird, because all my friends on campus know me as a huge Bison superfan, yet I really haven't talked about the game with anyone except my dad, who was there with me.

I will say though, that I would be EXTREMELY embarrassed if I was a Gopher fan right now.

F-Misthebest
Oct 24, 2006, 1:27 AM
http://img65.imageshack.us/img65/7221/smokestackcc5.jpg

The 250 ft. smokestack in Moorhead from the abandon Coal Power Plant. I still don't understand why Moorhead couldn't have changed it into like a Mill City Museum in Minneapolis, but Moorhead does not have the money at all. But I still think it would have been neat. Like 4 stories and a circular glass skylight around the smokestack 4 stories up. Would have been cool but whatever.

Justin_144
Oct 24, 2006, 7:02 PM
Hmmm reminds me of something we did in Sioux Falls....wait...oh yeah it didnt work

SmileyBoy
Oct 25, 2006, 12:37 AM
Hmmm reminds me of something we did in Sioux Falls....wait...oh yeah it didnt work

Yeah, that was funny when I heard about it...

I think they should've just kept it leaning and used it as a tourist destination. Some big bucks could've been made.:D

F-Misthebest
Oct 25, 2006, 11:13 PM
http://img128.imageshack.us/img128/1880/2006102525pumpkinvv5.jpg
Now that's a big pumpkin.

F-Misthebest
Oct 27, 2006, 9:48 PM
I have been thinking about this for a while, and for all the Fargo forumers, what is your favorite locally owned restaurant in the area?

http://img260.imageshack.us/img260/6108/027915fyk5.jpg?

SmileyBoy
Oct 28, 2006, 5:56 AM
I was driving by the Menards site in Moorhead. Ground is starting to be dug up, and it looks like in a LOT more space than just a Menards. I didn't see anything happening at the Home Depot site.

"JIMMY JOHN'S GOURMET SUBS - OPENING SOON" is what the sign read in front of the new building at 45th St. Marketplace in front of Home Depot.

I saw a rumour on the Bisonville board that Boston's Restaurant is supposed to start construction on a new Fargo location this November. I saw that the pad of land in front of Lowe's next to Texas Roadhouse has the yellow and white Goldmark sign taken down, and there's been a fence installed around the perimiter. Maybe that's the place??

Southwest Fargo is filling out nicely. Lots of roads are being paved and new houses and apartments are springing up like mushrooms all over Osgood, Woodhaven, Eagle Run, etc. It looks like the growth pattern is accelerating there. I saw three different bulldozer/construction sites next to the Shoppes at Osgood today.

Applebees (It's either Applebees or Doolittle's) in front of the Airport Hilton looks like the finishing work has started. The other restaurant hasn't even been built up yet.

They're starting construction on that new office building in DT Moorhead. F-M, did you say that building was going to be 5,6,7 storeys, or what??

Fargo-Moorhead's 7th Starbucks location will be at the Town Centre on 13th Ave. and 25th St. It will be the 4th Starbucks located along 13th Avenue...

SmileyBoy
Oct 28, 2006, 5:58 AM
My favourite locally-owned restaurant would probably be Juano's. The food is tasty, but not greasy like The Bell, and more appealing to my pallette than Qdoba or Moe's.

F-Misthebest
Oct 28, 2006, 2:33 PM
Up by the Airport Hilton, there is going to be an Applebees. They should have totally built a Doolittles because it's all airplanes! Doi! That would have been a much better choice I thought. But it's too late now.
The downtown Moorhead building will be between 5 and 8 storeys. Congratulations Moorhead on al the Development.

NanoBison
Oct 28, 2006, 9:08 PM
I was out and about driving around today and good lord was it busy. I drove by downtown and there's nowhere to park. I was trying to figure out if there was any events happening this weekend. Then I found this :

http://www.in-forum.com/articles/index.cfm?id=144178 (Nice little article about one of the local companies trying to draw national conventions to the FM area.

http://www.thepartnerchannel.com/ (The event)

Good thing they plan on keeping this in Fargo and they estimate it will likely be around 1,000 every year, but no more, because it meant for business leaders to mingle 1 on 1. (It makes basic sense, since Microsoft Business Solutions is based here...)

My favorite LOCAL restaurant has to be Monte's (Excellent Fillet Mignon). But I have yet to be in the HODO's Untitled...

Where exactly is this 5-8 storey building going up? I don't think that it's at the actual corner of Main Ave and 1st (Directly Across from Atomic Coffee). I think all that's going up in that spot is the large plaza for Moorhead's side heading down to the Red River. Could be wrong on that though....

F-Misthebest
Oct 28, 2006, 10:11 PM
The building is going up right across the street from Atomic Coffee from my understanding. The foundation is already in.

SmileyBoy
Oct 29, 2006, 4:25 AM
The building is going up right across the street from Atomic Coffee from my understanding. The foundation is already in.

That's right, I saw them pouring a foundation in that hole.

I think I may have to make frequent trips to that site to see how that place is doing.

