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F-Misthebest
Jul 30, 2008, 10:00 PM
this should clear up some stuff

Moorhead Bennigan’s to remain in business
Tracy Frank, The Forum
Published Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Moorhead Bennigan’s Grill and Tavern will not close, despite reports that Bennigan’s restaurants throughout the country are shutting down due to bankruptcy.

“At this point in time, we’re not sure what, if any effects it’s going to have on us,” said Lisa Stenstrom, controller of Sterling Restaurant Management Group, which does business as Bennigan’s Grill and Tavern in Moorhead.

“Our plan right now is just to remain open with business as usual,” she said.

While the Bennigan’s corporation sets up food contracts for better pricing, the Moorhead Bennigan’s restaurant buys its supplies independently, Stenstrom said.

S&A Restaurant Corp. and affiliates Steak & Ale and Bennigan’s Grill and Tavern restaurants have filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, according to a statement from Leah Templeton, company spokeswoman.

Stores operated by franchisees, such as the Moorhead location, are not named as debtors in the filings, Templeton said in the statement.

The filings do not include Ponderosa and Bonanza, which operate under Metromedia Steakhouses Co. L.P., Bennigan’s parent company, according to the statement.

“These are filed as liquidation cases. Future decisions regarding the affairs of the debtor companies will be determined and administered by the trustee,” Templeton said in a statement.

The company indicated in the filing that it has up to 49 creditors, according to a report by The Associated Press. It said it will have no funds left after administrative expenses are paid to repay its creditors.

A Chapter 7 bankruptcy case does not involve filing a repayment plan as in Chapter 13. Instead, a bankruptcy trustee gathers and sells the debtor’s nonexempt assets and uses the proceeds to pay creditors.

Stenstrom has not heard how many restaurants have closed. She did not hear about the bankruptcy from the company.

Templeton said that her statement, which did not include information on how many stores would close, is all the information she has at this time.

According to CBS 2 in Chicago, the corporate-owned locations make up about half of the chain.

The company’s Web site states there are more than 310 locations in 10 countries. The Web site does not say anything about the closings.

The Chicago news station also reported that managers said they were not warned of the mass shutdown, which went into effect at midnight Monday.

The Forum previously reported that the Fargo Bennigan’s restaurant, 1776 45th St. S., closed on June 29. That restaurant, which opened in November 1999, closed for unrelated reasons, Stenstrom said.

The Fargo Bennigan’s closed because the owner, Kevin Bartram, who also owns the Moorhead franchise, received an offer and decided to sell, she said.

It was the only Bennigan’s Grill and Tavern in North Dakota, according to the company’s Web site.

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.

Bennigan’s Grill and Tavern

- Ownership: Kevin Bartram

- Where: 3333 Highway 10 E., Moorhead

- Contact: (218) 291-3333

- Info: www.bennigans.com

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

wilson
Aug 6, 2008, 4:15 PM
A little birdie told me that all the Sunmarts are going through a major overhaul. Most of them are gonna become a "High end store" (Think Byerly's in the MSP area) and 2 of them are gonna become "value" stores to compete against Wal Mart. Those 2 are the ghetto mart (N University) and Moorhead off I94. Apparently the High End store is being tested in Hudson, WI right now, and is gonna be a go in Fargo.

matt35503
Aug 6, 2008, 6:21 PM
Did the birdie happen to have a time line for this overhaul?

ww6789
Aug 6, 2008, 6:34 PM
Thanks for the Sunmart info. We certainly need better grocery stores in Fargo. Here's a Fargo grocery question for the group -- has anyone noticed that the grocers pre-slice the deli meat. I've never been to a grocery deli (until I moved to Fargo) that didn't slice the meat of your choice fresh to order. Go into Hornbacher's at night and you'll see mounds of meat already sliced for the next day. Of course, I asked about this and they said it's more efficient and the presentation looks good. When I asked the deli worker about freshness and dried out meat, she said they pick out the dried out meat and throw it away -- nice. If you like deli meat, ask them to slice it fresh and maybe they'll get the right idea. I've never complained to management -- I just don't buy the meat. In the Publix grocery deli, they take the fresh whole meat and slice a sample for you. If you like it only then do they slice the full order. They always treat you to a sample.

Will

wilson
Aug 6, 2008, 9:30 PM
The time table I'm not sure on, but I think it's gonna be sooner rather than later. Also, the higher end stores are gonna be focused on a lot more perishable food, so the produce will be bigger, and the meat counter will have more choices as well as bigger. Also, there will be a larger health food area with specialists working in each store.

subterranean
Aug 6, 2008, 9:47 PM
Still cannot believe that this is the most active thread. Awesome.

fredstrom
Aug 7, 2008, 2:50 AM
Yah. I thought this was a large developments/skyscraper forum. Not deli meat.

Even the Sioux Falls thread, which is for a similar sized city if I'm not mistaken, has a lot more discussion on "major" type of developments like skyline additions and new beltways.

I think these cities are really interesting, but come on, what is really going on in Fargo that will shape its future?

BigTicket
Aug 7, 2008, 3:41 AM
Yah. I thought this was a large developments/skyscraper forum. Not deli meat.

Even the Sioux Falls thread, which is for a similar sized city if I'm not mistaken, has a lot more discussion on "major" type of developments like skyline additions and new beltways.

I think these cities are really interesting, but come on, what is really going on in Fargo that will shape its future?

The UP Center in Southwest Fargo is starting to take to shape, I believe they started pouring the concrete for the ice surface today. Hockey fanatics in Fargo have been waiting a long time to get a nice arena for themselves and for development fanatics like us the arena should elevate growth in that area of the city that has already been explosive.

NDSU is also progressing with their major construction projects in downtown, both buildings are really starting to take shape. I can't wait to see what the extra 4-5k people will do to downtown.

NDSU also hired a firm to look into naming rights for a basketball arena it wants to build in conjunction with the city. I've heard from more then a few people that if NDSU can find the money the arena will happen.

Microsoft has also started construction on their 70 million dollar expansion project.

matt35503
Aug 7, 2008, 9:34 AM
The rebuilt 52nd Ave interchange is progressing nicely with work finishing up on the new 6 lane double span over I29.

Stabilization continues on the dirt mounds that will be the new 57st SE interchange that will be built next year.

I have also seen plans for new housing developments south of Frontier, just West of Shanley High School, and near the new Bethany Assisted Living on 42nd St.

The city is still waiting on approving building permits for the new Walmart Supercenter on 52nd Ave and the new Hilton Garden Inn Convention Center on 17th Ave.

There is no news about a new beltway though, guess Sioux Falls must be better, sorry.

Doc
Aug 7, 2008, 2:11 PM
Yeah, amenities have NOTHING to do with growth and building. People living and working in new buildings gotta eat. After all, new Microsofties coming to town might want to know where they can get a decent sandwich.

It's all connected, dude. If you don't like it, go to some Chinese message board. I'm sure they have plenty to say about huge construction projects.:cool:

ww6789
Aug 7, 2008, 5:10 PM
To sustain healthy long-term growth, Fargo/Moorhead must not only lure people from other parts of the country but also keep them here. Talented and skilled folks have the freedom and resources to move on if they're not happy. Substandard grocery stores and restaurants do not entice transplants to stay in Fargo for the long haul. Someone who thinks quality deli meat is irrelevant fails to see that the big picture is constructed of many small pixels. Too many North Dakotans accept and are content with mediocrity.

ww6789
Aug 7, 2008, 5:23 PM
I don't want to come across as a complete malcontent. I've lived in ND for three years and there are many things I like and lots of nice people here. I want to stay long-term but I would like to see progress in certain areas. I hope my commentary is perceived as constructive criticism not negativity. If ND wants more growth and thus outsiders, then please listen to us once we're here.

Doc
Aug 8, 2008, 1:31 AM
Totally with you there. The economist Richard Florida would agree with you as well. Gotta have a lot of pieces of the puzzle to make a place work. You didn't grow up on a cattle ranch, did you? You seem to know a lot about meat.:D

ww6789
Aug 8, 2008, 2:15 AM
Doc:

I grew up in rural Alabama and Georgia (not on a cattle ranch but close). Always had lots of fresh vegetables nearby. I've been cooking and eating fresh meat and veggies my entire life.

Will

NanoBison
Aug 8, 2008, 3:09 AM
Yah. I thought this was a large developments/skyscraper forum. Not deli meat.

Even the Sioux Falls thread, which is for a similar sized city if I'm not mistaken, has a lot more discussion on "major" type of developments like skyline additions and new beltways.

I think these cities are really interesting, but come on, what is really going on in Fargo that will shape its future?

I hope you posted the exact same thing on the "Detroit City Government Scandal(s) Megathread" thread...

:tup:

NanoBison
Aug 8, 2008, 3:11 AM
To sustain healthy long-term growth, Fargo/Moorhead must not only lure people from other parts of the country but also keep them here. Talented and skilled folks have the freedom and resources to move on if they're not happy. Substandard grocery stores and restaurants do not entice transplants to stay in Fargo for the long haul. Someone who thinks quality deli meat is irrelevant fails to see that the big picture is constructed of many small pixels. Too many North Dakotans accept and are content with mediocrity.

