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NanoBison
Jun 7, 2008, 5:35 AM
The article goes on to say the jobs will pay between $55,000-$100,000... which is excellent for IT related positions in the area. It's good to see IT starting to take off in the Fargo metropolitan in addition to the Microsoft campus!

JoeJoe
Jun 8, 2008, 3:26 PM
Yes, they are connecting 44th St from by that Bremer Bank to Johnny Carino's. They kinda had to because the road going through US Bank's parking lot that had 'acted' as 44th St (but wasn't considered a thru road since it was private) is now cut off from 17th Ave S because of the new Hilton Garden Inn.

Oh, and regarding mid-market development downtown - once the density and population down there gets higher then they can maybe put more 'main stream' stores and restaurants down there. Don't count on it though... Many downtowns (Minneapolis, the Chicago Loop) may have a few chains and big-box stores now, but mostly do better with specialty stores that will draw people from the suburbs where they have every chain imaginable already. So Fargo may get a few more of them downtown, but don't expect it to become like 13th Ave S. :)

F-Misthebest
Jun 8, 2008, 8:00 PM
Fargo Jet Center setting a high bar
Jon Knutson, The Forum
Published Saturday, June 07, 2008

Fargo Jet Center does everything from selling fuel to training pilots.

Now the company wants to expand its charter service with a newly acquired jet that can fly faster and farther than other planes in its charter fleet.

“We really see charter as an area with a lot of growth potential,” said Jim Sweeney, the company’s president.

Fargo Jet Center, located at Fargo’s Hector International Airport, is the community’s only full-service fixed-base operator, or FBO.

FBOs are service centers at airports. The type and number of services vary at each FBO.

http://img386.imageshack.us/img386/8331/fargojetcenterqa7.jpg

Aviation International News earlier this year ranked Fargo Jet Center 42nd among 1,420 FBOs in North America, South America, Central America, the U.S. Territories and the Caribbean.

Jim O’Day, who heads O’Day Equipment in Fargo, is a pilot and Fargo Jet Center client.

“I fly all over the country, and I haven’t seen one (an FBO) better than Fargo Jet Center,” said O’Day, who has the Fargo company store and maintain his plane.

Shawn Dobberstein, Hector International’s executive director, said successful airports need a good full-service FBO.

“We’re very fortunate to have one of Fargo Jet Center’s caliber,” he said.

Fargo Jet Center’s services include a fleet of four charter planes that offer access to more than 5,000 airports nationwide.

The fleet’s newest addition is a Cessna Citation SII, which can seat up to eight people. Depending on weather and the number of passengers, the plane has a range of 1,500 miles and can fly 437 mph.

That compares with maximum seating for seven and a 1,000-mile range and 276-mph speed for the Beechcraft King Air C90, which had been the largest plane in Fargo Jet Center’s fleet.

Flying charter often makes sense financially compared to flying on a commercial airline or driving in a car, said Darren Hall, Fargo Jet Center’s marketing manager.

Flying charter can save time, freeing up employees for other duties, he said.

Fixed-base operators nationwide hope to expand charter services, said John Wraga, executive director of the Independent Fixed Base Operators Association in Bedford, Mass.

Some big companies are scaling back on the number of planes they operate for their employees’ use, creating more opportunities for charter service, he said.

Fargo Jet Center derives about half its annual revenue from the sale of fuel, typically a major moneymaker for FBOs.

Helped by a healthy Fargo-Moorhead economy, fuel sales for Fargo Jet Center have held strong despite rising petroleum prices and U.S. economic problems, Sweeney said.

In contrast, most fixed-base operators nationwide are struggling with declining fuel sales, Wraga said.

“This is shaping up to be a terrible year,” he said.

Fargo Jet Center hopes to sell more fuel to corporate jets that land in Fargo to refuel while traveling between other cities.

U.S. Customs has an office at Fargo Jet Center to clear into the country passengers of flights beginning outside the United States.

Hall attended the recent 2008 European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition in Geneva, Switzerland. He touted Fargo Jet Center as a logical stopping point between Europe and the West Coast.

Sweeney said potential customers sometimes are surprised to see Fargo Jet Center at trade shows.

“What we get is, ‘You’re from Fargo? What are you doing here?’ ” he said.

But that surprise fades when Fargo Jet Center officials explain what their company has to offer, he said.

Fargo Jet Center recently wrapped up a renovation that cost more than $1 million. Work included upgrades to both the passenger and pilot facilities.

“We want to be as attractive and appealing as possible to our clients,” Sweeney said.

Flights containing a number of celebrities and prominent businesspeople have stopped temporarily at Fargo Jet Center throughout the years.

Sweeney won’t drop any names, though.

“We take confidentiality and privacy very seriously,” he said.

Sweeney said Fargo Jet Center is optimistic about its future, in part because of the potential to provide more charter service.

“We see so much opportunity in charter,” he said.

Fargo Jet Center

Address: 3802 20th St. N., Fargo

Established: 1995

Employees: More than 100, some of whom also work for Weather Modification Inc., a sister company that handles atmospheric research and cloud seeding around the world.

Pilots, planes: Fargo Jet Center has 20 pilots and a dozen planes.

What it does: The company has five divisions:

- Ground and fuel operations, including on-site customs office and staff assistance with arrivals and departures.

- Charter and flight operations.

- Maintenance and avionics (aviation electronics).

- Aircraft sales.

- Fargo Flight School and aircraft rental.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Jonathan Knutson at (701) 241-5530

F-Misthebest
Jun 8, 2008, 9:31 PM
www.fargomoorhead.com

All updated

F-Misthebest
Jun 8, 2008, 10:13 PM
And despite the cost of fuel going up and people not wanting to spend money, the Fargo Airport May statistics are up from last year 9.7%

May-08 May-07 % Change YTD2008 YTD2007 % Change

Total Passengers
54,335 49,518 9.7% 259,231 248,570 4.3%

Enplaned Passengers
27,252 24,894 9.5% 129,273 124,137 4.1%

Deplaned Passengers
27,083 24,624 10.0% 129,958 124,433 4.4


Sorry I cant get it to come out evenly

NysOne
Jun 9, 2008, 1:55 PM
I went to the city planning office and the guy who works with MetroCOG gave me the latest info sheet.

Does MetroCOG have breakdown information, such as age, household size, and income?

F-Misthebest
Jun 10, 2008, 4:09 PM
Fargo area job market 4th in U.S.
Craig McEwen, The Forum
Published Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The job market in the Fargo area is the fourth-strongest in the nation, according to a third-quarter 2008 employment survey released today by Manpower Inc., an international employment services company.

In the July through September survey, 53 percent of Fargo area companies interviewed plan to hire more employees, 3 percent expect to reduce payrolls and 44 percent expect to maintain current staffing levels, said Lora Schilz of Manpower’s Fargo office, 300 45th St. S.

“That would be consistent with what Fargo-Moorhead’s unemployment rate is,” said Michael Ziesch of North Dakota Job Service in Bismarck.

In April, the Fargo-Moorhead unemployment rate was 3.1 percent, slightly lower than the 3.3 percent state unemployment rate and considerably better than the 4.8 percent national unemployment rate, he said.

Fargo-area hiring activity is expected to be significantly stronger than one year ago, when 33 percent of companies surveyed planned to add staff and 7 percent said they would cut payrolls, Schilz said.

http://img234.imageshack.us/img234/7223/fargorankshighonsurveyjj3.jpg

“Employer sentiment about hiring appears to be slightly more encouraging than in the second quarter of 2008 when 47 percent of companies interviewed intended to add employees and none planned to reduce staff levels,” she said. Today’s statistics are consistent with other economic data for Fargo, said Brian Walters, president of the Greater Fargo Moorhead Economic Development Corp.

“Our present economy is very strong and well-diversified,” Walters said. “We’ve had nice, steady employment growth the last six years.”

One reason for Fargo’s high employment ranking may be employment declines in other parts of the country, he said.

“We’re on pace. The national economy is going the other way,” Walters said.

Nationally, employers project a slight decline in third-quarter hiring.

Of 14,000 employers surveyed, 26 percent plan to increase staff and 10 percent expect to reduce staff, the report says.

Readers can reach Forum Business Editor Craig McEwen at (701) 241-5502

F-Misthebest
Jun 10, 2008, 4:15 PM
‘No small task’ ahead for Oakport township
Kelly Smith, The Forum
Published Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Moorhead City Council wants to ensure that everyone is on the same page as the future annexation of parts of Oakport Township nears.

Council member Nancy Otto announced Monday that an ad hoc group will be formed this summer to include all groups involved in the decision on annexation, which is expected to be complete in 2015.

“It’s a huge amount of planning,” Otto said. “This is none too soon when you talk about the planning. … It’s no small task.”

The council needs to bring together all parties involved to help consider what the city needs to do before the annexation, she said.

While the Oakport Joint Powers Board has existed since the annexation agreement was signed in 1985, this is the first time all sides – from police to city officials – will meet to get everyone on the same page, Otto said.

http://img73.imageshack.us/img73/8647/oakporttownshiphj5.jpg

A major issue they will face is ensuring that city services will be prepared to take on the estimated 600 homes – and 1,600 people – that the city of Moorhead would be responsible for after the annexation, Otto said.

Another consideration council members discussed Monday was whether to enact the annexation in small increments rather than one large piece in 2015.

“We only have 6½ years,” Mayor Mark Voxland said. “It’s a long ways, and it’s right on our shoulders.”

In other business, the council unanimously approved an ordinance rezoning 1915 Main Ave. S.E. for residential use.

The Morningside Motel will be demolished for a 12-unit apartment or condominium complex.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Kelly Smith at (701) 241-5515

F-Misthebest
Jun 10, 2008, 7:17 PM
I took a walk downtown today and on the same block as the Hotel Donaldson, Teaberry (the old salad express place) and the Chocolate Frog (old Prairie Piano) is opening soon. And on Main Avenue a building is getting a complete renovation.

F-Misthebest
Jun 12, 2008, 4:15 PM
Fargo supports total smoking ban; supporters say they will now push ban throughout North Dakota
Andrea Domaskin, The Forum
Published Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Supporters of a comprehensive smoking ban found victory in Fargo on Tuesday and now plan to take their campaign to the rest of North Dakota.

In complete but unofficial results, Measure 2 earned support from 61 percent of voters. It had 9,658 votes.

The measure will enact a comprehensive smoking ban. It includes bars, truck stops and rental halls, taking the city’s current smoking ban up a notch.

It takes effect July 1.

Byrum Cartwright, chairman of the Smoke-free Air for Everyone Coalition, said he was sure the measure would win, though he didn’t know whether it would be by a hair or a landslide.