In any case, it's a damn shame that downtown Moorhead currently has 100 times more new downtown construction going on than downtown Fargo...:hell: :hell: :hell:

F-Misthebest
Oct 29, 2006, 7:19 PM
My favorite locally owned restaurant is Speak Easy. Speak Easy, Speak Easy!

It is weird that Moorehead has all lot more downtown activity then Fargo. But you know Horace is getting some downtown construction too. Not!!! But the Risteranto Isabella owner will be building a restaurant in Horace. A steak house. The owner lives in my neighboorhood and we had a neighboorhood picnic and he told everyone that news. Yeahhhhhhhh!

F-Misthebest
Oct 30, 2006, 1:54 AM
On the southwest corner of 52nd Ave South and 25th street, there are some trees and crappy old houses. Not for long! Prairie Grove retail center will be constructed in the year of 2007 for retail space and offices. The architecture is not the but it will due. It's also by Prudential but that's okay. Who knows, maybe a Panera?

WLF
Oct 30, 2006, 4:39 PM
what is the name of this business going up near Atomic coffee? do you know when they are starting on it?

{quote}Where exactly is this 5-8 storey building going up? I don't think that it's at the actual corner of Main Ave and 1st (Directly Across from Atomic Coffee). I think all that's going up in that spot is the large plaza for Moorhead's side heading down to the Red River. Could be wrong on that though....[/QUOTE]

F-Misthebest
Oct 30, 2006, 10:57 PM
Did you guys think that the building right next to IHOP was going to be a Jimmy Johns. You would be wrong. Apparently Jimmy Johns has already opened in the 45th Street Marketplace. It's at that the very end near Home Depot.

Today I ate at the new Qdoba and Starbucks in Moorhead today. It was extremly busy! Can't wait until that strip mall right next to the restaurants fills up soon.

F-Misthebest
Oct 30, 2006, 11:00 PM
what is the name of this business going up near Atomic coffee? do you know when they are starting on it?

All I heard was that it would be an office building and maybe that's where the Applebees will be? Who knows? Maybe the Starbucks?

SmileyBoy
Nov 1, 2006, 4:54 AM
There may be bad news in the future for the city's population growth... Luckily it looks like plans are being devised to fight the negative trends at their source (decreased in-migration).

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

F-M needs high-tech makeover
By Melinda Rogers, The Forum
Published Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Fargo-Moorhead needs to attract more high-tech industries to sustain population and job growth over the next decade, the president of the Greater Fargo Moorhead Economic Development Corp. said Monday.

Brian Walters told the Moorhead City Council that cities need to bridge the barrier to recruiting more technology-based companies or risk falling behind other communities that can attract high-paying employers critical to the region’s economic future.

Walters presented a 2006 report, “Moving the Lines: Transitioning to a High-Tech Economy,” which outlines a strategic planning initiative to turn the community into a place where businesses want to relocate.

“We have made strides in developing a base for emerging sectors in recent years, in our public services and infrastructure, private businesses and higher education/research institutions,” Walters told the group that works to improve business development in the Red River Valley.

He said those measures have done little to attract high-tech companies that are deciding where to locate.

Fargo-Moorhead needs to market itself better and draw a work force from outside the region to stay competitive, Walters said.

The report shows that from 2006 to 2009, net migration to Fargo-Moorhead from rural areas is expected to drop from a gain of 900 people to a loss of

200 people. Population is expected to grow by 1.7 percent while employment is expected to grow by 2.2 percent – an addition of about 2,500 jobs.

“These projections point to a scarcity of available workers that will continue to seriously hamper our ability to recruit new businesses,” the report states.

“Furthermore, the lack of employees with training and experience in high-tech areas, where the majority of high-paying jobs are expected to be created in this country, makes our situation even more tenuous,” Walters’ report states.

One of the areas of concern in the report is a prediction that Fargo-Moorhead colleges will see enrollment wane in the future without establishing academic institutions as premier places for earning a degree in the information technology, life sciences and physical sciences sectors.

The National Center for Higher Education Management Systems projects that by 2025, the number of typical college students – the 18- to 24-year-old age bracket – will decline by 0.5 percent in Minnesota, 4.2 percent in South Dakota and 4.5 percent in North Dakota.

The same institution predicts the number of high school graduates in North Dakota and South Dakota will decline significantly by 2018. Minnesota will only modestly grow.

That means colleges need to recruit more heavily outside the tri-state area with hopes of drawing a different student base to the region, Walters said. That task will need to be accompanied by creating world-class programs geared at technology industries to bring students, he said.

Moorhead officials responded to Walters’ presentation with concern and optimism.

Councilwoman Diane Wray Williams cited the region’s quality of life – including a prominent arts, sports and parks scene – as reasons to attract more high-tech employers.

“This is a great place to raise a family. If we can’t sell that we’re not doing our job,” she said.

Mayor Mark Voxland said Moorhead will work to stay on the cusp of bringing new business development to the region.

“It will be interesting to see how we develop as a force in the community,” he said of Moorhead’s role in attracting high-tech industries.