I completely agree. Which is why I moved to Fargo from another part of the state. It's at least moving in the right direction. But yes, we need to put forth even greater effort to continually convince people to move and STAY here.

NanoBison
Aug 8, 2008, 3:19 AM
As Big Ticket mention on the Microsoft expansion...

Not only have they started, but they are coming along nicely. The new "Vision" building is pretty much there with all structural steel finished, glass on the first floor and outside insulating walls covering most of the exterior. On the new "Commons" amenities building (new entrance to the campus), they've poured the concrete foundation and have progressed quite a bit with the structural steel. I believe the current goal is to have both buildings enclosed before winter starts up. They should be ready to go by Summer/Early Fall 2009. There is currently plans for 2 more buildings similar to the one being built, and also plans for a building on the eastern lawns.

I've heard rumors that the future buildings may be completely offices (no cubes) and that they are looking into possible locations for parking garages/ramps. (These are all rumors of course)

It's pretty exciting to see this campus flourish. It'll be great once it starts approaching it's 4,200 employee capacity. The building directly north of the campus, that I keep asking about, but nobody knows what it is, is almost completed.

ww6789
Aug 8, 2008, 3:28 AM
You've all seen the billboards for Midcontinent Cable. If you like to watch football in the fall and need really fast internet, Cable One is not ideal. We're getting the full Midco package installed next week -- tv, phone, and internet about 3 times the speed of Cable One. They have very good bundled service prices for the first year. Sounds great, but only if the service is reliable. I'll let you know in a few weeks if Midco is for real. Cable companies generally compete with telcos and satellite but not each other. It will be interesting to see Cable One and Midco battle for customers in West Fargo.

Doc
Aug 8, 2008, 2:24 PM
Doc:

I grew up in rural Alabama and Georgia (not on a cattle ranch but close). Always had lots of fresh vegetables nearby. I've been cooking and eating fresh meat and veggies my entire life.

Will

I grew up eating fresh food too (a lot of it we grew ourselves). I hear you on that one.

A few weeks ago, I went to see Prairie Destiny. It is an impressive house, but I'm kind of disappointed in the sprawl that it sits. It will definitely improve the neighborhood of McMansions. I'm sure they are nice people, but I would love to see a bit more planning go into these developments.

Doc
Aug 9, 2008, 7:38 PM
Just heard about some of the cool things about Monte's new restaurant opening on Roberts Street in September.

Wow.

ww6789
Aug 10, 2008, 3:11 PM
Hey Doc -- can you tell us some of these cool things about Monte's?

Greco Roman
Aug 10, 2008, 9:15 PM
You know what I would love to see? High-speed passenger rail service from Winnipeg to Chicago, via Fargo and Minneapolis. There is enough of a tourism industry in the Red River Valley and between Winnipeg and Chicago in general. With rising gas and airfare prices, a great option for joe schmo would be some high-speed rail travel. It's also a great way to see the countryside. :tup:

ww6789
Aug 10, 2008, 11:23 PM
You know what I would love to see? High-speed passenger rail service from Winnipeg to Chicago, via Fargo and Minneapolis. There is enough of a tourism industry in the Red River Valley and between Winnipeg and Chicago in general. With rising gas and airfare prices, a great option for joe schmo would be some high-speed rail travel. It's also a great way to see the countryside. :tup:

It would be nice for Fargoans to be able to hop on a high-speed train and visit the big cities. Other than visitors from rural ND, SD, and MN and loonie-laden Canadians I'm not seeing the "tourism industry" in the Red River Valley.

Greco Roman
Aug 10, 2008, 11:48 PM
It would be nice for Fargoans to be able to hop on a high-speed train and visit the big cities. Other than visitors from rural ND, SD, and MN and loonie-laden Canadians I'm not seeing the "tourism industry" in the Red River Valley.

Hell, I'd even settle for regular passenger rail service. There are tons of people who head down to Minneapolis and Chicago from Winnipeg every year because they are relatively close; Chicago is a 12-12.5 hour drive from Winnipeg. Even if it's only seasonal service or of less frequency, I could see it being viable. Not to mention that there is lots of tourism between Fargo and Winnipeg, and Grand Forks as well. The "tourism industry" is mainly between the cities; not the rural areas, and that is where your target passengers would come from.

Doc
Aug 11, 2008, 1:57 AM
Tidbit #1: seasonal menu.

Tidbit #2: water wall behind the bar.

ww6789
Aug 11, 2008, 2:13 AM
Amtrak serves Fargo. You can go to Minneapolis and Chicago and some Canadian cities but not Winnipeg.

Greco Roman
Aug 11, 2008, 2:16 AM
Amtrak serves Fargo. You can go to Minneapolis and Chicago and some Canadian cities but not Winnipeg.


Hence my whole "you know what I would love to see?" shpeel ;)

ww6789
Aug 11, 2008, 2:18 AM
Tidbit #1: seasonal menu.

Tidbit #2: water wall behind the bar.

Maybe the water wall is hypnotic -- makes customers think the food tastes better than it is and costs less than it does. :)

The seasonal menu does sound enticing. Too many places rarely make any meaningful changes to the selection.

F-Misthebest
Aug 11, 2008, 4:31 AM
Hey it's good to be back. I've been at the lakes for ten days with no internet. ugh! lol. Anyways, great discussions there have been going around here and i found this on in-fourm.

Glyndon on the grow
Tracy Frank, The Forum
Published Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Glyndon, Minn.

A new business development is taking shape on the east edge of Glyndon. Stockwood Business Park is on 23 acres just off Highway 10.

So far, the lone occupant is a condo storage unit, but plans include bringing in retail, offices and industrial businesses.

Brad Rivers, commercial agent with Horizon Real Estate Group, listed the properties last week.

“If I can get three, four tenants lined up, we can build a strip center,” Rivers said.

The project has been in the works for about two years. The area was originally a farm field owned by Kuehl Farms.

Glyndon responded to a petition for improvements from the Kuehl family by investing $1.4 million in infrastructure in the development, said David Pederson, city clerk and treasurer.

“I’m optimistic that something will take hold in there and things will turn out beneficial for the developers and the city,” said Glyndon Mayor Ryan Alderman.

Rivers and Pederson tout the development’s location along U.S. Highway 10 and near Interstate-94.

“It’s in an area where there’s constantly growing traffic and traffic counts,” Pederson said.

Rivers said the area is no farther from downtown Fargo than the Eagle Run development in West Fargo.

“It’s really kind of a metro location,” Pederson said. “The concept that it’s way out in Glyndon is wrong. With the access of (State Highway) 336 between U.S. Highway 10 and I-94, there’s no reason to think that someone looking at a place couldn’t consider Glyndon as they consider places in south Fargo.”

Rivers said another benefit is the price.

“If you want to buy a lot over off 52nd Avenue and (Interstate)-29, you’re going to pay $8 a square foot up to $16 a square foot,” he said.

“You can buy a lot here for 95 cents a square foot up to $2.95.”

With its central location between Hawley, Lake Park, Ada, Twin Valley, and Barnesville, the development would be a good place for a health care business or clinic, Rivers and Pederson said.

Rivers said the development could also mean new jobs in the community.

“Where this becomes really important in the future is people are able to work, stay, play, all right here in their community instead of having to go to (Fargo-Moorhead),” Rivers said. “A lot of services could go into this development that will really make people’s lives easier.”

The newly paved roads are drawing curious cyclists and motorists eager to scope out the development.

“I think it’s great; great for the people around here,” said Jeremy Doran of Glyndon.

“I’m sure people would benefit if there were more businesses and more jobs,” said Lupe Gomez of Glyndon.

She doubts whether such a large development is needed.

Alderman said there have been a lot of questions about how the development will affect neighborhoods and traffic.

“Once something gets going out there, I think we’ll have some positive reactions from the community, too,” he said.

When the business park is established, Alderman said it will give most of the residents a break in their taxes. Glyndon’s tax base now is predominantly based on residential housing, he said.

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



also as i was going out on Highway 10 i was very pleased to see all the development east moorhead and dilworth are having. A new shopping strip mall is going up where the old bargains galore was and on the other side of the Pizza Ranch another building is going up to. The vacant Wal-Mart is for lease now and i personally think a Best Buy would be a great fit for that local. With Moorhead and Dilworth booming out that way, Best Buy would be a great fit. Plus there's nothing alike it around.

F-Misthebest
Aug 11, 2008, 4:40 AM
July was also Hector International Airport's busiest month on record. 64,137 a 14.6% increase over last year. Check out all the info at www.fargoairport.com under News Releases

ww6789
Aug 11, 2008, 5:12 AM
also as i was going out on Highway 10 i was very pleased to see all the development east moorhead and dilworth are having. A new shopping strip mall is going up where the old bargains galore was and on the other side of the Pizza Ranch another building is going up to. The vacant Wal-Mart is for lease now and i personally think a Best Buy would be a great fit for that local. With Moorhead and Dilworth booming out that way, Best Buy would be a great fit. Plus there's nothing alike it around.