He said coalition members now hope to build momentum for the state Legislature to make the statewide smoking ban stricter. They will start with other cities.

“We’re certainly going to be supporting other cities as this issue comes up,” Cartwright said.

The complete ban easily beat a competing ban that would have kept the city’s current restrictions in place.

Measure 3 would have made exceptions for enclosed bars that prohibit patrons under the age of 21, designated areas of truck stops and J.T. Cigarro Tobacco Bar.

About 43 percent of voters supported the measure. It had 6,698 votes in complete but unofficial results.

Fargo businessman Randy Thorson, who led the charge to place the measure on the ballot, said he and other bar owners are OK with the results.

“We believe we have rights as business owners, but we also believe that the voters have a right,” he said.

But Thorson also said he believes some bars may close because of the complete smoking ban and proceeds from charitable gaming could drop.

Both bans needed a simple majority to pass. City Attorney Erik Johnson has said if both measures passed, the measure with the most yes votes would win.

That wasn’t necessary in this case, with only Measure 2 receiving more than 50 percent approval.

The vote Tuesday was aimed at settling a smoking debate that bubbled up again last summer as city commissioners considered turning a ban voters approved in 2004 into a comprehensive ordinance that would make no exceptions for bars.

City commissioners delayed final approval of a complete smoking ban in September when a group announced plans to collect petitions to place the no-exceptions ban on the ballot. It became Measure 2.

In response, bar owners and others in the alcohol industry worked to place Measure 3, the existing smoking ban, on the ballot.

Both sides poured thousands of dollars into the campaigns for the measures.

The election results mean that Fargo will now match Moorhead, where a statewide smoking ban took effect in October.

The Minnesota ban makes no exceptions for bars.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Andrea Domaskin at (701) 241-5556

F-Misthebest
Jun 12, 2008, 4:19 PM
Builder wants upscale design
Andrea Domaskin, The Forum
Published Thursday, June 12, 2008

The people behind a south Fargo development known as The District want rules placed on their property to ensure the landscape is appealing.

Las Vegas developer Larry Scheffler said he wants to create a higher level of development in The District at 52nd Avenue South and Interstate 29.

It’s planned as an upscale neighborhood and shopping center with a Wal-Mart, other big-box retail stores, housing, banks, restaurants and offices.

He presented planning commissioners with site plans Wednesday detailing tree-lined medians, manmade lakes and landscaping.

Regulations for the development could involve requiring property owners to maintain landscaping, for example.

“We’d like to have the city work with us to put these rules and regulations on us, so that when we’re gone – when we’ve sold all the property – we’re proud of it 20 years from now,” Scheffler said.

Planning Commission Chairman John Q. Paulsen said his board has seen considerable interest in what he calls “enhanced features in development.”

“I think that we’re moving to a new level in the community in terms of development,” he said.

Senior Planner Jim Hinderaker said planning commissioners have asked for a proposal to bolster existing landscaping standards.

The need for design standards has been discussed since about 2000, he said. Conditional overlays, which create standards and restrictions for specific areas, are one result.

Planning commissioners included an overlay in a plat and zone change they voted unanimously Wednesday to recommend for approval. Amber Valley West is a commercial development east of 57th Street South and abutting the Urban Plains development.

Steve Iverson, who represented Christianson Holdings and Paces Lodging, objected to part of the overlay because it would create stricter sign regulations than other new commercial developments.

He argued that would put his development at a competitive disadvantage.

Other south Fargo developments with higher design standards include Urban Plains, a mixed-use development, billed as a “city within a city,” and the Woodhaven neighborhood.

“The things that have been happening around the country are finally coming to Fargo,” said Steve Stoner, developer of Woodhaven.

He sees developers – including himself – making park areas more central to the property and wider sidewalks with strips of grass.

Entrances, medians and monuments also receive attention.

“Those kinds of things have become very desirable to the residents of the community,” Stoner said. “I think maybe before we were driven by the lowest cost, the lowest cost, the lowest cost.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter Andrea Domaskin at (701) 241-5556

F-Misthebest
Jun 13, 2008, 5:10 PM
Fargo may add to ramp
Andrea Domaskin, The Forum
Published Friday, June 13, 2008

Fargo may add two levels to a downtown parking ramp instead of trying to build a new structure in the city’s increasingly dense core.

Senior Planner Bob Stein said the city could add about 110 spaces to its Radisson parking ramp at Second Avenue North and Fourth Street.

He said the ramp was designed to hold at least one more level and could likely hold two. Stein is checking to be sure.

The cost would likely be more than $20,000 per space, higher than building a new ramp. Last year, the average cost of building new ramps averaged about $15,000.

“Even at the higher cost, it’s still probably our best bet,” Stein told the city Parking Commission on Wednesday.

http://img233.imageshack.us/img233/1875/radissonrampkq1.jpg

It’s a good choice because the adjoining Radisson hotel and office tower is busy, Stein said. In addition, a skyway connects the building and ramp to the Civic Center.

Sandi Adams, general manager and co-owner of the Radisson, said adding on to the ramp could change the view from the third floor banquet rooms and fourth floor guest rooms.

She wants the city to do more research on the US Bank ramp. The ramp has a capacity of 150, but it’s open only to drivers with contracts.

City officials previously considered demolishing the US Bank ramp and replacing it with a 300-stall ramp, but balked at the $6 million price tag.

The city still needs to decide how it would pay for a Radisson ramp addition.

City Commissioner Mike Williams said he will ask the Finance Committee to discuss the proposal. Williams is a member of the Finance Committee and chairman of the Parking Commission.

The Radisson ramp was 88 percent full in May, while the 150-stall US Bank ramp at Fifth Street and Third Avenue North was 99 percent full in May, a monthly report shows.

The city’s third parking ramp, the Island Park ramp on the south side of Main Avenue was 44 percent full.

Stein said drivers seem to view the 377-capacity Island Park ramp as too far from their destinations.

Overall, the city’s 12 downtown lots and ramps were at 66 percent of capacity in May, down from the 78-percent capacity they experienced in May 2007.

John Rogne, who manages the lots and ramps, suspects people are finding other means of transportation because fuel costs are high.

The city built 16 bike lockers for downtown bicyclists last year. Seven are now rented.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Andrea Domaskin at (701) 241-5556

F-Misthebest
Jun 13, 2008, 5:11 PM
Total-ban measure supported
By Andrea Domaskin adomaskin@forumcomm.com
Front page - 06/11/2008

Supporters of a comprehensive smoking ban found victory in Fargo on Tuesday and now plan to take their campaign to the rest of North Dakota. In complete but unofficial results, Measure 2 earned support from 61 percent of voters. It had 9,658 votes. The measure will enact a comprehensive smoking ban. It includes bars, truck stops and rental halls, taking the city’s current smoking ban up a notch.

It takes effect July 1. Byrum Cartwright, chairman of the Smoke-free Air for Everyone Coalition, said he was sure the measure would win. He said coalition members now hope to build momentum for the state Legislature to make the statewide smoking ban stricter. They will start with other cities. “We’re certainly going to be supporting other cities as this issue comes up,” Cartwright said. The complete ban easily beat a competing ban that would have kept the city’s current restrictions in place. Measure 3 would have made exceptions for enclosed bars that prohibit patrons under the age of 21, designated areas of truck stops and J.T. Cigarro Tobacco Bar.

About 43 percent of voters supported the measure. It had 6,698 votes in complete but unofficial results. Fargo businessman Randy Thorson, who led the charge to place the measure on the ballot, said he and other bar owners are OK with the results. “We believe we have rights as business owners, but we also believe that the voters have a right,” he said. But Thorson also said he believes some bars may close because of the complete smoking ban and proceeds from

charitable gaming could drop. Both bans needed a simple majority to pass. City Attorney Erik Johnson has said if both measures passed, the measure with the most yes votes would win. That wasn’t necessary in this case, with only Measure 2 receiving more than 50 percent approval. The vote Tuesday was aimed at settling a smoking debate that bubbled up again last summer as city commissioners considered turning a ban voters approved in 2004 into a comprehensive ordinance that would make no exceptions for bars.

City commissioners delayed final approval of a complete smoking ban in September when a group announced plans to collect petitions to place the no-exceptions ban on the ballot. It became Measure 2. In response, bar owners and others in the alcohol industry worked to place Measure 3, the existing smoking ban, on the ballot. Both sides poured thousands of dollars into the campaigns for the measures. The election results mean that Fargo will now match Moorhead, where a statewide smoking ban took effect in October. The Minnesota ban makes no exceptions for bars. Readers can reach Forum reporter Andrea Domaskin at (701) 241-5556



West Fargo, Fargo, Moorhead, and Dilworth are all smoke free.

Doc
Jun 15, 2008, 12:18 PM
Read all of the sour grapes letters in the Forum today. There is a letter about how democracy doesn't work (and how smoking is equal to ending slavery). There is a letter about clogging the courts. There is a letter about getting it on the November ballot. Looks like a lot of pissed off nicotine addicts. You would think people couldn't step outside to service their addiction. They should be glad their addiction is treated better than other ones. Sheesh.:koko:

ww6789
Jun 16, 2008, 8:40 AM
One issue nobody is talking about is that probably 95% or more of the apartment complexes in Fargo allow smoking. The hallways get smoky, and often smoke seeps into the adjacent units. We lived on the third floor of Park Avenue (I thought it was a nice place) and we had smokers below us and our apartment smelled like a bar. The clothes in our closet started smelling like an ashtray. Of course we complained, but Park Avenue management was determined to keep their smokers happy. We then moved to a townhouse and the first winter had smoke seep in from the adjoining unit. Luckily, the stinky offenders moved in the spring. I had a friend in Fargo who left town because he was single and couldn't afford a house but could not find an apartment complex with clean air. The next step in this battle against the rude nicotine addicts is to have separate smoking and non-smoking apartment buildings. I don't have to go to a smoky bar or work in one, but I have to go home everyday and sleep. If you live in Fargo/Moorhead going home to an apartment or condo may not get you away from the smoke. If Fargo wants to be a progressive city and encourage talented people to live and work here, then this issue needs to be addressed.

Will

matthew2109
Jun 17, 2008, 2:36 PM
a Jimmy Johns will go up at 1414 12 Ave N

F-Misthebest
Jun 17, 2008, 6:29 PM
a Jimmy Johns will go up at 1414 12 Ave N

yes along with a Moes Southwest Grill and a coffee shop. www.bisonblock.com

SmileyBoy
Jun 20, 2008, 11:44 PM
I see what looks like another car dealership being constructed just north of the Mercedes-Benz dealership on 40th St. Anyone know what's going there??