“The need has been identified. How we get past that will be the challenge.”

Justin_144
Nov 1, 2006, 5:22 AM
Sounds like something I just saw in the paper.... "Sioux Falls was named the best city to locate a low risk data center with a low annual cost of $9.7 million., according to The Boyd Company, which is a consulting firm that helps corporations do site selection. That’s compared to the last city on the list -- New York City -- which recorded a yearly cost of $14.1 million." .... maybe it will leak your way?

SmileyBoy
Nov 1, 2006, 6:52 AM
Sounds like something I just saw in the paper.... "Sioux Falls was named the best city to locate a low risk data center with a low annual cost of $9.7 million., according to The Boyd Company, which is a consulting firm that helps corporations do site selection. That’s compared to the last city on the list -- New York City -- which recorded a yearly cost of $14.1 million." .... maybe it will leak your way?

I don't think we'll have a problem with high-tech growth. I can't remember the stat that NanoBison showed us a while back, but I think it said that North Dakota is the number 4 state in the nation in growth rate of high-tech industries.

Hell, I think it's starting already. The NDSU Research and Technology Park is expected to really take off in the next couple of years, with companies like Alien, Melroe/Ingersoll Rand, Phoenix International, Microsoft, etc. coming in.

I think the big fear right now is making sure in-migration doesn't decline. We're gonna have start attracting more people from other parts of the US and Canada to our city, instead of just a bunch of small-time Mary Tyler Moore-like hicks from Fessenden, ND who grow up wanting to move to the "big city" of Fargo-Moorhead, and believing that they're gonna make it here after all.:jester:

WLF
Nov 1, 2006, 4:11 PM
Anyone know anything about new apartment building construction on
5001 17th Ave S., Fargo? called Stone West Village?

SmileyBoy
Nov 1, 2006, 7:25 PM
Anyone know anything about new apartment building construction on
5001 17th Ave S., Fargo? called Stone West Village?

I have no idea about it. Probably just another one of the kajillion apartment complexes currently being built in the F-M area.

JoeJoe
Nov 2, 2006, 10:11 PM
I don't think this has been posted yet, so here you go...
http://innerjoejoe.wordpress.com/files/2006/11/ndsu_001s.jpg
click here to see a larger version of the rendering (http://innerjoejoe.wordpress.com/files/2006/11/ndsu_001.jpg)
It's kinda of a big pic i know... I'll be happy once it is built and the NDSU College of Business is out of Putnam and downtown. :D

*edit - yea, didn't think about the size of the pic...

F-Misthebest
Nov 2, 2006, 10:17 PM
I saw that pic in the newspaper but when I went on to the www.in-forum.com they did not have the pic. Where did you get it. But anyways that is amazing! That is so much progress for the downtown area! Go NDSU!!!!!!!!!

NanoBison
Nov 2, 2006, 11:07 PM
Is there something wrong with the picture above? I only get the top half of it, no matter what browser I'm using. Missing the bottom half (most important part from the looks of it!!!).... Can someone repost it or something or hint to me what's going on, if it's showing up whole for all the rest of you? Maybe it's a file size limit on the server or something?

JoeJoe
Nov 3, 2006, 6:51 AM
Is there something wrong with the picture above? I only get the top half of it, no matter what browser I'm using. Missing the bottom half (most important part from the looks of it!!!).... Can someone repost it or something or hint to me what's going on, if it's showing up whole for all the rest of you? Maybe it's a file size limit on the server or something?
Yea, that was my fault. Didn't think about the dimensions or filesize when I first posted, it's only 137kb now instead of almost 2MB so that should help.

I came across this today, Rebuilding America’s Productive Economy: A Heartland Development Strategy (http://www.joelkotkin.com/Urban_Affairs/NAF_HeartlandReport_F.pdf). Fargo is mentioned in it; as well as Sioux Falls, Bismarck, Grand Forks and even Alexandria and Brookings. I just skimmed through it (its 40-some pgs), but it has some interesting stuff in it (especially the graphs).

Ate at Jimmy John's yesterday, good stuff.

WLF
Nov 3, 2006, 2:44 PM
Is that picture above the upcoming new building construction on
5001 17th Ave S., Fargo? called Stone West Village?

NanoBison
Nov 3, 2006, 3:40 PM
The picture above, is the proposed new location of the NDSU College of Business Building downtown. The Pioneer Mutual Life Building already exists and everything to the right of it, would be an addition.

In my opinion, this is better than having the thing built on campus. After all the renovations are done, the building should be quite nice. That's going to be ALOT of additional students downtown as well. It will be good to see how that affects the Fargo & Moorhead downtown dynamics.

WLF
Nov 3, 2006, 4:09 PM
does anyone know who to contact to give a bid on some work with that project?

F-Misthebest
Nov 4, 2006, 6:05 AM
I do not.