Wonder if a Costco would fit in the old Walmart location in Glyndon? Of course if Walmart still owns the land they probably wouldn't sell to Costco. I'm looking for more retailers and restaurants that are new to the area.

I don't know about living in Glyndon -- isn't all housing near the railroad tracks?

Doc
Aug 11, 2008, 11:03 AM
I'm guessing food won't be cheap at Monte's new place. Still, I think that the water wall will be pretty darn cool.

I've also heard that you'll be able to see the kitchen from the street. I guess they won't be microwaving their food.

Probably won't be able to get that bowl of chili there, but I'm hoping they have a good burger on the menu.:D

ww6789
Aug 11, 2008, 2:50 PM
I'm guessing food won't be cheap at Monte's new place. Still, I think that the water wall will be pretty darn cool.

I've also heard that you'll be able to see the kitchen from the street. I guess they won't be microwaving their food.

Probably won't be able to get that bowl of chili there, but I'm hoping they have a good burger on the menu.:D

Doc, you're a good man for remembering that I'm always searching for that perfect bowl of chili.

F-Misthebest
Aug 11, 2008, 4:58 PM
Trollwood plays role in spurring development
Kim Winnegge, The Forum
Published Monday, August 11, 2008

Developers are learning from their successes of the recent past.

When S.G. Reinertsen Elementary and Horizon Middle School were built in the early 2000s, Moorhead neighborhoods quickly cropped up in the surrounding area.

As the city prepares for future platting near Trollwood Performing Art School’s new south Moorhead location, developers once again are drawing up plans for future neighborhoods in the area.

Arista Development plans to develop on 370 acres immediately adjacent to the new Trollwood campus, said project coordinator Jeff Schaumann.

The new development, which Schaumann touts as an energy-efficient “conservation community,” may offer a new concept in the area’s housing market.

http://img90.imageshack.us/img90/7933/futuretrollwoodneighborcu9.jpg

There are hundreds of lots available in other developments throughout Moorhead, but City Planner Deb Martzahn said she doesn’t expect interest to fade in those when housing construction begins near Trollwood.

Martzahn said the development might project an unnaturally high number of empty lots, but the city has continued to grow each year, creating a need for additional housing units.

According to a January 2008 report gathered from information provided by local developers, there are 1,004 available lots spread out over 19 Moorhead neighborhoods, with prices per lot depending on size and location – anywhere from $7,800 to $134,900.

Those numbers don’t include potential lots in the new Trollwood addition.

“It may seem that we have quite a few lots available right now,” Martzahn said. “As we look at those in terms of our recent growth, it’s not providing that many years of supply into the future. It’s a good idea to anticipate that need into the future.”

And new neighborhoods continue growing in Moorhead, she said.

Tessa Terrace, a neighborhood comprised of single-family dwellings and townhomes, has 41 lots available out of 70, according to the report. The prices per lot in the Tessa Terrace Additions range from $57,600 to $134,900.

“I think our developers are as aware as anybody when more lots are needed and marketable,” Martzahn said.

A November 2007 neighborhood planning study done by consulting firm Bonestroo found housing grew substantially during the past decade and the vast majority of new units added in Moorhead came in new developments of the city.

Moorhead added between 70 and 525 units per year from 1995 through 2007, and has also grown at a faster rate in recent years, the study found.

From 2002 to 2007, the city added 2,523 total housing units, according to numbers provided by Moorhead’s building codes office.

The biggest boom was in 2005, when the city issued 514 building permits, the building codes office said.

As new parks, schools and other recreational amenities pop up around Moorhead, so will residential development surges, said Lisa Vatnsdal, Moorhead’s neighborhood services manager.

In September 2004, Moorhead issued more than 260 building permits, with many of those homes constructed near the city’s new schools.

This year, from Jan. 1 through June 30, 99 single-family housing building permits have been issued in the city. There have also been permits for two townhomes and two multiplex apartments.

The townhomes will be built by Paragon Development at 17th Avenue North. Apartments contracted by Terry Welle Construction will be located at 2411 36th St. S. and 810 41st Ave. S., respectively.

“These are things that a lot of families with school-age children are looking for,” said Vatnsdal, adding that senior-living facilities generally fill in those areas, too.

Gust Johanson, a developer for Evergreen Meadows at 40th Street and 41st Avenue South, has built 27 housing units on the site.

In March, the City Council approved plans to build a Moorhead YMCA in that area.

The $10 million facility would sit next to a 100-acre city park being developed along 40th Avenue South between 20th and 28th streets. The facility could open in 2010 or 2011.

Johanson said he sees the potential YMCA as a welcome addition to the area.

“The YMCA is something that we certainly needed in this neighborhood,” Johanson said. “I think it’s a good neighborhood for it. I’m extremely happy to see the YMCA building where they are.”

“The (new) middle school is probably a drawing point for Horizon Shores as well,” Vatnsdal said.

The Horizon Shores addition has 214 lots in its neighborhood, with 94 lots available, according to the most recent report.

Home Builders Association of Fargo-Moorhead president Bill Blixt said that construction companies and developers are more than happy to help with the cities’ growth.

“We want to accommodate as much as we can,” Blixt said. “It’s a changing world in terms of housing needs.”

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

F-Misthebest
Aug 11, 2008, 5:02 PM
Moorhead's New Neighborhoods
http://img224.imageshack.us/img224/8421/moorheadsnewneighborhoovx4.jpg



Stockwood Business Park: Glyndon
http://img137.imageshack.us/img137/486/stockwoodbusinesscenterqg2.jpg

F-Misthebest
Aug 12, 2008, 5:25 AM
Innovis sets addition timeline
Erin Hemme-Froslie, The Forum
Published Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Innovis Health plans to break ground early next summer on a multistory addition to its south Fargo hospital.

The health system recently hired Kurt Salmon Associates of Minneapolis to help determine what services the new space should hold, said Kevin Pitzer, chief administrative officer.

The estimated cost of the addition is more than $25 million and will take about 18 months to complete.

“We’re committed to moving forward,” Pitzer said.

The Minneapolis consulting company will interview community leaders and analyze trends in demographics and health care. The results of the study will become a template for architects, said Dr. Greg Glasner, chief executive officer.

http://img230.imageshack.us/img230/210/innovishealthexpansiondo3.jpg

The four- or six-story addition, planned for the building’s southeast side, most likely will include surgical suites, intensive care beds and birthing services, Glasner said. Radiology and lab services also may be expanded.

“We’re making the best guess we can about the future needs of our community,” he said.

Innovis has 86 hospital beds, but was designed to grow.

For the past six months, more than 82 percent of its beds have been filled at midnight, the least busy time. Sometimes all beds are filled during the day, Pitzer said.

Adding to the space crunch, the health system has hired 30 additional physicians and 10 non-physician providers since January.

“We need capacity to add providers for patient demands,” Glasner said.

Innovis has a history of not having enough beds for its patients, said Karen Haskins, vice president of North Dakota Healthcare Association. The population in eastern North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota continues to grow and age, meaning there will be a need for more hospital services, she said.

Concerns about low Medicare reimbursements, a big chunk of revenues for North Dakota hospitals, shouldn’t discourage Innovis from looking to the future, she said.

“Many times, hospitals have to build or change structures to keep up with patient needs,” Haskins said.

MeritCare, another Fargo health system, recently cut jobs and announced intentions to consolidate locations to save money.

Pitzer said low reimbursements from government insurance programs add to the risk of building. Funding will come from tax-exempt bonds offered through Essentia Health, a Duluth, Minn., company that partners with Innovis. The Fargo hospital, however, must repay the debt, Pitzer said.

“It certainly makes us nervous, but we have the benefit of being in a region that’s growing and we have great employers that provide good levels of health insurance,” he said. “The government payers will remain the wild card.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter Erin Hemme Froslie at (701) 241-5534

F-Misthebest
Aug 12, 2008, 5:27 AM
I found this picture off of the Property Resources Group website for the new development in Dilworth. One of the lots is pending.

http://img227.imageshack.us/img227/3258/dilworthconstructionzn4.jpg

F-Misthebest
Aug 13, 2008, 6:29 AM
Cass County tries circular road solution
Dave Olson, The Forum
Published Wednesday, August 13, 2008

When it comes to intersection design, Cass County is catching up to the rest of the world, in a roundabout way.

A fixture in places like the United Kingdom, France and Australia, roundabouts are gaining traction in the United States as an alternative to intersections that employ stoplights and stop signs.

The latest example of circular reasoning applied to traffic control can be found at the intersection of 52nd Avenue and Sheyenne Street on the edge of West Fargo.

Expected to open to the public next week, the estimated $4 million roundabout should get drivers through the intersection quickly and without incident, said Tom Soucy, design and construction supervisor for the Cass County Highway Department.

“The reason we wanted to go with that is so there wouldn’t be any waiting,” he said.

http://img220.imageshack.us/img220/1884/roundaboutrt4.jpg
http://img233.imageshack.us/img233/6469/roundaboutsheyenne52hv5.jpg
http://img80.imageshack.us/img80/6011/pavingthewaydn2.jpg

“With a roundabout, you just yield to the left,” said Soucy. “If there’s no one coming, you get into the circle and you go around to whichever exit you want to take and out you go. It’s supposed to reduce t-bone accidents.”