F-Misthebest
Jun 21, 2008, 12:19 AM
well i know both Corwin Toyota and Gateway Chevy are building on

matthew2109
Jun 21, 2008, 9:17 PM
I see what looks like another car dealership being constructed just north of the Mercedes-Benz dealership on 40th St. Anyone know what's going there??

reads thats gonna be the new Corwin Toyota dealership

F-Misthebest
Jun 22, 2008, 9:52 PM
Metro Cog came out with new numbers for the 2007 populations.

Fargo: 100,807
Moorhead: 35,294
West Fargo: 21,700
Dilworth: 3,584

Metro Total: 198,936

Doc
Jun 24, 2008, 3:09 PM
The new coffee place at Bison Block is called "Jitters." They installed the sign yesterday, and it looks like they are installing the tile floor and counters right now.:)

F-Misthebest
Jun 25, 2008, 11:32 PM
does anyone know when moes and jimmy johns are moving in??

ww6789
Jun 26, 2008, 4:00 AM
We already have a Moes and Jimmy Johns. I guess I don't grok the excitement about getting more of the same. We need more restaurants new to Fargo and more unique locally-owned eateries.

Will

wilson
Jun 26, 2008, 6:57 AM
We already have a Moes and Jimmy Johns. I guess I don't grok the excitement about getting more of the same. We need more restaurants new to Fargo and more unique locally-owned eateries.

Will

Normally I would agree, but these 2 happen to be of my favorites, thhey are so good!

A Noodles & Co would have worked great there, too.

F-Misthebest
Jun 26, 2008, 4:37 PM
I just think its good that north fargo is actually getting some good restaurants now. I know we already have a couple Applebess, BWW, Moes, and Jimmy Johns but there are A LOT of people in north Fargo that want to eat in restaurants but dont want to drive for ever to get there. Thats why i think its good we have the same restaurants on the north and the south sides.

ww6789
Jun 27, 2008, 12:09 AM
You have a good point -- the north side is in need of more restaurants. I'm concerned because I've lived in many places and for a metro area this size, the food choices (including grocery options) are substandard. I hate to see every new strip mall with an Extreme Pita. I hope that the new South Fargo development will draw some new players besides another BWW, Applebees, or Chilis. I won't hold my breath on good local food -- that doesn't seem to be part of the culture here. Good chains are probably the best we can hope for in this area. And I'm not talking about pricey dining. Really good food can be cheap to moderately priced and those options are plentiful in most cities.

Doc
Jun 27, 2008, 6:26 PM
I think there are actually some pretty good local options. Leela Thai, Yuki Hana, Alexander's, Usher House, HoDo (the lounge), Maxwells, Jade Dragon, Nicole's Pastries, Passage to India, etc. For the size town that FM is, there is a decent amount of local stuff. I prefer this to TGIPFChangdeBeppoRedFriendlies that you get in most places the same population. I would like to see a Bakery Cafe open up here like http://www.flyingstarcafe.com/ (especially downtown), as well as more Ted's Montana Grill kinds of local places, but I think that we have a decent up-and-coming restaurant scene.

ww6789
Jun 27, 2008, 9:57 PM
Where can I get a fresh, dripping, medium-rare hamburger? And some fresh side-item choices besides frozen fries. How about good chili especially in such a cold place. Good food doesn't have to be complicated and expensive.

Will

Doc
Jun 28, 2008, 1:07 AM
John Alexander's has a pretty good burger from what I hear (I don't eat all that much red meat):
http://abreiden.wordpress.com/2008/04/27/dinner-at-john-alexanders/
http://www.in-forum.com/articles/index.cfm?id=200391&section=valleyrr

I would also try Usher House. It's sort of eclectic, but the pub side has more casual fare.

You got me on the chili. I never had Lauerman's chili, but I haven't even heard of another place that serves decent chili.

Anyone tried Doolittles or Spitfire grill for chili or burgers?

ww6789
Jun 28, 2008, 4:02 AM
Doolittles will serve a medium-rare burger that's tasty and with a side of grilled asparagus. :)

Don't know about Spitfire (I had some bad ribs there and haven't been back.) I think that Lauerman's has closed. I always wanted to try their chili, but I don't frequent smoking establishments. There will be a few more options after the July 1 smoking ban takes effect. The Silver Dollar Lounge in West Fargo claims to have hickory smoked bbq, beef brisket, etc. I'll try it later this summer. I do wonder how these smoky places are going to get rid of the stench they have been marinating in for so many years.

Thanks for the recommendations. I surely haven't tried every eatery in Fargo. I have pretty high standards regarding what I consider "good food."

Thanks,

Will

Doc
Jun 28, 2008, 2:11 PM
I have pretty high standards regarding what I consider "good food."


Glad to meet another foodie. I've been spoiled with what I've had in New York, Chicago, Paris, etc., but I have to say that there is a small, but dedicated group of foodies in Fargo. If you go out there, you won't find we are even Minneapolis; however, we are decent for a city this size.

ww6789
Jun 29, 2008, 12:37 AM
Has anyone tried this local butcher and meat market? They have really good bratwurst of many different varieties -- blueberry, cranberry, cherry, jalapeno, cajun, cheddar, etc. The blueberry brats are especially good. I've only visited a couple of times so I haven't tried their other meats. It is a local place and they have some unique offerings. Here's a link to their website:

http://www.meatsbyjohnandwayne.com/

F-Misthebest
Jun 30, 2008, 3:28 AM
Car center relocating; Walgreens moving in
Craig McEwen, The Forum
Published Friday, June 27, 2008

Longtime Moorhead business Bud’s Service Center, 720 30th Ave. S., is closing today to make way for a new Walgreens Drug store slated to open in 2009.

Bud’s Service Center will reopen Monday in Moorhead at 1030 Main Ave. as a four-bay auto repair center with 24-hour wrecker service, said owner Gary Cossette.

“We won’t have a car wash anymore and no more gasoline,” he said.

Work is expected to begin this fall on the proposed 14,500-square-foot Walgreens, said Carol Hively, a corporate spokeswoman in Deerfield, Ill.

In spring 2009, Walgreens plans to relocate its West Acres store to the former Grandma’s Saloon and Grill, 4201 13th Ave. S., Fargo, she said.

“We open a new store about every 16 hours,” Hively said. “Most of that is due to the aging of baby boomers. Prescription drug sales are just taking off.”

The service station has been a south Moorhead fixture since it opened in 1968. Bud Cossette began leasing the station from Amoco in 1977, said Gary, his son.

“This was actually the first thing on this side of the Interstate in 1968,” he said.

“The corner needs a remake,” he said. “With the margins we get selling gasoline, for me it isn’t feasible to do it.”

Ironically, Cossette is returning to the same location where his father opened a service station in 1975.

“I used to stand on a bucket up there and wash windshields,” he said.

Over the years, the Main Avenue location was home to Champion Auto, Checker Auto and most recently Precision Tune Auto Care.

“I’ve been here since I was 14 years old,” said Gary Cossette, who has owned and operated a station at the south Moorhead location for 16 years.

The business was previously called Bud’s BP Amoco and Service Center. The BP franchise closed its local stores earlier this year and Cossette changed the name to Bud’s Service Center.

The business will employ five people full and part time, Cossette said. Hours will be 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, with 24-hour wrecker service seven days a week.

Bud’s Service Center will repair all makes and models of vehicles, he said. “We do everything. It doesn’t matter if it’s foreign or American.”

Cossette said he enjoyed serving multiple generations of customers at the south Moorhead location.

“I’m going to miss the customers that need a tank of gas each week. It’s a great little neighborhood over here.”

Readers can reach Forum Business Editor Craig McEwen at (701) 241-5502

matthew2109
Jul 1, 2008, 1:31 PM
http://www.in-forum.com/gfx/photos/full/X00161_931.JPG

The restaurant, 1776 45th St. S., closed Sunday, according to Leah Templeton, Bennigan’s spokeswoman.

Two signs posted on the restaurant’s front doors state that the Fargo Bennigan’s has been sold and is closed.

The signs urge customers to visit the Moorhead Bennigan’s location, 3333 Highway 10 E.

Between 12:10 and 12:25 p.m. Monday afternoon, 15 vehicles pulled into the nearly deserted parking lot. Some would-be customers pulled on the locked door’s handle before noticing the signs.

Mick and Wanda Holm of Lake Park, Minn., planned to meet friends at the restaurant. After learning of the closing, Wanda phoned their friends to make alternate arrangements.

“I suppose times are getting tougher,” Mick Holm said. “Things like that happen.”

“There’s a lot of competition out here,” Wanda Holm added.

The Fargo restaurant, which opened in November 1999, was the only Bennigan’s Grill and Tavern in North Dakota, according to the company’s Web site.

Darin Kramer of Horace, N.D., usually eats at the restaurant once every couple of months. He learned of its closing Monday after stopping by for lunch.

“It certainly doesn’t bother me as much as Outback,” he said.

Outback Steakhouse closed in April after 10 years in Fargo.

Bennigan’s is an Irish American grill and tavern. The restaurant offers salads, burgers, steak and chicken entrées, sandwiches and desserts. Bennigan’s is based in Plano, Texas, and is owned by Metromedia Restaurant Group.

According to a January news release posted on the restaurant’s Web site, there are more than 310 locations in 10 countries.

The franchise owner, Kevin Bartram, did not return phone calls seeking comment Monday.

In-Forum (http://www.in-forum.com/articles/index.cfm?id=206776)

F-Misthebest
Jul 1, 2008, 4:03 PM
It says the building is sold. I wonder who bought it?

ww6789
Jul 1, 2008, 5:39 PM
I wonder why Outback and Bennigans closed so abruptly? It would be nice for the community and employees if some notice and explanation were given. Our local media reports the closings after the fact and then fails to pursue a follow-up regarding the details of the closing. The obvious positive of the closing is the possibility a place with better food will take over.

wilson
Jul 1, 2008, 5:51 PM
Man, i actually liked Bennigan's. At least Moorhead still has one.

NanoBison
Jul 2, 2008, 8:00 PM
I used to like Bennigans, back when they still served Chicken Noodle Soup. It was the best damn bowl of soup I've had in a long time. Over the years though, I think the food has gone downhill. I popped in a few times recently and they were never busy, so I'm thinking it's the food that kept people from going.

From what I heard, Outback lost their lease and had to close up. Being as I'm not in the food industry or real estate, I don't know how someone "loses" their lease (other than not paying it?).

In terms of good food, I went to Alexander's downtown Moorhead with my mother on Sunday evening. The food and service was GREAT. I had the Walleye (gigantic portions) and she had one of their cheese-inside burgers. Finished everything off with a delectable chocolate cake desert. Total bill, with 20% tip came to roughly $50. I will definitely be going back at some point pretty soon.