F-Misthebest
Nov 4, 2006, 11:28 PM
I was just driving around town yesterday and in the Town Square, or whatever that strip mall is called, you know whatever the one that's getting the new Blockbuster on the corner of 25th and 13th, well anyway I saw a new sign on the building that says Entrees which I think is probably a take out restaurant, a sit down restaurant, or possibly a food selling store. It looks pretty schnazy if you ask me. I'm glad that we're getting more locally owned restaurants.

NanoBison
Nov 6, 2006, 3:22 AM
Yea, that was my fault. Didn't think about the dimensions or filesize when I first posted, it's only 137kb now instead of almost 2MB so that should help.

I came across this today, Rebuilding America’s Productive Economy: A Heartland Development Strategy (http://www.joelkotkin.com/Urban_Affairs/NAF_HeartlandReport_F.pdf). Fargo is mentioned in it; as well as Sioux Falls, Bismarck, Grand Forks and even Alexandria and Brookings. I just skimmed through it (its 40-some pgs), but it has some interesting stuff in it (especially the graphs).

Ate at Jimmy John's yesterday, good stuff.

I actually went out and read that publication you just provided a link for. It was actually an excellent read stating what needs to be done in the Midwest to make sure we are up there with the rest of the country. One of the topics I thought was really important, aside from the research being done now, is in terms of general bandwidth/connectivity to the internet. Basically, we need some more high speed networks up here. The Midwest is already falling behind the East coast in terms of Internet Connectivity available to homes in terms of Fiber Optic directly to your house.

People over on the East Coast (in most populated areas) can get what's called Triple-point service. Basically it's Digital Television, Internet, and Phone all in one package from you're communications provider. According to Verizon's website, which offers the best package (IMHO) called FiOS, you can get everything for around $100-$150/month for all three services based upon what level you want.

Here's the kicker. I'm paying the horribly sh*tty CableOne right now for

Digital Television / High Speed Internet Package of which I get :

-3Mb/sec Download (throttled to a certain amount every hour 1.2GB/hour)
-300Kb/sec Upload
(Keep in mind I'm a Computer Scientist - Linux Redhat ISO is larger than that)
-170 channels - I get the Digitial Channel Lineup. (Most common ones).
-5 Pay Per Channels (Their selection SUCKS!!!)
-I pay around $105/month for this. The Internet goes down at least once a week and I have to restart the modem/router to get it back up.
-If you've ever called them, you know how "wonderful" their support is, even though they claim it's 24hrs, after regular business hours, you get an answering service that leaves messages for them....Ughhhh.

Now if I had Verizon and their FiOS package (for the same price I'm paying CableOne) I would get ALL digital channels (keep in mind the lower channels on CableOne are still analog...they don't need to move up until Feb of 2009...)
-15Mb/sec Download
-2Mb/sec Upload
-200 channels - including ones CableOne doesn't carry (BBC America, for one)
-and ALL these other optional additions which I could afford :
* 44 top-notch movie channels
* Includes Starz, Showtime, Encore, TMC, Flix and Sundance
* Over a dozen different sports channels (Watch my NDSU BISON BABY!!!)
* Features Fox College Sports, Outdoor Channel, GolTV, The Golf Channel and more
* The latest hit movies, captivating documentaries and original series from HBO
* Drama, action, comedy, sci-fi thrillers and more from Cinemax
* Dynamic On Demand library of movies and programming at your command (No more of this Pay-Per-View sh*t from CableOne).

I get all this for the same price of around $110/month.



So what's holding us back from getting service like this? Well for one, it's CableOne. They have an agreement with the city of Fargo to be the city's preferred franchise and in return collect a decent fee for that privilege. Therefore CableOne doesn't have to compete with anyone else in terms of Cable except against Satellite. So there's no competition, they've stated several times they are going to put off upgrading their infrastructure and network because of the cost and there won't really be any innovation coming out of them for years to come because there exists no real reason for them to do so. Watch us make you smile...

The second problem is with the Phone telco that controls Fargo. Qwest. This telco is unfortunately not in the position to start laying out FTH (Fiber to the Home) anytime soon. In the last few years, they've recently laid off 7,000 people and have heavy debts which still exist and strifle their growth. The thing that sucks about it is that they have one of the largest Fiber Optic networks in the country. But they are content on this strategy for growth :
Fiber Optic to a distribution building and then standard old-style copper lines to the homes. No innovation, great fiber backbone. It's funny that Minneapolis is under Qwest's local line territory as well. So that market of 3.5 million is never going to see FTH, unless it's a braver local carrier that will front the cash to setup a smaller network.

Don't get me wrong, we're not left in the dust like other communities (such as Minot, Williston, etc... where the highest speed you could get is 1Mb/sec at an outrageous price), but we definitely aren't keeping up with the rest of the country. When the East Coast can get upwards of 50Mb/sec (for an extremely reasonable rate) and we are stuck at 5Mb/sec (for an outrageous rate) ...

* CableOne $99.95 for 5 Mbps Down / 768 Kbps Up
* Verizon FiOS $44.95 for 15 Mbps Down / 2 Mbps Up
* Verizon FiOS $179.95 for 30 Mbps Down / 5 Mbps Up

so we're put at an obvious disadvantage. It's because of monopolistic positions that CableOne and Qwest have on the area. Neither really has to do more than provide basic services.