Playing the angles

That’s true, said Scott Beaird, a senior engineer with Kittelson & Associates, a transportation engineering company in Portland, Ore., that has researched roundabouts for the federal government.

Beaird said roundabouts have been found to reduce the overall number of crashes at an intersection by 37 percent and cut the number of injury accidents in half.

That, he said, is because crashes in roundabouts tend to be sideswipes, rather than head-on or t-bone collisions.

Beaird said roundabouts have been used successfully on everything from neighborhood streets to rural highways.

He said they are sometimes confused with the larger traffic circles or rotary intersections found on the East Coast, which he said employ higher approach speeds and sometimes stop mechanisms.

Beaird said one drawback to roundabouts is that they can require more right of way than a conventional intersection. On the other hand, they can reduce the number of lanes required on the approach streets, he added.

Over the past three years, three roundabouts have been built in south Fargo – two in the Urban Plains development and one at 38th Avenue and Village Lane.

They are touted by developers as an amenity, according to Jeremy Gorden, Fargo traffic engineer, who said roundabouts can be landscaped to enhance appearance and once built require little maintenance.

He said many areas of the Twin Cities are going with roundabouts.

“You can start to see them all the way around the suburbs,” he said.

Other projects

Meanwhile, as the sun begins to set on the construction season, work continues on a number of road projects in Fargo, including the widening of the 12th Avenue North viaduct bridge from two lanes to four.

The bridge, which is on a list of structurally deficient structures, is also getting a new driving surface.

The $11.8 million project, which began this past spring, is being done in two parts, with work on the south half of the east-west bridge to be completed in October.

Expansion of the lanes on the north side of the bridge and replacement of the decking in that area will be done next summer.

Two-way traffic will be maintained during construction, though temporary closings are necessary for paving.

Three projects that are widening 52nd Avenue South between University Drive and 47th Street are expected to wrap up by Nov. 1.

In addition, a new interchange at 52nd Avenue and Interstate 29 is anticipated to open in October, said Kevin Gorder, assistant district engineer for the North Dakota Department of Transportation.

The avenue widening projects and interchange work will likely total $40 million, he said.

After the new six-lane interchange is completed, the old two-lane interchange now being used nearby will be demolished, Gorder said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555

F-Misthebest
Aug 13, 2008, 6:31 AM
Moorhead Library opts not to use power plant
Kim Winnegge, The Forum
Published Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A Moorhead Library Board decision Tuesday to reject a move to the old power plant means the Moorhead Public Service Commission may need to come up with about $25,000.

The Moorhead Public Service was awarded a $1.4 million state grant to get rid of mercury and asbestos in the old plant – $25,000 of which has already been spent, said General Manager Bill Schwandt.

The grant was given on the condition that a public use is found for the plant. The public use designated in the grant application was a relocated library.

“This board has been unduly pressured,” City Council member Mark Hintermeyer said at a Library Board meeting Tuesday night, when members agreed to scrap the power plant as an option.

The second option is to expand at the present downtown site. The board agreed to recommend to the City Council that it remodel the current library and acquire the northwest corner at the best possible price as soon as possible.

http://img233.imageshack.us/img233/8011/oldmoorheadpowerplantcv1.jpg

The motion passed 5-1, with Ron Bock dissenting. Board member Cynthia Saar was absent. Two board positions are vacant.

“The $1.4 million issue polluted the stream of thought about the future of the library,” Hintermeyer said.

Because the grant needs to be used for the stated purpose or one that is comparable, if the Public Service Commission can’t find a similar use for the power plant it will need to pay back the money spent, Hintermeyer said.

“The cleanup had to be done anyway,” Schwandt said. “It’s definitely not bad that it happened.”

The total projected cost to demolish and construct a new library at its existing location is $15.4 million, according to a consulting firm contracted to gather data.

That estimate included a potential buyout of the McDonald properties on the northwest corner of the block.

Owner Gerald McDonald of Fargo wanted $925,254 for the site.

Current market value for that property is $426,600, which is the combined value of three parcels of land, according to Moorhead Business and Development Services Manager Peter Doll.

Total projected costs to reuse the power plant site would have been about $9.6 million.

Hintermeyer said Moorhead Public Service still technically owns the building, and would not be willing to simply give it away.

“Don’t think that they’ll be giving it (the power plant) up for nothing,” he said.

A Minneapolis consulting firm figured site acquisition of the power plant would be at zero dollars during a site comparison study.

For several years, the Library Board has been thinking about relocating or expanding its facility to meet the needs of a growing community.

Board members began reviewing possibilities in late 2006, including the possibility of relocating to the old Moorhead power plant site.

City staff suggested the use because the power plant was in its last stages.

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

F-Misthebest
Aug 13, 2008, 6:44 AM
Jewel to perform at UP Center
Forum staff reports, The Forum
Published Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Singer/songwriter Jewel is slated to perform in Fargo on Nov. 2 at the Urban Plains Center as part of its opening weekend.

The concert announcement was posted to the UPC’s Web site Tuesday and is also listed on Ticketmaster.com. The concert begins at 7 p.m. with an unnamed opening act.

Tickets will go on sale at 10 a.m. Tuesday at all Ticketmaster outlets and by calling (701) 235-7171. Ticket prices range from $34.50 to $44.50.

Doc
Aug 13, 2008, 5:06 PM
Are there any other possible uses for that power plant? It looks like an interesting building, and I know it has a great view.

F-Misthebest
Aug 14, 2008, 6:13 PM
I would really like to see some public use for the building because of the views. I think a museum would be a cool use or some sort of art gallery.

There's also a new sandwich store opening downtown called Gangsta's Subs. Word g-unit.

jwmn
Aug 14, 2008, 6:19 PM
Are there any other possible uses for that power plant? It looks like an interesting building, and I know it has a great view.
I ride bike by there a lot, and it really is an awesome location. Despite that, I think they probably made the right decision, because I think it's best to keep the library at its current downtown location where there is better visibility and much better access. It's also not clear to me why Moorhead needs a totally new library, when a new one is being built just across the river, or how it would be funded.

As for other uses, I don't know, but there's got to be some way to make use of that great location, whether it's for public use or a private development.

ww6789
Aug 17, 2008, 3:04 PM
The preliminary 100-year flood map has been released. It certainly affects where you might want to buy a house in the area. The cost of flood insurance, property taxes, specials, and homeowners insurance on a $200,000 house are around $7000 per year -- ouch.

http://www.in-forum.com/articles/index.cfm?id=211776&section=news

F-Misthebest
Aug 18, 2008, 2:32 AM
I ate at Justy's BBQ in Hawley the other day and said they were closing in Hawley and opening two in Fargo. The food was very good so I'm excited for them to open.

ww6789
Aug 18, 2008, 2:41 AM
I ate at Justy's BBQ in Hawley the other day and said they were closing in Hawley and opening two in Fargo. The food was very good so I'm excited for them to open.

Good news. Justy's has good smoked meat. I've eaten there a couple of times but it's too far out to go regularly. Any idea where the Fargo locations will be and when they'll open?

MoreFM
Aug 18, 2008, 1:08 PM
ww6789,

Just an idea, they may be opening in the old Bennigan's store on 45th. I see they are doing remodel work on the store.

Doc
Aug 19, 2008, 3:26 PM
Looks like construction has started on Jimmy John's at 12th Avenue North. No sign of Moe's starting yet, but there isn't a rental sign above one of the empty shops.

F-Misthebest
Aug 19, 2008, 3:52 PM
I actually contacted the developer and he said that Moe's backed out but they have another retailer lined up. He said he didn't know why they backed out.

F-Misthebest
Aug 19, 2008, 9:42 PM
I've been thinking about future plans for that power plant in Moorhead and was thinking that it could be remodeled to accommodate a Performing Arts Center. The whole neighborhood between Downtown Moorhead and the power plant could be re-developed to become some sort retail and restaurant district. The first picture is of the site plan (sorry, i only have microsoft paint so it doesn't look like anything great). The rest of the pictures is what JLG Architects had planned for downtown Moorhead.

http://img377.imageshack.us/img377/4050/futuredevelopmentofmoorkn8.jpg

http://img167.imageshack.us/img167/6539/downtownmoorheadcondoscq4.jpg

http://img240.imageshack.us/img240/9575/downtownmoorheadcondosnvr5.jpg

http://img155.imageshack.us/img155/4082/downtownmoorheadcondoswpc5.jpg

Just an idea, and I would really appreciate your feedback.

matt35503
Aug 19, 2008, 10:40 PM
I think that performing arts center would look better on the other side of the river...

F-Misthebest
Aug 20, 2008, 3:59 AM
Well it's a great spot with great views and Moorhead needs something. It is called the fargo-MOORHEAD convention and visitors bureau.

Drube
Aug 20, 2008, 6:27 PM
ww6789,

Just an idea, they may be opening in the old Bennigan's store on 45th. I see they are doing remodel work on the store.