DooLittle's is always a favorite and has good burgers and chicken. I eat there too much as it is, so I'm getting diminishing returns from there...
:)

I'm sorry to hear SpitFire disappointed you ww6789. I've always had great food and service from them. I've also had the ribs before, and they are always good. If you aren't happy with the meal, they also don't hesitate to take it back (I returned a bowl of soup that was slightly cold).

In terms of Meats by John and Wayne... they are great. I wish I had a freezer so I could just buy a quarter of beef and have tons of meat in storage. I usually get the sausages and ground beef. I'm not too fond of the ribs though, they do some sort of curing/smoking process which makes them taste like ham/bacon. But I've always been satisfied with everything else.

ajays
Jul 2, 2008, 8:09 PM
Where can I get a fresh, dripping, medium-rare hamburger? And some fresh side-item choices besides frozen fries. How about good chili especially in such a cold place. Good food doesn't have to be complicated and expensive.

Will

If you don't mind driving about 10 minutes, Hagges out in Mapleton has really good burgers and excellent chili! And awesome french fries! :yes:

ww6789
Jul 2, 2008, 8:52 PM
My frustration with some of the local eateries has motivated me to cook at home much more and it has become a good healthy habit and routine. Right now, I only eat out about three times each month -- of course, when I do I want good food. I do appreciate the suggestions. Is Hagge's Bar and Grill in Mapleton smoke-free?

Thanks,

Will

ajays
Jul 3, 2008, 1:34 PM
Hagges wasn't smoke free last time I was there. But I'm sure it will be soon!

F-Misthebest
Jul 3, 2008, 6:15 PM
Barack Obama's in town today marking his second visit to the Red River Valley. He's speaking at the Children's Museum with a crowd of a little over a thousand people. The thousand tickets that were available were sold within a day and you can watch the speech on www.cnn.com or www.in-forum.com

F-Misthebest
Jul 6, 2008, 4:03 AM
The TJ Maxx plaza is getting remodeled. This is a much need remodeling project in town and hopefully the end result is decent.

ww6789
Jul 7, 2008, 6:20 AM
Has anyone read this article in the Forum? What happened to the good old days of cafes and diners? They're long gone from Fargo.

http://www.in-forum.com/articles/index.cfm?id=207401&section=Columnists&columnist=Bob%20Lind

Doc
Jul 7, 2008, 7:08 PM
Has anyone read this article in the Forum? What happened to the good old days of cafes and diners? They're long gone from Fargo.

http://www.in-forum.com/articles/index.cfm?id=207401&section=Columnists&columnist=Bob%20Lind

There are a few diners here in Fargo, but I think expectations incline towards more upscale and healthy. I prefer quality to the smothered in fake cheeze and put on a sizzling southwest fajita plate flavor of the moment. But that might be me.

Doc
Jul 7, 2008, 7:37 PM
I wasn't implying that YOU were saying that. I just think people want experiences rather than good food (or so, it has seemed over the past 10 years--it might be reversing).

Doc
Jul 8, 2008, 2:28 PM
Any guess as to which, if any, Starbucks might close in the FM area?

ww6789
Jul 8, 2008, 3:52 PM
I would predict the new hole-in-the-wall store at 13th Ave. and I-29 will definitely close. The next two in line would be 13th Ave./25th St. and the University Dr. store. The 32 Ave store and the 13th Ave. store near West Fargo do well.

I used to frequent the 13th Ave/West Fargo store a lot and I've overheard the district manager a few times. He uses the word like at least twice in each sentence. He was giving a performance review one day and he sounded like the manager from Office Space morphed with a Valley Girl. If Starbucks is hiring district managers like this, I can see why they're having big trouble.

I generally like Starbucks and I drink the real coffee and espresso there (not the Dairy Queen drinks.) If you like real coffee, they'll do a French Press of any beans in the store. I haven't found a local coffee shop that has good consistently strong coffee.

It is interesting that Starbucks has no presence downtown, North Fargo, or the booming Osgood area.

Doc
Jul 8, 2008, 6:10 PM
I was surprised to see the 13th and I-29 store open, considering it is less than a mile from the 13th and 25th store. Still, they might shutter the one on 25th because of the freeway traffic. We'll see.

I'm not entirely surprised there is no downtown Starbucks. I think until there is more retail and/or two-way streets downtown, Starbucks will stick with the periphery strategy. There is already a Moxie, Red Raven, and an Atomic downtown. If a bakery cafe with good, fresh coffee opened (and with good hours) OR something like this http://www.hellskitcheninc.com/ , I think it would clean up downtown.

hellerz85
Jul 9, 2008, 3:46 PM
Hey i was just wondering if any of you saw this yesterday or not too. But my buddy said he was at Taco Johns on 32nd Ave S, and he swear he saw a google maps vehicle driving. He says he swear he saw a google sign on the car, and he saw the tall structure on top of the vehicle, like all google streetview cars have. Anyone else seen this?

UPDATE: Ok, just got confirmation from my friend. I showed him a couple pictures of what streetview cars look like, and he confirmed that is what he saw. So it looks like google is in town.

SmileyBoy
Jul 10, 2008, 6:03 PM
Did anyone see the new population stats that came out today?? They were pretty accurate for every metro city except, surprise, surprise, Fargo again. They had West Fargo at over 23,000 which seems right for the 2007 number one year ago (2008 has it at almost 26,000). They had Moorhead at almost 36,000, Dilworth at 3,600 (all seem to coincide with the MetroCOG figures I have in my sig line) and surprisingly, Horace has almost doubled its population from 2000-2007 from 915 to 1,751.

But they still had Fargo at only 92,660. They had Grand Freaking Forks gaining more people in the decade than Fargo at ober 2,400 compared to our 2,061. That is complete BS. There's NO WAY GF proper has grown more than Fargo proper since 2000. I for one believe the MetroCOG stat that has Fargo at over 100,000. I was afraid that they'd have us losing even more people in an obvious continuation of their error, but at least the Census estimates are starting to get on the right track. Still, Fargo proper has definitely gained over 10,000 people since 2000, not merely 2,000 people.

The Census shows 157,454 people in the F-M-WF-D-H urban area, while the MetroCOG has it at about 167,000, which the difference is the faliure of the Census to count Fargo's population.

Anyway, I gotta go now. Discuss!!

F-Misthebest
Jul 10, 2008, 7:20 PM
I also saw the article in the paper today about it. If in-forum.com was working right now I'd post it. First of all, on the back page where the article continues, it says "Fargo shows first gain since 2004" which is complete bull. The article title is "Bismarck leads N.D. in growth-Fargo, West Fargo, western cites also showing impressive population increases" Now I congratulate Bismarck on it's growth, however I do not think it is growing faster then Fargo. I am happy to see most North Dakota cities growing. I guess I just can't wait for 2010 when they count the people and we grew the most. I completely agree that MetroCog has a better estimate than the census.

F-Misthebest
Jul 11, 2008, 4:34 AM
College living zoned
Helmut Schmidt, The Forum
Published Thursday, July 10, 2008

Fargo city planners are a step closer to creating a new zoning plan near North Dakota State University designed to improve student housing, while preserving and revitalizing the Roosevelt neighborhood.

Planner Nicole Crutchfield told the Planning Commission on Wednesday that creating a University Mixed Use zone should ease pressure in the area to convert single-family homes into multifamily apartments for student use.

The plan is also designed to create a mix of housing and shops friendly to student lifestyles, she said.

“This is really exciting,” Commissioner Catherine Wiley said.

“Overall, I think we’re supportive of the concept,” said Jim Laschkewitsch, vice president of the Roosevelt Neighborhood Association.

Crutchfield said initial efforts would be concentrated south of NDSU and west of Johnson Park.

The UMU proposal won’t affect single-family homes, but will require higher-density housing for new apartment buildings – a minimum of 18 units per acre. While requiring higher-quality building materials, the buildings can also be as tall as five stories, Crutchfield said.

New apartment and condo units in the area will be required to have one parking space per living unit – a move designed to encourage the use of alternative transportation, such as biking, walking or taking a bus, Crutchfield said.

Area residents said they favored the UMU zone concept, but they and planning commissioners said more work was needed – especially on parking.

Commissioner Rich Slagle said planning for one vehicle per apartment or condo was “just asking for trouble.”

Laschkewitsch said more must be done to communicate with area residents and to address parking. He also said he didn’t want the commercial aspects of the zone to spawn too many strip malls.

“Doing it well is what I think is important,” Laschkewitsch said.

But, he added, “It’s a way to clean up some blighted properties, it’s a way to make a great university setting, and it’s a way to take pressure off the neighborhood.”

Sandra Holbrook, who lives at 1018 15th St. N., said she’d like homeowners to be made more aware of the process, saying she learned of the meeting Sunday.

Her husband, Frederick Holbrook, liked the plan, but said allowing five-story apartment buildings next to single-family homes “makes absolutely no sense.”

Commission Chairman John Q. Paulsen urged commissioners to delay a decision until August. He noted the group did not have a quorum by the end of the debate, and said he wanted city staff to re-examine the zoning plans and work more with area residents.

Commissioners agreed to take up the issue in August.

Crutchfield said she wants meet with Roosevelt-area residents within three weeks.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Helmut Schmidt at (701) 241-5583

F-Misthebest
Jul 11, 2008, 4:36 AM
Bismarck leads N.D. in growth
Patrick Springer, The Forum
Published Thursday, July 10, 2008

Bismarck led North Dakota cities in population gains last year as people flocked to the state’s booming oil patch.

The capital city added 920 people, or an increase of 1.6 percent, according to new Census Bureau estimates for the year ending July 1, 2007.

Fargo followed with a gain of 843, or 0.9 percent, among a string of cities posting increases that also included West Fargo, Mandan, Grand Forks, Minot, Dickinson and Williston.

“The biggest macro pattern is the growth in the western side of the state,” demographer Richard Rathge, director of the North Dakota State Data Center, said Wednesday.

If anything, he said the estimates fail to capture the rapid growth in the energy belt, and western North Dakota now is leading the state’s population growth – a reversal of the region’s longstanding erosion of people.

http://img74.imageshack.us/img74/1558/censusndhd2.jpg

“The real driver now is really the western part of the state,” Rathge said.

Dickinson’s population’s grew by 286, to 15,916, and Williston added 211, for a total of 12,393, according to the new census estimates embargoed for release until today. Minot, which has not seen an increase in the estimates since 2000, grew by 18, to 35,281.

All three cities are beneficiaries of the growing demand for goods and services associated with the activity in the oilfields, Rathge said.