Why am I not too terribly worried about it? Well because there is only two REALLY big telcos. AT&T and Verizon. They are both currently buying smaller ones left and right. Verizon would eventually have to purchase Qwest to stay competitive with AT&T. So I think in the next 1-3 years We'll see Verizon on the telco building downtown and most likely (after minneapolis get's it) we'll have FiOS. I just hope it happens sooner than that...

Fast Fact : Last time I checked a diagram of fiber in the state, there is currently 16 (that's right - count them) OC192's running parallel to I-94 and they connect up in Fargo in the Qwest building downtown, but they are owned by AT&T. I'll look it up to verify it. But that's the only thing I can come up with to explain why Qwest and AT&T have emblems on the facade of the downtown Fargo telco building. They also have that place pretty well locked down. No office area or nothing, just a big telco with lots of security.

OC192 - 9621.504 Mbit/s x 16 = 153944.064 Mbit/s = 19.243 GB/sec - That's some serious bandwidth...

(Ironically I just found a link verifying the AT&T fiber... http://www.growingnd.com/index.asp?Section=Detail&PageID=193 )
(Ironically I just found the map too....the internet is fun...
http://www.growingnd.com/index.asp?Section=Detail&PageID=340 )

So who do we contact to push for or "sprinkle" ideas of a Verizon-Qwest merger? Apparently it's already out there :
http://www.lightreading.com/document.asp?doc_id=91001


I guess when it comes down to it, I just want FiOS. Who wouldn't, compared to what we currently have???
:yes:

NanoBison
Nov 7, 2006, 6:22 AM
Apparently the city of Fargo approved a Tax Exemption for the Roer's development on 19th for the next 10 years. So construction should start up pretty soon. I believe they said the property development will be around $4.5-6 million dollars. They had a link for it on the WDAY news under "The new 19th".


Edit : Here's the story : http://www.in-forum.com/News/articles/145319


I think I may have to look into those apartments. I'll be needing a new one closer to the research park after June..... Talk about timing...I just hope they aren't expensive as hell....

F-Misthebest
Nov 7, 2006, 6:41 AM
Bison in south Fargo?
The Forum - 10/21/2006
By Mike Nowatzki


A Fargo developer has approached North Dakota State University about possibly moving Bison basketball to south Fargo.

Athletic director Gene Taylor confirmed Friday that hes talked with officials from the Urban Plains by Brandt development about the idea of a new south Fargo arena, but said no decisions have been made.

We know that theyre looking at building something, and were just talking about it internally for now, Taylor said.

Often referred to as a city-within-a-city, Urban Plains by Brandt is a 640-acre development between 45th and 57th streets with 32nd Avenue South running through the middle. Construction is under way on streets and on a 40,000-square-foot medical park in the north half of the development.

Todd Berning, development director for Icon Architectural Group, a partner in Urban Plains by Brandt, said its no secret that develope r Ace Brandt wants to build a community center/sports arena on the site.

At the forefront of that idea is a community group that wants to raise $15 million for a four-rink youth hockey facility, Berning said. Urban Plains officials also have talked to the Fargo-Moorhead Jets, he said.

With NDSU planning an $8 million-plus renovation of the Bison Sports Arena, Urban Plains officials approached the university about whether they could help meet the demand for athletic facilities, Berning said.

We threw it out there, and they said theyd look at it, he said.

No formal proposal has been made to NDSU, Berning said. The challenge now is to get all of the interested parties to the table to determine whats needed in a community center, he said.

Thats what were doing is just figuring out what makes sense for Fargo, he said, adding even a local curling club has expressed interest.

Taylor said NDSU will have to renovate the Bison Sports Arena no matter what we do. The Fargodome also has shown interest in hosting more Bison basketball games, he said.

Fargo Mayor Dennis Walaker said he and City Administrator Pat Zavoral met with City Commissioner Brad Wimmer on Thursday to discuss Wimmers concerns about moving Bison basketball off campus. Wimmer did not return a message left on his cell phone Friday.

Taylor said an Urban Plains arena is an interesting idea, but it also raises a lot of questions particularly about the impact of playing home basketball games so far from the main campus.

Thats a huge issue, he said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Mike Nowatzki at (701) 241-5528


I forgot to put this on here.

NanoBison
Nov 7, 2006, 6:47 AM
Even though it's more development for the City and it's in our favorites development (Urban Plains) I hope this one doesn't come to fruition. I hope if someone does build a new Basketball Arena, it's on or next to the campus. Otherwise, I think they will have to heavily depend on local residents as I don't see too many students wanting to travel to south Fargo just to watch a BB game. Considering the concentration of student population in North Fargo, that's where it should be.