Heard Ed Schultz is opening a rest/bar there.

(Yeah. That Ed.)

F-Misthebest
Aug 20, 2008, 9:18 PM
Library’s new point of view
Helmut Schmidt, The Forum
Published Wednesday, August 20, 2008

There shouldn’t be any trouble paying for the bricks and mortar for Fargo’s three libraries, the city’s Library Board was told Tuesday. Filling the buildings – that is expected to take more work.

With sales tax revenues, donations, interest income and a transfer last year from a library startup fund, the city will have the $15.5 million to pay for construction of the new main library downtown, and its north and south branches, city Finance Director Kent Costin said.

More than $1.8 million in donations have been received, and nearly $1 million in interest has accrued in the construction and donation funds, Costin said. The city also collected $13.1 million from an 18-month half-cent sales tax, $1.1 million more than first forecast. When the bills are paid, there should be $25,000 left over, he said.

“Unless there are major changes or major contingencies, it looks as though we’re fully funded for bricks and mortar,” Costin said.

The private fundraising goal for the project is $3 million. Library Director Tim Dirks said the remaining $1.2 million is still needed.

http://img134.imageshack.us/img134/8610/newdowntownlibraryal8.jpg
http://img134.imageshack.us/img134/6352/downtownlibraryek4.jpg
http://img228.imageshack.us/img228/9075/stairsinlibrarysf4.jpg

There was one library in town four years ago. Now there are three, and each one needs to have its book, music and movie collections fleshed out.

“We are still seeking community partners to help fill that building,” Dirks said, nodding to the downtown library under construction. “One thing we’re going to need help with is that collection. That is mission essential.”

Board members spent the second half of their meeting touring the $8.6 million 54,500-square-foot downtown library as part of a construction update. The two-story facility is going up on the site of the old library at 102 3rd St. N.

Board members were impressed with the panoramic views offered by the plentiful floor-to-ceiling windows.

“I was very pleased,” board Chairman Herb Snyder said. “I like libraries with lots of light.”

Snyder said taxpayers will get “more than their money’s worth. … “It’s going to be an outstanding place.”

Richard Moorhead, president of Image Group Architecture and Interiors of Moorhead, said the building is on pace to be finished by the end of February, meeting deadlines. He said installation of windows is behind a couple of weeks.

The library should be ready to open by late spring after the permanent collection is transferred from storage and the temporary downtown library on Roberts Street, Moorhead said.

City Commissioner Mike Williams said the public and private fundraising partnership has saved money. The city would have had to pay $700,000 a year in interest over 20 years to bond for construction, he said.

“It demonstrates that it’s a good way to do a project like this,” Williams said.

Williams said there are many opportunities for donors large and small, including naming rights for the children’s libraries at the south and main sites ($500,000 each), children’s theater and program room (main library, $250,000), computer lab (south side, $100,000), and study tables and carrels at both libraries ($5,000).

Those opportunities are listed online athttp://www.fargolibrary.org/support/naming.html.

The Dr. James Carlson Library opened at 2801 32nd Ave. S in November 2007. The 15,000-square-foot facility cost $2.8 million. It is co-located with the Ed Clapp Park Senior Center.

There is also a 4,000-square-foot branch library at 2714 Broadway in the Northport Shopping Center. It opened in July 2006. It cost $350,000 for remodeling. About $96,000 was spent to buy books to supplement the 22,200 adult and children’s titles moved to the facility.

The half-cent sales tax that raised the bulk of the funds for the libraries ran from Jan. 1, 2005, to June 30, 2006.

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

F-Misthebest
Aug 20, 2008, 9:21 PM
Oil Billionaire Talking Wind Power In Fargo
By Julie Holgate KVLY-TV
updated 3:45 p.m. CT, Thurs., Aug. 14, 2008

A man who made billions in the oil business is bringing his new pitch for wind energy to Fargo next week.

T. Boone Pickens is in the middle of a multi-city, cross-country tour where he's talking to Americans about kicking the foreign oil habit and tapping wind energy for our needs. Pickens' community meeting is Thursday, August 21, at 9 a.m. at the Fargodome. The event is free, open to the public, but there is limited seating available. RSVPs are requested to Greta at gdeutsch@tunheim.com.

Pickens' visit is sponsored the North Dakota Alliance for Renewable Energy, American Wind Energy Association and Windustry.

ww6789
Aug 20, 2008, 10:12 PM
Library:
When is the new library going to open?

T. Boone:
Sad that Mr. Pickens has to come to ND to inform the locals that there is wind abundance here. There is a problem with the huge windmills if placed too close to residential areas. They produce a constant hum which really bothers some folks. They can be one more source of noise pollution if not properly located.

F-Misthebest
Aug 21, 2008, 4:04 PM
One of Fargo's oldest buildings to be razed for new downtown apartment complex
Helmut Schmidt, The Forum
Published Thursday, August 21, 2008

One of Fargo’s oldest buildings will soon be no more.

The Mark Building at 400 Roberts St., which started as a Lutheran church in 1885 but in later years has offered low-income apartments, is on track to be razed this fall and replaced by a four-story, 16-plex apartment building.

The apartments – which will be called The Marks – would be marketed to young professionals, North Dakota State University professors and students looking to live close to the downtown campus, owner John Ommen told the city’s Renaissance Zone Authority on Wednesday.

Ommen said The Marks will “strengthen the urban feel” of the area.

NDSU represents “a huge new market” for housing, City Planner Jim Gilmour said. He predicted the next three years will see many similar projects as the university opens its downtown School of Business.

http://img230.imageshack.us/img230/3276/markbuildingim2.jpg
http://img230.imageshack.us/img230/5316/origanalmarkmz8.jpg
http://img228.imageshack.us/img228/5127/markapartmentsdv3.jpg
http://img216.imageshack.us/img216/1381/localofthemarksty0.jpg

The renaissance authority unanimously approved the request. The project will not require Renaissance Zone funding, documents show.

The building’s former tenants have all moved out, Ommen said, with some moving to other buildings he owns.

There was no debate on the historic value of the building.

Dawn Morgan, a member of the board of directors of the Fargo-Moorhead Heritage Society, said much of the Mark Building’s historic character was lost over time.

“I’ve always liked it a lot. It was kind of unfortunate that it had to be chopped up and turned into offices and apartments. That was its first step downhill,” Morgan said.

She said if the building can’t be saved, then the next best use is to build living spaces to reinvigorate the downtown neighborhood.

City staff said the Mark Building is not in the Downtown Historic District, nor is it on the city’s inventory of National Registry of Historic Places, but it does have a history.

According to research by The Forum’s Andrea Hunter Halgrimson, the cornerstone for what became the First Norwegian Lutheran Church was laid in 1885.

The property was sold in 1921 and became the O.J. Hanson Funeral Home. Joseph and James Runsvold and Neal Bradburn bought it in 1948 and it remained a funeral home until 1960.

Fargo dentist Trueman Tryhus then bought it and turned it into offices and apartments.

At times, the building also served as home to the Boy Scouts of America and the North Dakota State Motor Vehicle Department before being converted largely to apartments.

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

NanoBison
Aug 22, 2008, 12:07 AM
That building has seen it's fair share of unfortunate action taken against it. Like they say in the article, it's beyond repair. Glad to see this is being replaced by more housing for downtown.

Doc
Aug 22, 2008, 9:16 PM
It is a soft opening. Talked to the owner. Starbucks and Caribou took a pass at the location. I think it's their loss.

ww6789
Aug 23, 2008, 7:17 AM
Doc -- Where is Jitterz located? I did a search and drew a blank.

F-Misthebest
Aug 23, 2008, 5:17 PM
It's in the Bison Block on 12th Avenue North Just across from the theatre and the library.

NysOne
Aug 25, 2008, 10:06 PM
I believe Jitters is in the same building as the new Jimmy Johns & rumored Moe's. You can miss it easily...it's dark right there or something.

F-Misthebest
Aug 26, 2008, 3:39 PM
Parking issues ramp up
Helmut Schmidt, The Forum
Published Monday, August 25, 2008

Building more parking ramp space in downtown Fargo is an idea that has stalled – for now.

The latest plan to add parking in the central and northern parts of downtown would add a deck to the Radisson Hotel ramp.

Senior Planner Bob Stein said the $3 million project would create 120 spaces. But that price tag recently gained little traction with the city’s Finance Committee, he said.

Stein is now studying ramp costs in the region and has been asked to seek estimates to determine if the $25,000 per stall cost is accurate. The typical national cost per parking ramp stall is $15,000 to $20,000, city officials said.

Another option considered over the years is to replace the US Bank parking ramp.

The central traffic helix in the 1960s vintage ramp is not used because of safety concerns, Stein said. Demolition and rebuilding could cost $6.2 million, officials have said.

Officials want a development plan that would encompass the old ramp and the surface parking to the west that abuts Broadway and the U.S. Bank plaza.

“That came first and we have to see how that plays out,” City Administrator Pat Zavoral said.

Ramps usually need public financing, tax assessments or public-private partnerships to be built, Zavoral said. The city can’t afford to build one on its own.