Bismarck also has benefitted from the oil boom, said Carl Hokenstad, the city’s planning director.

“We are close to the energy activity,” he said. “We’re kind of on the edge of that.”

Bismarck’s estimated population has grown by 3,971 since 2000, a gain of 7.2 percent, to 59,503. That compares to a gain of 2,061, or 2.3 percent, for Fargo, which now has an estimated population of 92,660.

Jim Gilmour, the city of Fargo’s planning director, believes Fargo’s population is closer to 97,000, and has been underestimated.

Still, he’s encouraged that the Census Bureau’s official estimates now show Fargo is growing for the first time since 2004.

“I think they still missed quite a bit of growth that happened in the early 2000s here,” Gilmour said. “It’s a positive sign. We see the growth.” Building permit valuations, for example, are up 30 percent for the first six months of the year.

West Fargo’s strong growth continues with the latest numbers. Its population is estimated at 23,081, after adding 681 people. Since 2000, West Fargo has grown by 8,141, a whopping 54.5 percent.

That’s by far the largest sustained gain in the state, more than double Bismarck’s growth for the period.

In the Fargo-Moorhead metro area, Moorhead also grew to 35,329, an increase of 672, while Dilworth rose to 3,503, a gain of 93.

“Moorhead’s the sleeper,” Rathge said of future growth in the metro area. “You’ll see Moorhead taking off. Moorhead’s going to be the West Fargo of Fargo-Moorhead.”

In nearby Minnesota communities, Detroit Lakes added 69, with an estimated population of 8,030, while Fergus Falls edged up by 13, to 13,697, according to the new estimates.

As for the growth in western North Dakota, Rathge said the challenge will be to add the infrastructure to help maintain the trend.

“The biggest problem we’re seeing right now is housing,” he said.

Municipalities and developers are bound to be cautious, considering the economic fallout from the bust of the oil boom of the late 1970s and early 1980s.

“Many of them got burned,” Rathge said. So far, however, the recent energy boom seems to be driven by a rise in global demand, which bodes well for a more sustained upswing, he added.

One key to success will be what happens with the new oil wealth that is being created in many of the areas in southwest and northwest North Dakota.

“If they just take it and run, then it’s going to be like the ’80s,” Rathge said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Patrick Springer at (701) 241-5522

F-Misthebest
Jul 11, 2008, 4:43 AM
Nanobison, I just checked out your blog again and looked at the drawing of the "Front" and there are some great similarities to it and the Fargo-Moorhead Frame work Plan. Do you think possibly there are some city officials who read this. I mean they took your panorama picture too and used it for the news. Who knows? Anyways, will you ever start that blog up again?

Paulyt23
Jul 12, 2008, 9:14 PM
I don't put much trust in the census estimates. They under-estimated the population of GF in 2000, and I'm sure it's the same story now. I'm sure they've undercounted Fargo as well (even more so). A much more realistic figure for Fargo is probably 97,000-100,000, and 54,000 for GF. I think the census has a really hard time estimating the size of university cities which is strange given all of the advances in statistical techniques and models during the last 10-20 years.

Doc
Jul 15, 2008, 1:42 PM
25th St. store set to close July 27
Forum staff reports, The Forum
Published Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A Fargo Starbucks store will close this month as a result of corporate downsizing nationwide.

The last day for the Starbucks at 1310 25th St S. is July 27, according to an employee who answered the phone there Monday afternoon.

The store is one of 600 locations selected nationwide to close, according to a news release on the company’s Web site. It’s one of seven total Starbucks locations in the Fargo-Moorhead area.

Earlier this month, Starbucks said in a statement that 70 percent of the stores to be closed were opened after the start of 2006.

The locations set to close include ones that “were not profitable and not projected to provide acceptable returns in the foreseeable future,” the statement said.

About 12,000 workers will be affected by the closings, which are expected to take place over the next year, according to Valerie O’Neill, a spokeswoman for the company.

O’Neill said most of the employees will be moved to nearby stores, but she did not know exactly how many jobs will be lost.

NysOne
Jul 15, 2008, 1:53 PM
The TJ Maxx plaza is getting remodeled. This is a much need remodeling project in town and hopefully the end result is decent.

I heard that a DSW Shoe Warehouse is going in there...it will be great to have more choices for shoes!

SmileyBoy
Jul 15, 2008, 8:56 PM
I heard that a DSW Shoe Warehouse is going in there...it will be great to have more choices for shoes!

Awesome!!! Then I'll have to update my list!!

ww6789
Jul 15, 2008, 9:50 PM
My wife is happy about the DSW. According to her it's a great place.

F-Misthebest
Jul 16, 2008, 2:17 AM
NDSU thinking big
Amy Dalrymple, The Forum
Published Monday, July 14, 2008

This fall will be crowded at North Dakota State University.

Officials expect another record year of enrollment and more demand for on-campus housing that could result in up to 300 students living in hotels.

NDSU also needs to accommodate more than 30 new faculty positions created to keep up with the growth.

Finding a place for everyone is a challenge, but NDSU is leasing new space, adding more class sections and working toward opening one of the two new downtown facilities.

President Joseph Chapman said he’s sensitive to maintaining adequate facilities as the university expands.

http://img136.imageshack.us/img136/1005/sgcndsumi1.jpg
http://img136.imageshack.us/img136/9141/ndsuorientationmq6.jpg

“My concern is that as we grow we have the same quality of education that we’ve always had,” Chapman said.

Signs point to another record enrollment this fall, though it’s too early to know how much the increase could be, said Prakash Mathew, vice president for student affairs.

Last fall, enrollment grew 2.2 percent to 12,527 students.

This summer, NDSU added an extra session of orientation to accommodate a large freshman class.

As of Friday, more than 2,300 potential freshmen attended orientation, and there are two more sessions planned in August.

Mathew anticipates 85 percent of those at orientation will become students.

“Adding another orientation session tells me our number will be much higher than last year,” Mathew said.

Again this year, the freshman class is looking like it will have more students from Minnesota than North Dakota, Mathew said.

Emily Dilliard of Minneapolis said she chose NDSU for its equine studies program and the location.

“I wanted to go away from home but not so far away from home,” said Dilliard, who attended orientation on Thursday.

NDSU expects nearly 1,000 international students this fall from 80 countries, Chapman said. Last fall there were 802 international students.

Graduate student enrollment is expected to stay stable at about 1,800 students.

This fall, NDSU will open Living Learning Center West, a 166-bed residence hall for upper-class students.

But even with that new facility, NDSU is preparing to temporarily house up to 300 students in hotels, said Rian Nostrum, associate director of operations for residence life.

NDSU routinely has students in overflow housing each fall, but campus officials are preparing for more than usual, Nostrum said.

The demand is fueled not only by enrollment growth, but also by more interest from returning students to live on campus, Nostrum said.

Last year, 40 students stayed in hotels. Fall 2004 was the last time the demand was this high, with more than 200 students housed in hotels.

‘Problem year’

To accommodate more students, NDSU is adding additional 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. classes this fall to make better use of classroom space.

“That may not be the most popular, for both students and faculty,” Mathew said.

NDSU also is expanding classes offered during evenings and online.

Layne Gruman, a freshman from Lakeville, Minn., said he had no problem registering for classes at the times he wanted.

Gruman will live in Reed Hall, though he knows some students who registered late who will likely be in hotels.

In August, three departments will move to the first floor of the Stop-N-Go Center, a new apartment complex on 19th Avenue North adjacent to the gas station.

NDSU is leasing the 23,000-square-foot space for the budget, payroll and human resources offices, distance and continuing education, the couple and family therapy center and the counseling program.

Bruce Frantz, director of facilities management, said those departments were chosen because they have less interaction with the rest of the campus.

Two floors of Klai Hall, one of two downtown facilities under construction, will be ready to hold classes at the start of the semester, architect Terry Stroh said.

The former Lincoln Mutual Life building will house architecture and landscape architecture.

Faculty offices, an architecture library and the basement will not be ready until later this fall, Stroh said.

Additional buses and bus routes will be added to transport students and employees, Frantz said.

Moving to the new leased space, which officials call the SGC Building, and Klai Hall will free up some room on the main campus, Frantz said.

The SGC also has classroom space that could be used this fall “if we find we’re really hard pressed,” Frantz said.

Classes also could be held at the Skills Training and Technology Center, also on 19th Avenue North, but officials aren’t planning on it yet.

Everyone will be able to breathe easier a year from now when the 140,000-square-foot Richard H. Barry Hall opens downtown.

The College of Business facility will include 16 classrooms, a 235-seat lecture hall and about 100 faculty offices.

“This is our problem year,” Frantz said. “It’s a great problem to have, but we need to accommodate students and faculty as best we can.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter Amy Dalrymple at (701) 241-5590

F-Misthebest
Jul 16, 2008, 2:39 PM
Fargo, Bismarck earn spots among best small cities
Forum staff reports, The Forum
Published Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Fargo and Bismarck are the only North Dakota cities represented in the rankings of best small cities in the nation.

Money magazine released its list of the top 100 cities with populations of 50,000 to 300,000. Fargo took 88th place and Bismarck 97th.

The magazine cites Fargo’s strengths as a cultural college town with a strong nightlife, economy and medical industry – calling it “one of the most dynamic places in the famously frigid North.”

“We’ll take it,” Fargo-Moorhead Convention and Visitors Bureau President Cole Carley said. “It’s always nice to get that kind of exposure because it tends to start breaking that ice ceiling. It’s nice to be named top anything.”

The magazine commends Bismarck for having a robust economy as well as a safe community with an emphasis on outdoor activities.

Plymouth, Minn., placed first in the magazine’s rankings. Eight other Minnesota cities – mostly in the metro area – made the list.

No South Dakota cities made the list, but Sioux Falls was 51st in this year’s Inc.com’s “Best U.S. Cities Doing Business” list. Fargo was 46th, Bismarck 52nd, Grand Forks, N.D., 101st and Rapid City, S.D., 177th.

F-Misthebest
Jul 16, 2008, 2:42 PM
Web site lets F-M visitors sound off
Tracy Frank, The Forum
Published Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Cole Carley knows the risks of encouraging people to post uncensored comments and videos to the Fargo-Moorhead Convention and Visitors Bureau’s new Web site and YouTube channel.

But they’re risks the F-M CVB president and chief executive officer is willing to take.

“The battle for consumer attention and consumer spending is increasingly going to be fought on the Internet,” he said.

The F-M CVB unveiled its redesigned Web site Tuesday. The site, which cost nearly $30,000, was revamped to help visitors find information easier and to allow visitors to share their views of the area.

The bureau also set up a YouTube channel for users to share videos of their experiences in Fargo-Moorhead. YouTube is a video sharing Web site where people can post and watch video clips.