SmileyBoy
Nov 7, 2006, 8:25 AM
Even though it's more development for the City and it's in our favorites development (Urban Plains) I hope this one doesn't come to fruition. I hope if someone does build a new Basketball Arena, it's on or next to the campus. Otherwise, I think they will have to heavily depend on local residents as I don't see too many students wanting to travel to south Fargo just to watch a BB game. Considering the concentration of student population in North Fargo, that's where it should be.

I agree, Nano. A new arena needs to be on campus.

Speaking of which, the first 1/4th of the Urban Plains project is moving along. here's an arial photo from October:

http://www.upfargo.com/images/aerials1006/nov01.jpg

F-Misthebest
Nov 9, 2006, 2:17 AM
N. Fargo project’s financing approved
By Mike Nowatzki mnowatzki@forumcomm.com
Front page - 11/07/2006

A developer who plans to raze six buildings near the Fargodome and replace them with retail, offices and apartments is eligible for $1.4 million in public financing, city commissioners said Monday.

Members voted 4-1 in favor of a renewal plan for Jim Roers’ project at the northeast corner of 19th Avenue North and University Drive.

Roers plans to build a four-story retail, office and apartment complex, along with a gas station. To make room for it, he will demolish the buildings that now house Evergreen Dental, Crown Office Park, Tobacco City, the Bison Inn apartments, Performance Centers Inc. and Stop-N-Go.

Construction will begin after Jan. 1, starting with a new Stop-N-Go just east of the existing gas station, he said. Demolition of the other buildings will start in early spring.

City Administrator Pat Zavoral said the existing property is underdeveloped. Two of the buildings -- Crown Office Park and the Bison Inn -- are considered blighted.

The development will include 28,400 square feet of retail and office space and 72 apartment units catering to North Dakota State University students, Roers said.

Commissioners approved $1.4 million in financing in the form of a tax-increment financing (TIF) revenue note. Roers will pay off the note with the additional property tax revenue generated when the project is completed no later than March 1, 2009.

The property, now valued at $1.3 million, is projected to increase in value to $7.5 million.

Unlike a traditional TIF package, in which the city issues bonds for the project and then pays them back with the additional property tax revenue, a TIF note is paid back by the developer.

“We’re not going to be on the hook for this,” Zavoral said.

The financing includes $30,000 to relocate tenants, $575,000 for land acquisition costs, $125,000 for demolition, $300,000 to rebuild a city lift station, $200,000 for storm water retention, $100,000 to improve access, $40,000 for sidewalks and $30,000 for administrative costs.

Mike Williams, who has consistently opposed TIFs for economic development projects, cast the dissenting vote. He questioned whether the TIF note was necessary for the project to happen, and whether the city should keep approving TIFs when property taxes continue to rise.

“My question is, how long do we keep doing these same strategies, and how do we know it’s working?” he said.

Commissioners delayed action on the developer’s agreement with Roers until Nov. 20.

In other business, the commission:

• Rezoned 110 acres of land from agricultural to limited commercial in the southwest corner of Interstate 29 and 52nd Avenue South. Las Vegas developer Larry Scheffler has said he hopes to put two, and possibly three, big-box retail stores on the site.

• Voted to pay the Fargo Park District $120,000 to relocate three basketball courts that will be displaced by the new Dr. James Carlson Library in Ed Clapp Park along 32nd Avenue South.

The Park District will use the $120,000 to fund last summer’s reconstruction of the courts at Dike East. The city will pay $42,700 to build one new court in Ed Clapp Park.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Mike Nowatzki at (701) 241-5528

http://img471.imageshack.us/img471/6148/pc0080800fh4.jpg

Paintballer1708
Nov 9, 2006, 3:35 AM
Thats a cool photo, Smiley. Hopefully you can get one later on, like a couple months down the road, and see where it is at then.

F-Misthebest
Nov 9, 2006, 3:52 AM
Actually that pic is from www.upfargo.com .

NanoBison
Nov 9, 2006, 6:03 AM
I would hope that since both the Urban Plains and Roer's Developments seem to be slightly more higher-end that they would incorporate some newer technologies into them especially for Apartment Complexes and town homes/condos where you would have a single wall separating you from your neighbors, mainly in the area of soundproofing. I would like to eventually reside in either development if they plan on using something like QuietRock (http://www.quietsolution.com/html/quietrock.html?gclid=CNTbycqUuYgCFRZXWAodQRhVhw) for their construction.

:tup: :tup: :tup:

Right now I have the worst neighbors and they all have kids that jump and run and fall on the floors/walls from 8:00am-11:00pm. So basically I'm avoiding my apartment except to sleep, because they piss me off sooooooo much. Yes, I've already spoke with two of the families, but they give me the lame ass excuse of "our kids are just playing" and then they usually bite back "what do you want us to do about it???". God I hate my white trash neighbors!!!!!!!!

:hell: :hell: :hell:

Does anyone know of any apartment complexes/town homes/condos in the FM area (preferably in Fargo) where they actually use these QuietRock or something similar to reduce transient apartment noise??? I'd buy a house, but it will take me a year or two to build up a decent down payment for a home....