“The city’s general fund doesn’t have the money to put to that,” Zavoral said.

City Commissioner Mike Williams wants to see updated estimates on the Radisson ramp expansion before that idea is abandoned.

“That would be a benefit no matter what comes forward,” Williams said.

Other questions factor into the downtown parking debate.

- Does the city have enough parking downtown in the public and private lots?

- Is the parking in the right spot?

- Is the parking “problem” really a perception brought on by an unwillingness to walk?

In 2003, downtown Fargo had 6,619 public and private parking spots, Stein said. Of those, 1,329 were on-street parking and 5,290 were off-street.

Those numbers have fluctuated, but recent projects have included underground or surface parking in their designs, Stein said. Switching to diagonal parking also added 132 spots, he said.

Location, location

Parking Commission figures show several city parking areas are underused, while others are jammed.

For example, the GTC Garage, with its 200 spots, saw just 39 percent usage in July. The Civic Center lot had 33 percent usage, while the Island Park ramp had 49 percent usage.

Meanwhile, the Radisson ramp had 88 percent usage and the U.S. Bank ramp had 100 percent usage.

Cost made a difference. The Second Avenue North lot with parking for $47 a month had 127 percent usage. Just across the street, the Second Avenue South lot with a $62 a month charge had 5 percent usage.

Overall, the 11 city-owned parking facilities had 67 percent usage in July.

“Parking in downtown is generally pretty plentiful, if everyone doesn’t expect to have a parking space on every block,” said Dave Anderson, president of the Downtown Community Partnership.

A city graphic shows a five-minute walking radius for the downtown area and for the West Acres shopping mall.

The downtown walking radius encompasses all of the city’s main public parking facilities. The West Acres radius would take a shopper to the Herberger’s store on the west end of the mall. But it doesn’t extend to the theater complex to the south.

“If you can see it in the West Acres parking lot, you’ll walk a half a mile,” Zavoral said. “It’s location, location, location. The convenience factor.”

Squeeze up north

Greg Danz, owner of Zandbroz Variety on Broadway, said the northern part of downtown is now seeing a parking squeeze.

He’d put ramps behind Old Broadway, and farther north behind Boerth’s Gallery and Dempsey’s Irish Pub.

“To me, those are the natural spots,” Danz said.

Anderson said retail and residential pressures will create the need for 500 to 600 more parking spots downtown in two to five years.

The expanding North Dakota State University downtown presence – next fall the School of Business will open – will also exacerbate parking problems, Anderson and Danz say.

“Time is getting shorter for us,” Anderson said, noting that it takes about 18 months to build a ramp.

“The north end of downtown is becoming pretty tight given the construction of the Kilbourne Group (300 Broadway complex)” in the former Fargo Theatre lot.

Williams said one solution is to pump up public transit. He said NDSU students have shown they’re willing to take the bus.

“One bus full of people is four blocks of cars,” Williams said.

Adding four bus lines costs $500,000 a year, but it also avoids high construction costs, he said.

Offering shuttle buses and shifting price structures could also help maximize ramp use, Zavoral and Williams say.

Williams said there are parking lots to the north of the interim downtown library on Roberts Street that could be a potential ramp site.

Zavoral said a ramp in the City Hall lot could be possible, if it were built as part of a floodwall.

Everyone agreed the issue will eventually have to be addressed.

“How we deal with that is going to be very important to how future growth continues,” Stein said. “We don’t want to lose momentum due to inadequate parking.”

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

F-Misthebest
Aug 26, 2008, 3:42 PM
Also, the Royal Fork is closing. I actually never went there so I have no opinion on it.

ww6789
Aug 26, 2008, 6:44 PM
Also, the Royal Fork is closing. I actually never went there so I have no opinion on it.

The Royal Fork was very bad -- good riddance. I'm amazed there were enough bland-palated patrons to keep it afloat for so long. Cross your fingers for a much better replacement.

matthew2109
Aug 26, 2008, 9:17 PM
heard of the Royal Fork and i have never eaten there either

Doc
Aug 27, 2008, 7:01 PM
I have to say that I'm disappointed that the F-M Metro governments don't have a more coordinated plan for parking and zoning. The parking ramp seems like a PERFECT time to build something like this (a combination retail/housing project connected to a garage):

http://inlinethumb52.webshots.com/33715/2146046810084948917S500x500Q85.jpg

At the very least, I would like to see the cities discuss connecting projects like garages with housing, an arts center, river recreation facilities, etc. It's in the downtown plan, but nobody seems to be discussing these projects like they are connected.

ww6789
Aug 27, 2008, 11:49 PM
This is an excerpt from a post I read on a In-forum.com message board. This is someone's idea of what a downtown should be.

The Downtown is SUPPOSED to be different than anyplace else. Its SUPPOSED to have plazas that have community concerts from a variety of bands. Its SUPPOSED to have museums and libraries. Its SUPPOSED to have street fairs and barkers selling things from corners. Its SUPPOSED to have street performers and artists. Its SUPPOSED to have novelty stores selling kites, kitsch, and krap. Its SUPPOSED to be a place where everytime you go there, you will encounter a different experience.

F-Misthebest
Aug 29, 2008, 2:56 AM
F-M area walkways receive B-
Benny Polacca, The Forum
Published Thursday, August 28, 2008

A national racewalker will recommend that metro-area city officials work with planners and health task forces to create a more pedestrian-friendly environment.

Mark Fenton, who evaluated the area’s walkways this week, will make the recommendation today when he speaks to city officials about his three-day assessment.

On Wednesday, Fenton – host of the PBS series “America’s Walking” and a pedestrian advocate – led a community walk in Moorhead to meet the public. He encouraged residents to bring pedestrian concerns to elected officials.

Fenton is giving the metro area an overall grade of “B-,” saying Wednesday that he likes the atmosphere of downtown Fargo and Moorhead.

Fenton is concerned the newer developments in the metro area may not accommodate all pedestrians and bicyclists, which could encourage people to travel by automobile instead.

He said cul-de-sacs, for example, may be a nuisance to pedestrians who may not need to walk far. “I could be half a mile from school, but could end up taking a car” because the cul-de-sacs block the route to school, he said.

Fenton said Fargo’s 13th Avenue South retail corridor is not pedestrian-friendly because the sidewalks are too far from businesses and the parking lots do not have designated walking paths to the businesses. “If I needed to get to a strip mall, I gotta risk my life,” he said of walking through a parking lot.

Fenton praised Fargo and Moorhead’s older neighborhoods because of their alleyways, sidewalks set back from the roads and closer accessibility to schools.

Jefferson and Washington elementary schools in Fargo earned “neighborhood school” titles from Fenton because streets and sidewalks near the schools are ideal for children to walk or ride bike to school, he said.

Fenton praised Fargo’s Broadway for its pedestrian-friendly atmosphere because of its sidewalks, business awnings and close accessibility to businesses, but noted he did not see designated bike lanes for bicyclists on the roads.

In his recommendations, Fenton encourages city planners to meet with organizations such as the YMCA of Cass and Clay Counties’ Pioneering Healthy Communities task force, the Dakota Medical Foundation and the Fargo-Moorhead Metropolitan Council of Governments to address pedestrian concerns.

Jim Gemar of Moorhead, who was on Wednesday’s community walk, said “it’s exciting” to have Fenton recommend improvements for city streets and sidewalks. Gemar said he has no immediate concerns with the city walkways, but believes walkways along the Red River should be expanded.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Benny Polacca at (701) 241-5504

ww6789
Aug 29, 2008, 5:32 PM
“If I needed to get to a strip mall, I gotta risk my life,” he said of walking through a parking lot.

I was taking this guy seriously until I read the "risk my life" nonsense about walking across a parking lot. I've lived in places where there are very few sidewalks. There are cities that may have better strip mall access but you may get mugged in the parking lot. I was just reading about a Walmart in Florida where a gang of young women were robbing old ladies in the parking lot as they walked to their cars. Pedestrian safety is more than just sidewalks. I'll take my chances in Fargo. This is by far the safest town I've ever lived in.

Doc
Aug 29, 2008, 7:11 PM
Nearly got hit three times this week walking across parking lots. Walkable cities are usually safer (and WalMart is not "walkable") because more eyes on the sidewalks makes them safer. Crime happens in suburban areas as much as in urban areas. Still, this was about getting hit by cars, and not a statement on crime.

ww6789
Aug 29, 2008, 8:16 PM
Fargo does not have a problem with walkers getting hit in parking lots. Walmart is "walkable" by thousands of people daily. It's simply a matter of common courtesy between walkers and cars and it works well -- government intervention not required.

NanoBison
Aug 29, 2008, 9:41 PM
If the guy was having "issues" with regarding "risking his life" to get across a parking lot, that's not the city's fault, that's the owner of the parking lot. Walmart for example doesn't care about aesthetics or general safety of the lot. It's all about how many cars can they pack in there. It's just another reason I don't shop at Walmart, anytime I went there, I almost either got hit or ran over by the idiots that come into town on Saturdays... you know, the ones who don't quite understanding double turn lanes or 6 lane roads..... *sigh*

NanoBison
Aug 30, 2008, 7:27 AM
I just saw in the Forum, they announced they are FINALLY tearing down the old Cinema Grill building to build a 4 story structure with retail on the first floor and student apartments on the top three. While it's not the greatest outcome for that space (if you all recall, there was the Cityscapes Plaza 11 storey proposal which was turned down by voters), I'm happy with the current outcome, as it will get more people downtown and also kick off more development.