The F-M CVB based the design of its site on its new marketing theme, “Fargo-Moorhead: Always Warm.”

Several links on the site encourage visitors to read stories of warmth in Fargo-Moorhead, such as one family’s visit to the Red River Zoo or one about a hotel manager who loaned a stranded guest his car.

The first several posts are adapted from true stories told by Fargo-Moorhead visitors, Carley said. Those will be removed as more stories are posted, he said.

“It’s a great representation of the community and it’s going to be great to see it grow,” said Brian Matson, F-M CVB marketing manager, who directed the Web site redesign. “It’s going to be a great tool for the community.”

The F-M CVB’s YouTube channel features promotional tourism videos and videos of local events. Links to videos on the channel include Vikings fighting, local anchors laughing on the air, and 1½ minutes of people saying, “yeah,” edited from the movie, “Fargo.”

The bureau will not screen postings to its Web site or YouTube channel, Carley said. While Carley said he was nervous about the idea, he said Web sites lose credibility if they edit out disparaging content.

“There’s bound to be something that’s posted that’s inappropriate,” he said. “There’s bound to be something that’s posted that’s not favorable, but that’s kind of the nature of the Internet.”

The F-M CVB Web site, www.fargomoorhead.org, also includes enhancements such as a new sports facilities guide and improved event planning features. Attractions, hotels, restaurants, meeting rooms and athletic venues are mapped with directions and pull-out photos.

“This Web site is very extensive compared to any of the other sites that I’ve worked on,” said Tara Bangsund, account manager for Flint Communications, which engineered and designed the site.

This is the fourth time the F-M CVB has remodeled its Web site.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Tracy Frank at (701) 241-5526

F-Misthebest
Jul 16, 2008, 2:45 PM
Downtown sidewalks crumbling
Helmut Schmidt, The Forum
Published Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Visitors to Fargo’s Downtown Street Fair will get an eyeful of Broadway’s revitalization as they see renovated storefronts up and down the street.

Walking to and from the fair, well, that offers a very different eyeful.

Once off Broadway, downtown visitors are greeted with crumbling curbs and cracked, heaving and weed-strewn sidewalks.

Work around projects such as North Dakota State University Downtown and the Vogel Law Firm have led to significant improvements in spots, but damage or neglect in other areas is bad enough that missteps by the unwary can invite falls and injuries.

Even Broadway, just four years removed from an $8 million overhaul that included everything from new water and storm sewer lines to street lamps and flower baskets, has broken and cracked decorative brick at the intersections with First Avenue and NP Avenue.

While the brick on Broadway should be repaired in the next couple of years, the rest of downtown will likely not see comprehensive renovation for years, city and business community officials said Tuesday.

City Engineer Mark Bittner estimated a price tag of

$75 million to $100 million to redo downtown’s sewer, water, streets, curbs, gutters and sidewalks. That’s money that’s not available, he said.

“There’s just a real need down there,” Bittner said. “Essentially what has to be done with most of those streets downtown is what was done with Broadway, storefront to storefront.”

But that would be “heavy work,” he said.

“It’s one of the many capital needs that needs to be addressed in the future,” City Planner Jim Gilmour said.

Other street, sewer and water projects have taken precedence as the city sprawls south and west, Bittner said.

Work on curbs, gutter and sidewalks is far down the list of priorities, he said. It’s something addressed as complaints arise or liability issues are found, he said.

A decision that could speed the revamping of downtown infrastructure is whether to turn NP Avenue or First Avenue North into two-way roads, Bittner and Gilmour said.

Dave Anderson, president of the Downtown Community Partnership said there are areas on both sides of Broadway that could use investment in infrastructure.

Rebuilding the rest of the old city center should spark the type of investment seen on Broadway, he said.

“We referred to it as setting the table,” Anderson said of the Broadway project.

“It can make a great difference, it really can,” he said. “I think the Broadway project gave the building owners up and down the street the confidence to make their own improvements.”

Anderson said the crumbling brickwork in Broadway’s intersections with NP Avenue and First Avenue North will be repaired in the next year or two.

He said the contractor and city officials learned the brick was not hard enough to stand the heavy traffic at those intersections. The brick will be replaced with tougher material, like that used on intersections farther to the north on Broadway, he said.

In the meantime, residents with complaints about sidewalks can call the city engineering department, City Inspector Jim Mohr said.

If a problem is found, the property owner is notified and then he or she has 30 days to decide if they will get the work done by the city or hire a private contractor, Mohr said.

But comprehensive work on the downtown sidewalks, curbs and gutters?

That “may be a few years,” Bittner said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Helmut Schmidt at (701) 241-5583

F-Misthebest
Jul 16, 2008, 2:49 PM
Value of building permits up in Fargo
Helmut Schmidt, The Forum
Published Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A boom in the value of commercial construction in Fargo has pushed the value of building permits for the first half of this year 44 percent higher than during the same period last year.

The value of building permits from January through the end of June is $134.4 million, up from $92.6 million in the same period in 2007, Planning Director Jim Gilmour reported Monday.

“I think we’re in pretty good shape” in terms of construction activity, Gilmour said.

He expects the value of this year’s construction permits to top 2007’s $265 million, which was a big dip from the record $339 million in permits issued in 2006.

Permit totals for 2004 hit $238 million and rose to $296 million in 2005, Gilmour said.

Permits for new commercial construction totaled nearly $47 million for the first half of this year. That’s up from $13.85 million in the same period last year.

Large commercial projects contributing to that total include:

- Bethany on 42nd retirement community (three buildings), 4255 30th Ave. S., $19.4 million.

- Urban Plains Center, 5220 30th Ave. S. $14.86 million.

- Microsoft (two buildings), 4140 and 3950 Great Plains Drive S., $3.7 million.

- Houston Engineering, 1401, 21st Ave. N., $1.9 million.

The value of permits issued for new row houses soared to nearly $7.2 million in the first half of this year, up from $540,000 in the same period last year.

Permits for new single-family homes and twinhomes are down, city figures show.

There were 85 new single-family home permits totaling $15.1 million issued for the first half of this year, compared with 108 permits worth more than $18.9 million issued in the same period last year. Eighteen twinhome permits stood were issued for a total value of $2.6 million for the first half of this year, compared with 68 for nearly $8.5 million in the same period last year.

“It’s still a real nice, healthy level of construction,” Gilmour said. “I don’t think we’re in the doldrums. I don’t think we’ve ever had much of a decline.”

The value of remodeling permits for commercial properties was up considerably for the first half of this year.

Permits for 220 projects totaling $21 million were issued for the first half of this year, compared with 248 permits for $14.8 million in the same period last year, city figures show.

Residential remodeling permits saw a more modest rise, with 679 permits valued at $7.3 million issued in the first half of this year, compared with 584 permits valued at $6.1 million in the same period last year, city figures show

While more permits were issued for apartment buildings in the first six months of this year, fewer units were created. Permits for four projects producing 130 apartments were issued totaling $9.8 million so far this year. Two permits creating 205 apartments with a value of $7.5 million were issued in the same time last year, city figures show.

Construction on Sts. Anne and Joachim Church at 5220 25th St. S. added $7.2 million to the permit total for the first half of this year. That put church construction at $9.23 million, up from $2.6 million at the same time last year, city figures show. In coming months, Gilmour said he expects two large commercial permits to be issued, one for a Super Wal-Mart on the southwest corner of 52nd Avenue South and Interstate 29 ($7 million) and the other for the Hilton Garden Inn, a 110-room hotel and convention center at 4351 17th Ave. S. That project will total $9 million, though a $1 million permit was issued earlier for foundation work, Gilmour said.

Another $10 million permit is expected for a new greenhouse facility at North Dakota State University, Gilmour said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Helmut Schmidt at (701) 241-5583

matthew2109
Jul 16, 2008, 3:47 PM
Woody's Bar is supposedly constructing a deck on the rear side of the building

F-Misthebest
Jul 16, 2008, 4:09 PM
Library board requests more details on project
Kim Winnegge, The Forum
Published Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Some members of the Moorhead Public Library Board say that city staff has done an inadequate job of informing the board about projected costs regarding possible building renovations or relocation of the library.

Board member Randy Stefanson said Tuesday that he wasn’t comfortable with figures presented by the city, which compared the cost of renovating the existing library block to the old Moorhead power plant.

Total projected costs to reuse the power plant site rests at about $9.6 million.

The total projected cost to demolish and construct a new library at its existing location could cost $15.4 million, according to a consulting firm contracted to gather data. That estimate includes a potential buyout of the McDonald properties.

Owner Gerald McDonald of Fargo requested $925,254 for the library to acquire the site.

http://img234.imageshack.us/img234/7350/libraryfu6.jpg

Current market value for that property is $224,000, according to the city of Moorhead’s Web site.

Stefanson made a motion to wait on a recommendation to the council until the city staff presented more data to the library board.

Stefanson asked community services director Scott Hutchins and Pete Doll, Moorhead’s manager of development services, to look into what types of special assessments may be asked of nearby neighbors and traffic concerns with a new library at the power plant site. He also wants to know the potential resale value of the site once it’s been remediated.

The motion passed 6-1, with board member Cynthia Saar dissenting because she wanted the issue to go to the City Council.

“We better get our ducks in a row before we ask them to do anything,” Stefanson said. “I don’t think these numbers adequately represent what might really happen (when construction begins in three years). … These numbers are not convincing me yet.”

Meyer Scherer & Rockcastle, a Minneapolis architectural firm, provided a comparison showing costs associated with building a new library facility on the existing site – expanded to include the McDonald properties on the northwest corner of the block – and costs with converting the power plant into a library.

The existing library site would provide the library with visibility on the well-traveled Main Avenue, said Jack Poling, representing the architectural firm.

The city could ask residents to vote on a bond referendum to deal with some costs associated with the library project, said Moorhead city manager Michael Redlinger.

“We have to make sure that we are in tune with what the community wants,” Redlinger said. “That’s part of the ongoing conversation of what this community has for long-term goals.”

Library director Anne Fredine said she understands the board’s need for more information on the project.

“I think we’ve made progress,” she said. “They simply need more information. The reality is that they have to be comfortable with the information presented to them.”

At Tuesday’s library meeting, Moorhead resident Mark Chekola said he was originally opposed to the library moving to the power plant site, because he felt the city hadn’t asked the nearby neighborhood their opinion on the matter.

He said he assumed several homes in the area would need to be obtained to make way for a new library. He now supports the library’s potential presence in that area.

“It seems to me that it could be a really stunning location for the libraryand a very creative reuse of a historic building,” Chekola said. “It would be a really exciting location. I think it could, in a way, put us on the map.”