:shrug:

NanoBison
Nov 9, 2006, 6:05 AM
By the way, that Office Building behind the new Ruby Tuesday's on 25th St and (18th Ave S...I think???) is going up quite fast. I might try to get some picks of it and other developments, but I don't have alot of time, especially with studying for my Master's Comprehensive exam...... I dread Nov 20th....

F-Misthebest
Nov 10, 2006, 2:51 AM
The Atomic Coffee in Downtown Fargo is now open and looks very cool and hip. It's very modern and two storeys. They have a Bison from the Heard on the Prairie and is amazingly cool. I'm glad that everything is starting to become alive downtown. I went downtown yesterday at around 4:30 p.m. and it was crazy busy. There were so many cars (probably because some of the rush hour traffic, maybe) and many pedestrians. It was very busy.

NanoBison
Nov 10, 2006, 3:39 AM
Where exactly is the Atomic Coffee in downtown Fargo?

F-Misthebest
Nov 10, 2006, 3:56 AM
Right north of of Monte's on Broadway. Right next ot it.

F-Misthebest
Nov 10, 2006, 4:03 AM
Farmland north of airport rezoned
By Mike Nowatzki, The Forum
Published Thursday, November 09, 2006


The Fargo Planning Commission on Wednesday rezoned a piece of farmland for businesses and offices, even though the parcel probably won’t be developed.

Tom Martin, a former member of the commission, requested that members rezone 35 acres from agricultural to commercial and office.

The farmland lies north of Hector International Airport’s main north-south runway, at about 57th Avenue North between 25th Street and Cass County 31.

City planning staff initially asked the commission to deny the request because sewer service isn’t available. Also, proposed updates to the city’s long-range growth plan designate the land as agricultural research and green space.

Fargo Senior Planner Jim Hinderaker said the Municipal Airport Authority is trying to acquire the property and doesn’t want structures built on the land because of its proximity to the airport.

However, Dan Bueide, the Fargo attorney representing Martin, noted the rezoning request was “wholly consistent with the growth plan that’s out there,” and that Martin was prepared to bring sewer service to the property.

Hector Executive Director Shawn Dobberstein said he couldn’t comment on whether the Airport Authority is negotiating with Martin for the land.

He said airport officials are concerned with any development that may interfere with current and future airport or military operations.

“We’re interested in working with any of the adjacent property owners. If acquisition is our best option, that’s fine,” Dobberstein said.

After working with Martin and the city attorney’s office, planning staff recommended the commission approve the request as long as Martin, the city and the Airport Authority agree to two conditions:

The land won’t be developed for three years, and if the Airport Authority doesn’t buy it, the property owner won’t contest the necessity of the airport to condemn the land.

Hinderaker expressed confidence the land will change hands long before the three years is up.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Mike Nowatzki at (701) 241-5528

F-Misthebest
Nov 10, 2006, 3:56 PM
http://img145.imageshack.us/img145/7732/x0007294va3.jpg

Working hard on the Fargoan sign on the Fargoan in Downtown Fargo.

SmileyBoy
Nov 10, 2006, 11:24 PM
Cities in the Heartland like Fargo-Moorhead may be huge population magnets in the future according to a new study:

F-M may be key for jobs, growth
By Dave Olson, The Forum
Published Friday, November 10, 2006

The U.S. population is expected to grow by 100 million people in the next four decades, all of whom will need a place to live.

A new study suggests cities like Fargo will be a natural choice if communities capitalize on their advantages.

“Bottom line is, you’ve got a hundred million more people who have to go somewhere,” said Joel Kotkin, a senior fellow with the New America Foundation, which has issued a report that sees the nation’s heartland playing a potentially major role in the country’s economic future.

Speaking at a news conference at North Dakota State University Thursday, Kotkin said metropolitan areas on the East and West coasts cannot absorb the expected population boom.

Instead, Kotkin expects a migration to the center of the country, where factors like attractive housing prices will lure many people, as long as there are jobs for them.

“There’s a whole generation of upwardly mobile people who have no opportunity to buy a house. That’s a huge driver that is really going to change where the labor market is going to go,” Kotkin said.

When it comes to jobs, states like North Dakota have a huge untapped potential for developing renewable sources of energy, as well as manufacturing and technology, said Delore Zimmerman of CEO Praxis, a growth strategy company.

Kotkin and Zimmerman teamed up to produce the New America Foundation report and its “Heartland Development Strategy.”

One thing the strategy calls for is the creation of a special bank that would focus $10 billion worth of lending on trade and technology infrastructure – things like more broadband communication capacity and alternative energy development.

Good things are happening in North Dakota and elsewhere in the Midwest, but more infrastructure would make things take off, Zimmerman said, adding the report is aimed at elected and non-elected government officials, urban planners and the real estate community.

David Martin, president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of Fargo Moorhead, said the report will be valuable to policy makers and others in presenting the region as an attractive place for employers and employees.

“I call it the magnet effect,” he said. “As we get more people, we attract more people.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555

F-Misthebest
Nov 11, 2006, 5:08 AM
The locally owned Santa Lucia is moving out of the stip mall it is located in right now and is building a new restaurant right next to the Timberlodge Steakhouse.