Doc
Aug 30, 2008, 7:31 PM
If the guy was having "issues" with regarding "risking his life" to get across a parking lot, that's not the city's fault, that's the owner of the parking lot. Walmart for example doesn't care about aesthetics or general safety of the lot. It's all about how many cars can they pack in there. It's just another reason I don't shop at Walmart, anytime I went there, I almost either got hit or ran over by the idiots that come into town on Saturdays... you know, the ones who don't quite understanding double turn lanes or 6 lane roads..... *sigh*

Government is already involved. Zoning determines all of that. WalMart has to follow code or they can't push their Chinese crap in our town. Every city makes these choices through government. People who just let WalMart write their zoning get the Darwinian government they deserve. There are lots of cities that don't let WalMart build crappy unwalkable parking lots. We should just sack up and do the same. We've got nothing to lose but lead painted toys and cheap garbage.:hell:

Doc
Aug 30, 2008, 7:33 PM
Bison, Fargo seeing green in Cityscapes
John Lamb, The Forum
Published Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Bison will be getting a little more room to roam in downtown Fargo: a couple hundred more rooms, or rather, apartments.

Michael Harwood, North Dakota State University’s director of residence life, confirmed Friday that the school is working with developer Mike Bullinger on his plan to build housing units above street-level office space on the southeast section of First Avenue North and Roberts Street.

Bullinger’s commercial real estate firm, Cityscapes Development LLC, owns the property, currently home to the Springs of Living Water church and previously the Lark and Cinema Grill movie theaters at 630 First Ave. N. Cityscapes also owns the adjoining parking lots along First Avenue.

Harwood said Cityscapes was still working on renderings but understood the proposed four-floor building would take up most of the property. The structure would house more than 200 students.

He said the two parties were negotiating an agreement over finances and who students would rent from.

He directed specific questions about the building to Paul Johnson of Cityscapes. A message left on Johnson’s phone Friday afternoon was not returned. Likewise, messages left for Bullinger at his Western Products office Thursday and Friday were not returned.

“Mr. Bullinger has been great,” said the Rev. Jim Samuelson, whose Springs of Living Water church has been renting the 9,900-square-foot building month-to-month since 2001. Samuelson said he got word at the end of July that he had to be out by Sept. 1. He said Industrial Builders would tear down the building this fall.

A crew from Northern Technologies Inc. was boring earth samples in the lot Thursday and Friday. A worker there said a building would go up on the site.

NDSU already needs housing. Despite opening the 166-bed Living Learning Center West this week, more than 300 students are still housed in hotels.

With Klai Hall, for architecture and landscape architecture, and Richard H. Barry Hall, for the College of Business, opening in a year, the school wants to find downtown dwellings for the nearly 4,000 students expected to study there.

Harwood said NDSU was approached by Bullinger in the late spring with the proposal. While Harwood didn’t know when ground would break, he hoped apartments would be ready by this time next year.

“We both have an understanding that it would be hard not to go through with this project,” he said.

Harwood said it was a

“win-win” proposal with NDSU getting housing

without construction hassles and Cityscapes developing its property that some feel is crucial for downtown.

Also winning would be downtown businesses that want to see the neighborhood continue to develop.

“It should’ve been built a long time ago,” said Nachhattar Gill at a table in his restaurant, Broadway Classic Subs.

In May 2005, Bullinger’s plan to build on the site by extending the Fargodome’s half-cent sales tax was overwhelmingly voted down in a special election. The proposed development would’ve included a hockey arena as well as retail, office and condominium space.

It was opposed by Gill because it would’ve forced out most of the properties on the block, including his, on the northeast corner of Broadway and First Avenue North.

Gill may have been seeing red then, but you have to believe he and other downtown business people are looking forward to a Bison stampede and the trail of green it will leave behind.

Doc
Aug 30, 2008, 7:37 PM
I believe this is the model for what is happening downtown with NDSU.

http://www.dinkytownminneapolis.com/

ww6789
Aug 30, 2008, 7:37 PM
So I guess Target, Best Buy, Home Depot, etc. have better parking lots than Walmart and don't sell anything from China.

JoeJoe
Aug 31, 2008, 1:41 AM
ww6789 - I think you are missing the point that overall Fargo, and other North Dakota cities, are not the most walkable in certain areas. Walkability does not equal safety from crime, that is a separate issue and a separate expert. Fargo can be seen as not very walkable and very safe - and if those two balance out for you then great. However I would love to see Fargo be very walkable and very safe. :)

Oh, and lets tone down the whole "Wal-Mart is evil" thing - whether you agree/disagree its not relevant right now to developments in Fargo-Moorhead (that was last year, remember ;) ).

ww6789
Aug 31, 2008, 3:38 AM
I'm missing where Fargo is not walkable. There are sidewalks everywhere. Yes, you still have to be aware of traffic and look before you cross the street. I've lived in cities that have very few sidewalks and no sidewalks in neighborhoods. Please point out where Fargo is not walkable.

Doc
Aug 31, 2008, 2:32 PM
I'm not slagging on just WalMart, but all horrible big box retail design.

Walkability isn't just slapping sidewalks at the edge of streets. It's WAY more complicated. I'll put some links on city plans that talk about these things in detail. There is a reason that zero traditional malls were built in 2008. People want walkability. And, yes, government has a hand in this, no matter what kind of zoning happens. It's not about free markets vs. socialism. This is about what kind of limits we want to place on slapdash construction--not whether there are any limits.

Pappy2000
Sep 2, 2008, 4:12 AM
I have been away for a while, changed jobs and just finally getting things slowed down. I have been keeping up with this forum, but I missed out why did the 11 story Cityscape building get voted down, or better yet, who voted it down? And is it true that there is a law prohibiting any building to be taller than the state capital?

That would be a shame, because it is time for Fargo to build up, It's a beautiful city, but it is in desperate need of a skyline to break up this flatness we're stuck with here in the valley.

F-Misthebest
Sep 2, 2008, 5:08 AM
Well it was voted down by the city of Fargo in 2005 I think. It would've taken up that whole block and all the other buildings on that block would've been destroyed. There was a hockey arena in the building called the Renaissance Center. When a poll came out, a majority of Fargoan's wanted a performing arts venue. It was voted down by a landslide. Oh well.

NanoBison
Sep 2, 2008, 6:12 PM
and to add to that, there is no law that states no building can be taller than the Capital Building in Bismarck. However, there is current legislation that allows the FAA to determine and enforce maximum height that a structure can be if it in the approach path of an airport. Many of the buildings downtown are located directly in the path of the cross sectional strip (at the southern end of the main runway) that are used by tiny planes to land and take off.

I believe the Radisson and Laskowitz (spelling?) High Rise represent the maximum ceiling for that part of town. Now if they demolished the NW-SE runway and actually installed a N-S secondary runway as is shown in the airport master plan, perhaps the ceiling might rise slightly for the downtown area. Or, if they could instead switch to a NE-SW configuration. It's pretty inconvenient what airport can do to limiting airspace in major metropolitan areas. San Jose is one prime example. They are limited since their airport is basically right next to downtown on the approach.

FrickinDutch
Sep 3, 2008, 2:08 PM
Just an update on the Klai Architecture building. They were hoping to have it ready for us to be in by the start of the school year, obviously that didn't happen. They had planned to have, I believe, most, if not all, of the Landscape Architecture students there and also the 2nd and 5th year Architecture students. Because the project was not completed in time they have stuffed us all in different spots.

All the Landscape Architecture students are currently on the main campus with the 2nd year Architecture students. I haven't seen how cramped it is there, but I imagine it is pretty uncomfortable. They have now put all the 3rd and 5th years on one floor in the downtown building (where I am at). It is pretty cramped and somewhat uncomfortable. There are also not enough storage units for everyone. Frankly this is a little disappointing, I know many of us feel we are getting a little jipped with the fees and tuition we pay. Architecture students pay an extra ~$900 a semester just in fees for studio, not to mention the supplies we have to purchase for our projects, it really adds up. Luckily I have rented an apartment downtown and will be able to work from there, as I really have no interest in being in such a cramped spot.

It may be Spring Semester before Klai Hall is actually ready to be moved into.

F-Misthebest
Sep 5, 2008, 9:54 PM
Proposed gated housing project near Horace features artificial lakes, club boathouse
Craig McEwen, The Forum
Published Friday, September 05, 2008

A Glenwood, Minn., developer plans to build a 288-acre housing development with two man-made recreational lakes near Horace, N.D.

Developer Grant Hustad said he has acquired land for Trophy Lake Estates V, a gated residential community for homes ranging from $200,000 to $750,000.

The project’s first phase, expected to begin next summer, will contain 46 homes on 145 acres.