The board’s next meeting is Aug. 12 at 5:30 p.m. at the library. Stefanson said he hopes city staff will present the board with more information at that time.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Kim Winnegge at (701) 241-5524

F-Misthebest
Jul 16, 2008, 9:24 PM
There's a lot of activity happening in the past couple of days. I drove down to 52nd the other week and they have started on the District. Also as you drive down 45th street, there are two new signs that say "Taco Bell: coming soon" and "Taco John's: coming soon" Urban Plains is shaping up to be Fargo's "Little Mexico."

F-Misthebest
Jul 17, 2008, 9:20 PM
I went to NDSU downtown today to take a tour of it. My tour guide said she was in a meeting and some of the big wigs said they said they were talking about taking down the Fargo Cinema Grill and build a student housing complex. I also went to the downtown street fair, and went to the open houses of the Kilbourne Group. The buildings are coming along great and had great information.

NanoBison
Jul 18, 2008, 12:17 AM
I went to NDSU downtown today to take a tour of it. My tour guide said she was in a meeting and some of the big wigs said they said they were talking about taking down the Fargo Cinema Grill and build a student housing complex....

Now that would be interesting! I'm all for more and more folks moving in downtown. Also if you all haven't read, June was the busiest month EVER at the Hector International Airport with the following statistics...

Total passenger count for the month was 59,456, which is up 14.4% over the same period last year.

:tup:

Good to see that Delta pulling out didn't have too much of an effect on the numbers. I'm just waiting though to see just how many folks use the new Allegiant Service at Grand Forks. I personally think that Allegiant is shooting themselves in the foot on this one. Why split passenger loads up on planes, when they know darn well that folks will drive 50 minutes to fly out of Fargo. Makes no sense to me, other than the typical pissing and moaning going on up in Grand Forks. I'll be extremely pissed off at Grand Forks (more than usual) if the passenger loads aren't enough to keep service going and they pull out of BOTH cities.

:hell:

If I was running NWA, I would stop all service to G.F. in a hear beat based purely on business reasoning.
Folks will obviously drive to Fargo to fly out. Increase load factors in Fargo and introduce more feeder routes.
I think it's total BS that Grand Forks fares are lower or equal to Fargo/Minneapolis fares. They are farther away, hence should cost more.
But you know what they say in Grand Forks! "That's not fair!"

:hell::hell:

ww6789
Jul 18, 2008, 11:26 AM
Here is the official Starbucks closing list. The three stores that I thought to be candidates for the ax are on the list. Strip mall owners need not worry - these locations will soon be occupied by another Subway or Extreme Pita.

http://www.starbucks.com/aboutus/USStoreClosureInfo.pdf

Doc
Jul 18, 2008, 1:29 PM
So they are closing ALL of the stores near the urban core, and the ones with the best access to freeways and commuters. That is f'n insane. I'm not going to be going to them for coffee anymore because of their own stupidity. Sayonara.:hell:

ajays
Jul 18, 2008, 2:24 PM
On my way home yesterday I saw that the old Dollar store building in front of Walmart is sold.
And it looks like Big D's is building a patio, too.

Doc
Jul 18, 2008, 3:44 PM
Talked to the real estate agent representing the Kilbourne group a few days ago and was told that they have plans for downtown well beyond the current projects and the Richtmans building.

Also know that new faculty at NDSU, when given a tour of the downtown campus with Joe Chapman are told similar things about the Cinema Grill, BUT that there are also possibilities for the whole block to add more retail in addition to housing (sounds like a lifestyle center). Sounds like it is still an option, but how cool would THAT be?

F-Misthebest
Jul 18, 2008, 3:59 PM
Wow, according to that list they are not closing any stores in South Dakota. That seems odd. Oh well, I like Babbs and Atomic better.

The lifestyle center downtown would be so amazing. That would not only benefit the downtown campus, but the downtown itself. I bet they could come up with some modern architecture for the building. Add some pizzaz to downtown. For the residence part, how many stories would everyone like to see built. Maybe 5 and up? I'm not sure if that is doable but it would look really cool.

I also saw that the Big Dollar building sold. i'm curious to see what will go in there, or if they tear down the building and build some other restaurant.

I was thinking about some retail or restaurants that could move into the Kilbourne groups buildings or if the downtown framework plan goes through what retail and restaurants could go into that mixed-use mid-rise on 2nd street overlooking the river. I think maybe a Red Robin for a restaurant. Williams and Sonoma maybe for a store? Talk about it.

Doc
Jul 18, 2008, 4:02 PM
I would like to see a Ted's Montana Grill. It fits the area and the food is fresh, simple, and totally good.

http://www.tedsmontanagrill.com/

NysOne
Jul 21, 2008, 2:33 PM
It's good to see the area businesses are being pro-active! Woody's has submitted for a permit to build a deck off the back...The O.B. (Old Broadway) has submitted for a permit to build an area on their roof...Bismarck Tavern is trying to do something (not sure exactly what)...and I'm sure many others will follow. Smokers could/would even smoke in those areas when it's cold...they could put those portable heaters out.

I'm not a smoker, but I feel for the area businesses...the 'garage parties' are taking over their customers!

Doc
Jul 21, 2008, 2:46 PM
Owner of Dempsey's says business is up since the ban. I have a feeling the lost business is offset by nonsmokers who avoided bars. Folks in this area will keep drinking, even if they banned breathing altogether.

F-Misthebest
Jul 22, 2008, 4:07 PM
Bus ridership up 28 percent in F-M this year
Forum staff reports, The Forum
Published Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The rapid rise in the price of gasoline and diesel fuel in the first six months of this year is making the bus look like a good deal to Fargo-Moorhead residents, transit officials said Monday.

Still, even that may get a little more expensive to handle as fare hikes are being sought to defray the costs of fuel and replacement buses, said Julie Bommelman, Fargo Transit Administrator.

Fargo bus ridership is up 28 percent in the first half of this year, compared with the first half of 2007, Bommelman said.

Metro Area Transit figures show 604,913 Fargo riders in the first six months of the year, compared with 472,482 in the same period in 2007.

“A lot of folks seem to be trying us out,” she said. “They may not be getting on board 100 percent yet, but they’re giving it a shot.”

Moorhead bus ridership rose 10 percent, Bommelman said. Ridership for the first half of this year was 195,372, compared with 178,320 for the same period in 2007.Bommelman says the boom in business can be tied to commuters looking for a break from high fuel prices. Some riders are also trying the bus to see if they can’t make their lifestyle more eco-friendly, she said.

“Our customers can pay $35 to get unlimited rides on MAT for 30 days,” Bommelman said. “In many vehicles, $35 only buys you half a tank of gas, so people realize that their dollars go a lot further with MAT.”

Fuel price hikes also have hit MAT, and rising steel prices have made buses more expensive, too, she said. To help defray those costs, Bommelman said MAT is seeking increases in the price of single rides from $1 to $1.25 and monthly passes from $35 to $40.

Fargo’s Route 15 from downtown to West Acres and Wal-Mart, has seen a 90 percent increase in ridership since January, MAT figures show.

The increase is due in part to adding a second bus on the route, allowing buses to run every 30 minutes, MAT reported.

MAT also is considering adding a route to the Osgood neighborhood, in southwest Fargo, Bommelman said.

MAT officials said promotional efforts have also helped increase ridership. For more information on using the bus system, call (701) 232-7500 or go online to www.matbus.com.

ajays
Jul 22, 2008, 4:56 PM
Kum and Go in WF is closed.

F-Misthebest
Jul 23, 2008, 1:41 AM
That was a good first post for the 100th page lol. Anyways I was looking around at some other development sites and found this development in the making.

http://img71.imageshack.us/img71/6250/developmentplanrp3.jpg

matthew2109
Jul 23, 2008, 2:57 AM
Kum and Go in WF is closed.

That was a good first post for the 100th page lol

well they came and went :shrug:

ajays
Jul 23, 2008, 1:12 PM
well they came and went :shrug:

Well, I guess someone should have got there before me and made a huge deal about it. Sorry! :cool:

F-Misthebest
Jul 24, 2008, 8:28 PM
Fargo ranks No. 5 in healthiest cities
The Forum
Published Thursday, July 24, 2008

If you’re looking for a healthy city, you’re in the right place.

Fargo ranks No. 5 in a recent list of the top 10 cities to live and retire in, according to AARP The Magazine.

Reasons for Fargo’s ranking:

- Its No. 9 ranking in the nation for regular flossing and brushing.

- One of the best air-quality index scores.

- The use of biodiesel fuel to power transit buses.

- A serious commitment to incorporate methane-powered generators, solar panels and wind generators into the city’s infrastructure.

AARP The Magazine evaluated more than 20 measures of vitality to help make its decisions.

It incorporated not only the physical aspects of a community (clean air and water), but also the health and habits of people who live there, taking into special consideration the health needs of people age 50 and older.

Opportunities for exercise, number of doctors, availability of health care, diagnosis of health problems and healthy eating habits were among the criteria.

The magazine also evaluated housing affordability, the local economy, educational resources, crime, climate, recreational amenities, and arts and culture.

Ann Arbor, Mich.; Honolulu; Madison, Wis.; and Santa Fe, N.M., made the top of AARP’s list.

F-Misthebest
Jul 24, 2008, 8:29 PM
Fargo officials consider 3rd zone
Helmut Schmidt, The Forum
Published Thursday, July 24, 2008

Fargo may soon have a third renaissance zone to continue improvements in the downtown district.

But how quickly any investment comes will depend on whether investment tax credits can be freed up from a zone created for North Dakota State University’s Research and Technology Park, or if the Legislature can be persuaded to refill its investment fund kitty.

The Renaissance Zone Authority unanimously approved the third zone on Wednesday. The request for the zone came from Richard Engen, president of Fargo’s Financial Advantage Investment Services LLC.

Approval came with a lively debate over what constitutes an investment in the downtown area – capital improvements or more jobs?

Authority members also directed city planners to work with Engen to set the rules for investing in the zone.

The new renaissance zone must be approved by the City Commission.

City Planner Jim Gilmour said he wants to see capital investment in buildings to raise property values and create jobs.

“Buying an existing building may be an improvement in Mayville (N.D.), but not here,” Gilmour said.

“There’s only so many funds available. I think they should be put into projects that improve downtown and improve property values.”

Engen argued that if his investors buy a firm with five employees, and then hire seven more employees in a year, that would be a significant investment and should qualify for tax credits.

No tax credits are now available for another renaissance zone in Fargo or around the state, Senior Planner Bob Stein said.