F-Misthebest
Nov 11, 2006, 4:21 PM
nevermind

NanoBison
Nov 11, 2006, 8:25 PM
Right north of of Monte's on Broadway. Right next ot it.

I just drove by it yesterday and it did indeed look impressive. I'll have to stop in there one of these times for studying...

:tup:

NanoBison
Nov 11, 2006, 8:35 PM
Fargo Forumers and the rest of the Forumers-
I am hereby resigning from the Skyscraperpage Forum.
I will still be reading what is going on because I want to be an informed Fargoan, but I will not post my ideas or tell anyone of developments that I know that are going on. I cannot deal with the people so I am wallking away. Thank you and good bye.

P.S. Of course I'm impressionable. I'm only 14.

I certainly hope you're not walking away because of people in the Fargo Developments Forum. But I could see because of people in the other threads. While I implore you to keep posting ( you lately have been posting a majority of the news and it's been some good stuff ) I respect whatever decision it is that you make. ( I too am planning a jump and skip to somewhere else, but I have yet to build that site... it should be coming late Spring 2007... and I'll be giving everyone heads up on it... ).

:tup:

If some people on the Forum start getting on your nerves, just ignore them...

:yes:

NanoBison
Nov 11, 2006, 8:58 PM
Cities in the Heartland like Fargo-Moorhead may be huge population magnets in the future according to a new study:

F-M may be key for jobs, growth
By Dave Olson, The Forum
Published Friday, November 10, 2006

The U.S. population is expected to grow by 100 million people in the next four decades, all of whom will need a place to live.

A new study suggests cities like Fargo will be a natural choice if communities capitalize on their advantages.

“Bottom line is, you’ve got a hundred million more people who have to go somewhere,” said Joel Kotkin, a senior fellow with the New America Foundation, which has issued a report that sees the nation’s heartland playing a potentially major role in the country’s economic future.........



I read that article too and have been basically thinking the same thing for the last couple of years. There's no way that the really big cities are going to be able to absorb another 100 million people on both the coasts. Los Angeles is surrounded by a mountain range, same with Las Vegas. Most cities on the West Coast are already pretty crowded ( at least that's how it felt to me driving from south San Jose to North San Francisco this last summer ). I don't think New York really has much more room to grow outward, without creating a terrible amount of sprawl. Sure they'll grow more, but I don't see New York passing 25,000,000 without some serious high density high-rise development. Basically it will turn into Tokyo...

Now the cities in the Midwest (including the mighty Chicago) have plenty of room to grow. This along with the fact that will have another 100,000,000 in 40 years is why I believe so strongly that places like Sioux Falls, Fargo, Rochester, Des Moines, Omaha, and other mid-range metropolitan areas are just going to explode. People and companies are going to realize just how cheap it is out here and start setting up in the next decade or two. Heck I even saw in one of the other threads that Sioux Falls was the cheapest city to establish a data center. I could very easily see a small data center core being setup between the cities of Sioux Falls and Fargo. Have the two cities and two states pay for laying heavy fiber optic between the two and then just connect it up with the telco's fiber in both those cities. I know Fargo's got at least 16 OC192's going through it, and I would wager Sioux Falls has something similar.

Along with the other pushes for technology and research, we should also be striving to set something like this up and try to lure hosting companies and companies that want to place hosting in a cheaper environment. Basically with the internet, it doesn't matter where you place a data center, as long as it has a decent connection to the net. It shouldn't take much more than $50 million to get something like that setup. Imagine driving out in Fargo and Sioux Falls and seeing data-centers for companies like Microsoft (they have a small one at Fargo but it's nothing more than direct company connection), Google, Yahoo, Ebay, Amazon, and a whole bunch of large companies setting up shop.

I think Sioux Falls, Fargo(ND)-Moorhead(MN), North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota could all split the costs of it and it would be very easy to cover. Maybe something like this :

North Dakota : $12.5 million
South Dakota : $12.5 million
Minnesota : $3.5 million (Minnesota will benefit through Moorhead)
Fargo/West Fargo/Moorhead : $3.25 million
Sioux Falls : $3.25 million
Private Investors/Data Center Businesses/Venture Capital : $15-$20 million

It shouldn't cost more than what it took to lay fiber along I-94 ($50 million) since we are dealing with 100 miles less of fiber. That additional funding could be used to seed the first set of data centers and other infrastructure that would be required for this venture. Match this up with the work ethic of the people in the Midwest and I think you have a winning combination.

What do you guys think?

:banana:

Midwesterner19
Nov 12, 2006, 12:09 AM
I know alot of data centers are located where hydroelectric power is because thats the cheapest form of electricity. North Dakota is a coal state, which is more expensive then hydroelectric power.

I think as far as utility costs North Dakota is at a disadvantage compared to places with rivers that have big elevation declines. Then again if they get the wind power going then North Dakota will be at an advantage because the wind is always there.