The one-acre lots range in price from $75,000 for off-water lots to $125,000 for non-boating lake lots and $175,000 for powerboat lots offering about 180 feet of lakeshore, said spokesperson Hannah Shirkey.

Lakes will be stocked for fishing with walleye, smallmouth bass, yellow perch and sunfish, Shirkey said.

http://img46.imageshack.us/img46/2712/trophylakesestateshoracmd8.jpg

Hustad has several hurdles he must cross in order to win city officials’ approval for the subdivision.

The area planned for the subdivision is in Horace’s extraterritorial area, meaning city leaders will have the final say on its plans, said Cass County Planner Tim Solberg. “We told them we’re there to help,” he said of offering county planning assistance.

“It’s definitely an interesting concept,” said Dwight Carpenter, Harwood zoning administrator. “It’s totally a different concept for flat land,” he said, adding the subdivision plans are similar to those seen in Minnesota lakes country.

Carpenter said he’s seen sketches of the development’s plans, but Hustad will need to submit more plans so the land can be platted to see how it would fit. Hustad also needs to consider annexing the development land into the city so its sewer system can be added to the city’s, Carpenter said.

Hustad’s plans, including land annexation, face three public hearings before the City Council will decide on the subdivision, Carpenter said.

The development will provide several common areas to be shared by development residents. Other amenities include a club boathouse, wakeboarding, water-skiing, tubing, a separate swimming lake, walk paths, a variety of courts for tennis, sand volleyball and basketball, and lighted pond hockey during the winter.

The development will have an entrance gate activated by property owners’ garage door openers, Shirkey said.

Hustad said he has commitments on 12 of the 30 power-boating lots and expects to have the project sold out by fall 2009.

A second project phase, consisting of a third lake and 15 power-boating lots, is planned for construction when the first phase is completed, Shirkey said.

The proposed Horace development will be the fifth of its type launched by Trophy Lake Estates, which has similar projects in Glenwood, Pine Island, Center City and New Germany, all in Minnesota.

Another has been launched in Sioux Falls, S.D., and property is being sought near Sioux City, Iowa, for another development, Shirkey said.

Hustad launched his first project in Glenwood in 2000. It contained a lake and 16 lots, Shirkey said.

“That’s completely sold out,” she said.

The Pine Island project, launched four years ago, is up and running and its lakes produce 22-inch walleye, Shirkey said.



Forum reporter Benny Polacca contributed to this report



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

F-Misthebest
Sep 7, 2008, 6:15 AM
The windows have started being put in on the main level of the 300 Broadway building. Just some news

F-Misthebest
Sep 8, 2008, 3:29 AM
I went to the Parade of Homes on Saturday and went down to 52nd Avenue and was extremely impressed by all the road construction. It's four lanes from University to 45th Street with a median with planned future landscaping on the west side of the interstate. It looks like a different city down there. Next year 45th Street from 32nd Avenue to 52nd Avenue will get four lanes. I moved from Horace at just the right time.

And if Fargo Roads can think into the future at all (which would be a first) they would annex and widen 45th past 52nd Avenue. AT LEAST pave the road. It's not even a gravel road, it's dirt.

NysOne
Sep 8, 2008, 9:02 PM
Does anyone know anything about the SBC Lunch Box restaurant that they are putting in at 122 23rd Street S, Fargo?

F-Misthebest
Sep 8, 2008, 11:23 PM
yeah i saw that too and i thought it was an odd location. Have no idea what it is.

ww6789
Sep 9, 2008, 5:21 AM
Any opinions on Three Lyons? I haven't been but they seem to be busy when I drive by. Sounds like a locally owned place with possibly good food.

http://www.in-forum.com/articles/index.cfm?id=214133&section=business

NysOne
Sep 9, 2008, 1:23 PM
They are putting "Norman's Steak House" in the closed Bennigan's location on 45th Street South.

HarleyGal
Sep 9, 2008, 4:34 PM
Is the Norman's Steakhouse a chain from the Minneapolis area? And do we really need another steak place in Fargo?

NanoBison
Sep 9, 2008, 4:38 PM
I have no problem with adding another Steakhouse. Considering we've lost Outback Steakhouse, and this is also replacing the old Bennigans. Sure there's Texas Roadhouse to get a decent steak, but that place gets on my nerves when it's super busy. I also can't stand the damn birthday announcements. YeeHaw! I just want a place where I can sit comfortably and enjoy a nice steak without the hillbilly crowd.

Other great news today is that they've approved the new 5 story building downtown for retail and student housing.

Also Allegiant Air is now offering flights to Orlando directly from Fargo. :) (I told you it would happen eventually)...



Update*: Actually according to Allegiant's website, we also have Daytona area service....



Now it would be cool to see if we can lure Dallas service like Sioux Falls is attempting right now... ( I don't believe we have anything on the table at the moment )

ww6789
Sep 9, 2008, 6:57 PM
Is the Norman's Steakhouse a chain from the Minneapolis area? And do we really need another steak place in Fargo?


Fargo definitely needs more quality dining choices. Fargo/Moorhead has very poor food quality for a metro area its size (i.e. not even good Mexican or Chinese food.)

If it's this place http://www.rnormans.com/, the menu looks really pricey. Fargo needs much more good cheap food. Looks like Normans may be to expensive to enjoy on a regular basis.

ww6789
Sep 9, 2008, 7:02 PM
http://www.in-forum.com/articles/index.cfm?id=214196

F-Misthebest
Sep 9, 2008, 9:11 PM
Nano, here's the article to go along with the info you gave.


Fargo City Commission backs plan to build five-story retail and housing complex downtown
Helmut Schmidt, The Forum
Published Tuesday, September 09, 2008

A Fargo developer got the City Commission’s blessing Monday to build a five-story retail and housing complex downtown with about 212 apartments for North Dakota State University students on the site of the old Lark Theater and Cinema Grill.

NDSU also received a needed nod to sell naming rights for a proposed Fargodome arena addition to help raise its half of the $30 million needed to pay for the project.

The commission voted 5-0 to endorse Cityscapes Development’s plan to build an $18 million to $20 million complex at 630 1st Ave. N., and on the parking lot to the east.

Mike Bullinger, president of Cityscapes, said he needed assurances the commission would approve renaissance zone and PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) tax breaks before he started the project. He said he needed the backing now so he could start construction to have the building ready by August 2009.

Bullinger wants a five-year renaissance zone property tax exemption for the completed building, and 10 years of PILOT tax exemptions, five in which no extra property tax would be paid and five in which just 25 percent of taxes would be paid.

http://img355.imageshack.us/img355/1651/cityscapesdevelopmentwv3.jpg
http://img185.imageshack.us/img185/130/cityscapespropertyyu6.jpg

The value of those requests is about $1.4 million, City Administrator Pat Zavoral said. The tax exemption requests still need to have public hearings with the appropriate city committees.

Bullinger said two problems have cropped up to increase project costs. He must excavate the site to about 14 feet to remove rubble, and he must use caissons – large columns of concrete, often including rebar or steel – to support the load of the five-story building.

In a letter, Bullinger said the first floor will have 40,000 square feet of retail and commercial space. He said he’s trying “to attract a nice, big retail company” for part of that space. Plans originally called for at least 75 underground parking spots, but Bullinger said the need for caissons will reduce the space available for parking.

With NDSU’s School of Business opening downtown next fall, “I think the project is greatly needed,” Commissioner Brad Wimmer said.

The commission also voted 4-1 to give NDSU the go-ahead to continue its search for a sponsor for naming rights for a proposed $30 million, 6,000-seat arena addition for the Fargodome.

NDSU and Fargo Dome Authority officials said the commission’s OK to release the naming rights was key to helping NDSU find a sponsor and come up with its $15 million share of the cost.

Commissioner Mike Williams voted against the move, saying that if the project goes ahead and the city takes its $15 million share of the costs from the dome’s escrow fund, future needed work at the dome could be put in jeopardy.




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

F-Misthebest
Sep 9, 2008, 9:15 PM
About the airport and flights, that's so awesome! August statistics at Hector rose 16.8% over last year, and with the added flights it's only going to keep rising.

Pappy2000
Sep 10, 2008, 4:41 AM
Odd that it shows Daytona on Allegiants web site, however when you look at the location of Orlando/Sanford airport you discover it is in Sanford and lies roughly the same distance between Orlando and Daytona. I did try out the site and selecting Daytona actually goes to the Orlando/Sanford airport.

As far as another Steakhouse, well I'm all for it. Perhaps the prices may reflect a more Fargo friendly budget.

Shame about the highrise, but I believe I will see a skyline here in my lifetime, we just need to be sure we elect forward progressive thinking people for our city.

matt35503
Sep 10, 2008, 6:48 AM
I don't know about that Norman's Steakhouse place. I somehow doubt it is the same one that is in Minneapolis. The one in Minneapolis isn't a chain, its one of a kind and as much as I love Fargo I doubt we would be the next blip on their expansion radar.

About the new building downtown. I guess I am disappointed its not going to be taller but I am really glad that they are finally tearing down that ugly Cinema Grill building. Also I guess it will bring more people downtown so that is good too.