Tony Grindberg, executive director of the NDSU Research and Technology Park, told the state Department of Commerce in a June 26 letter that NDSU Research Park Ventures plans to raise $4.8 million, and thereby capture the $2.4 million in tax credits available for large cities in the state. Of the money raised, $3 million is to go to capital investment in the tech park, and $1.8 million is planned for the downtown renaissance zone.

Grindberg also said renaissance zone funds should not just be perks for investors.

“We want to make a difference. This is different from a banker who wants to invest,” Grindberg said. “The tipping point is to make the downtown better.”

Dave Anderson, president of the Fargo Downtown Community Partnership, said the rules protect taxpayers.

“This committee has held property owners to a very high bar,” Anderson said.

Engen declined to talk about potential investments, saying those discussions would be private with his investors.

“A new fund is going to be necessary” to keep investment going downtown, Anderson said, adding that he hopes lawmakers will put more money into the renaissance zone fund.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Helmut Schmidt at (701) 241-5583

F-Misthebest
Jul 24, 2008, 8:34 PM
UP Center leaves great impression
Mike McFeely,
Published Wednesday, July 23, 2008

When you hear a giant swoosh, you’ll know the opening of the Urban Plains Center is near.

“Toilet flushing day. It’s a huge day for any arena being built. All the people come over and flush a toilet. It tells you that the plumbing is working and you’re ready to go,” says Lance Johnson. “I can still remember the big picture
in the Grand Forks Herald of Dean (Blais) flushing a urinal at Engelstad Arena. It’s a big day.”

Johnson is the general manager of the UP Center, under construction in Ace Brandt’s massive city-within-a-city development in southwest Fargo. The day when the plumbing works is still a ways off – and we hope the UP folks alert the media when they have a date locked in so we can get video and audio of the momentous occasion – but Tuesday was a milestone of sorts for the arena: 100 days until the doors open to the public. The USHL’s Fargo Force host the Sioux Falls Stampede on Oct. 30.

Johnson was kind enough to give yours truly a tour of the facility Tuesday morning. Call it a taste of winter in July.

The verdict: You’re gonna be impressed.



If you can put aside the financial Hula Hoops the UP Center had to negotiate, and some of the conflict-of-interest questions regarding public employees involved in the facility, and whatever doubts you might have about who’ll eventually pay for the building – you’re going to like what you see once the doors are unlocked.

Of course, 25 million bucks should buy some superlatives. Not as many as $100 million bought in Grand Forks, but a few.

“I’ve had the blueprints on my kitchen table forever, so my wife has seen them. But even when I bring her over here, she’s like ‘Oh my gosh,’” Johnson says. “I’m like, ‘What’d you expect? You’ve seen the blueprints.’”

But it is different to walk around inside an actual building, no matter how many times you’ve seen the UP Center’s blueprints, renderings or computer animation models. You can picture what the arena will look like when the walls are finished with slate tiles and the concession stands have granite countertops. It’s real, right there before you.

At first glance, it’s bigger than you imagined – but maybe that’s just because we’re used to Fargo-Moorhead hockey arenas being Coliseum-sized. There are concrete terraces encircling the arena bowl, which is where the 3,000 reserved seats will go. Immediately above that will be club seats ringing the arena, basically a bar railing with stools for seating. Above that, at concourse level, will be a ring of 36 suites. At both ends of the rink at ice level will be bleachers that’ll serve as general admission seats for Force games and student seating for high school events.

Four suites, two at each end, have been eliminated to allow for open space between the concourse and the arena. The space will be furnished with barstools and tables and will serve as a common gathering area, given its proximity to the beer stands.

The UP Center will be, as Johnson and others have said, the perfect size for the Force and North Dakota high school hockey and basketball tournaments. It is large enough (and will be well-appointed enough) to have a big-time feel, but small enough that it’ll never be cavernously empty.

The concourses, wisely, will have several floor-to-ceiling windows that eliminate the claustrophobic, casino-like feeling of some arenas. There’ll be two concession areas and two sets of restrooms on each side of the arena.

The 10,000-square-foot lobby will have concessions, too. The lobby will also include a restaurant, fireplace and small stage.

“We’ll have a band playing when people are coming in before games,” Johnson said. “It’ll make for a pretty festive atmosphere.”

Eventually, the west-facing lobby will connect the main arena to the four ice sheets planned for the UP Center. For now, all that’s beyond the lobby is a large North Dakota soybean field.

But things are progressing. Suites are sheet-rocked. The next couple of weeks will see the ice-making pipes laid and the concrete poured in the arena floor. The outline of an NHL-sized ice sheet is clearly delineated. Bit by bit, the UP Center is coming to life.

“I’ve been looking at blueprints for months. You ask the architects, ‘What about this? What’s this going to look like?’ And all they say is, ‘Don’t worry,’” Johnson said. “It’s amazing to see it come together. It hasn’t been an easy road to get here, but I think we’re going to see the fruits of all our labor.”

Agreed. Perhaps the sound of popping corks should follow that of flushing toilets.

Forum sports columnist Mike McFeely can be heard on the Saturday Morning Sports Show, 10 a.m. to noon on WDAY-AM (970). He can be reached at (701) 241-5580 or mmcfeely@forumcomm.com. McFeely’s blog can be found at www.areavoices.com

SmileyBoy
Jul 26, 2008, 3:41 AM
That was a good first post for the 100th page lol. Anyways I was looking around at some other development sites and found this development in the making.

http://img71.imageshack.us/img71/6250/developmentplanrp3.jpg

HOLY LEAPFROG DEVELOPMENT, BATMAN!! That'll easily double Frontier's size!!

SmileyBoy
Jul 26, 2008, 3:54 AM
Barnes & Noble eyeing Walgreens’ mall spot
Mila Koumpilova, The Forum
Published Friday, July 25, 2008


Fargo’s Barnes & Noble Booksellers might move to the West Acres mall in the store Walgreens is slated to vacate next year.

“We’re in the late stages of negotiating with Barnes & Noble to occupy the Walgreens space after a minor expansion to accommodate them,” said Brad Schlossman, West Acres chief executive officer.

If the two sides finalize a deal, the mall would expand the roughly 15,000-square-foot Walgreens space by about 12,000 square feet, Schlossman said. In addition, Barnes & Noble, the nation’s largest book retailer, would take over the former Stride Rite, which moved to a different mall spot, and Tom’s Shoe Repair, which is relocating to the J.C. Penney wing.

That would give a new Barnes & Noble a total of 32,000 square feet, or about 2,000 square feet more than its current location kitty-corner from the mall at 1201 42nd St. S.

That store is next to the former Grandma’s Saloon and Grill, which Walgreens purchased last year after winning a bidding war with Hooters over the coveted spot at the corner of 13th Avenue and 42nd Street.

Fargo issued Walgreens a building permit in February for that location, said senior planner Jim Hinderaker, and the company has six months to start construction before it has to reapply.

Walgreens spokeswoman Tiffany Bruce said company records show the new Fargo Walgreens store is still slated to open at the corner of 13th Avenue and 42nd Street in 2009.

Schlossman said the Barnes & Noble move would be part of a national company strategy of relocating from stand-alone stores to high-traffic malls: “Their history has shown that they’re very successful in mall locations.”

A new Barnes & Noble at the mall would open in late 2009 at the earliest, Schlossman said. He said the date for Walgreens’ 2009 departure from West Acres hasn’t been set.

The West Acres B. Dalton store, part of a chain Barnes & Noble acquired in the 1980s, would likely merge with the new Barnes & Noble.

The Barnes & Noble corporate office did not respond to an interview request Thursday. According to the company’s Web site, its roughly 800 stores nationwide average 25,000 square feet.

“We think they’ll fit right in and be successful from Day 1,” said Schlossman, adding, “Excitement is tempered by the fact that it’s not a done deal.”

F-Misthebest
Jul 26, 2008, 4:24 AM
I'm pretty sure that new development is in the boundaries of Fargo. Frontier wouldn't do such a thing. I think the development is called Maplewood or Maple Valley.

SmileyBoy
Jul 26, 2008, 4:27 AM
I'm pretty sure that new development is in the boundaries of Fargo. Frontier wouldn't do such a thing. I think the development is called Maplewood or Maple Valley.

No, that thing is south of Frontier. Between 59th Ave. South and 64th Ave. South.

matt35503
Jul 27, 2008, 1:51 AM
That development is south of Frontier but is within Fargo city limits, so its part of Fargo...

F-Misthebest
Jul 27, 2008, 5:19 AM
http://www.kilbournegroup.com/300_broadway.html

Check out the 3D Flyby movie. Looks very cool.

matt35503
Jul 27, 2008, 8:00 AM
Very nice video, I was downtown a few days ago and it looks like it is coming together well. I really think that if downtown Fargo wants to succeed, it needs to begin in-filling all those empty holes used as parking lots and build a few good ramps. Also does anyone have any info. on what exactly is going on in Urban Plains? I see some construction going on out there but it doesn't list what is going in those spots on its website.

NanoBison
Jul 27, 2008, 9:55 PM
That development south of Frontier is currently under construction. It looks like they are getting all the utilities in while the city is working on the interstate interchange. That should add quite a few homes to Fargo.

I'm also really starting to get excited about seeing how much the metropolitan area has really grown when the 2010 census takes place.

F-Misthebest
Jul 27, 2008, 11:37 PM
Yeah I am to. In 2000 it was 174,000 people I think and so now I think it's right around 200,000 and the CSA will probably be around 220,000 or 225,000.

MoreFM
Jul 28, 2008, 3:38 PM
The construction work north of Mexican Village (in the Urbain Plains development) on 45th is the foundation for the new Cheetah Mart.

Bethany Homes has started their work on their project near the intersection of 42nd St. and 32nd Ave. This appears to be a big project.

Ristretto opened a month or so ago in the multi-story building on 42nd St. and 40th Ave (Woodhaven). I am sure all the Microsoft employees their keep it going.

Has anyone heard what is to become of the old Bennigan's store on 45th now?

F-Misthebest
Jul 29, 2008, 2:53 AM
the new security checkpoint at Hector International

http://img77.imageshack.us/img77/802/newairportvv2.jpg

hellerz85
Jul 29, 2008, 5:49 PM
well here is the reason why bennigans closed down in fargo. Looks like the company filed for bankruptcy and will shut down all locations.
http://money.cnn.com/2008/07/29/news/companies/bennigans_bankruptcy.ap/index.htm?cnn=yes

jwmn
Jul 30, 2008, 6:44 PM
The strib article I read quoted someone as saying that the franchise-owned Bennigans (as opposed to the company-owned ones) are not part of the bankruptcy filing and will not be shut down. I wonder if that includes the one in Moorhead.
http://www.startribune.com/business/26055079.html?location_refer=Homepage:8