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MoreFM
Sep 10, 2008, 1:20 PM
In respect to multi-story buildings, I have doubts about this. When you look at the Fargo area there is so much area to grow outward, this is a deterrent to spend more to build-upward than to just build outward. Just something to think about.

wilson
Sep 10, 2008, 2:10 PM
In respect to multi-story buildings, I have doubts about this. When you look at the Fargo area there is so much area to grow outward, this is a deterrent to spend more to build-upward than to just build outward. Just something to think about.

Why not build upward if you can? If you only biuld outward, then you just have a huge sprawl, and it takes forever to drive everywhere.

NanoBison
Sep 10, 2008, 3:07 PM
I think they way our downtown will evolve is slowly but surely. We'll continue adding people with these small and medium projects until it hits a certain point/level of available services in retail and commercial in the area. Once it hits that, I wouldn't be surprised to see some taller buildings going up for residential and commercial services since they feed off of each other.

We need to continue supporting developments like these. While it's disappointing it's only 5 storys tall, it's still more and more folks coming downtown (and it replaces that UGLY theatre building). Keep building projects like this and the apartments to replace the Mark Building (old ugly house) and we will get our towers eventually.

One of the good things about going this route, is it gives us more time to work with the FAA and Fargo Airport to maybe relocate that runway (very short asphalt runway) so it's not pointing directly downtown and limiting our building heights.



On another note, I agree, we need some more variety for other food locales. I'm sorry but Paradiso and Mexican Village don't cut it in terms of Mexican... the Chinese food buffets are also low quality according to my buddy from Japan (Tokyo).

NysOne
Sep 10, 2008, 4:37 PM
Juano's has great Mexican food...Juan is from Mexico...see the great article in OPEN magazine.

HarleyGal
Sep 10, 2008, 4:49 PM
Juano's has great Mexican food...Juan is from Mexico...see the great article in OPEN magazine.

I definitely agree about Juano's having great Mexican food! Aladdin's is also good for Greek-style food. I like Lonestar over Texas Roadhouse for steak - and I also heard a rumor that Outback will be coming back when they build the new Hilton next spring. It was supposed to have a Cheesecake Factory, but that company isn't doing so hot now, and the Hilton really wants a big name restaurant in the hotel.

F-Misthebest
Sep 12, 2008, 10:13 PM
jeez i hope that's true. i really wish they come back soon.

and some news...

Toyota store coming along
Jon Knutson, The Forum
Published Thursday, September 11, 2008

Fargo’s Tim Corwin Toyota is building a new store, which is expected to be finished late this year.

The new building at 222 40th St. S. will have 62,000 square feet, compared with about 25,000 square feet at Corwin Toyota’s current location, 201 40th St. S.

“We’re selling more Toyotas and we need more space,” said Dan Wilson, vice president of Corwin Automotive Group.

Among other changes, the new location will have 38 service and maintenance stalls, compared with 12 at the existing site.

The new location also will have a display area for hybrid vehicles.

http://img134.imageshack.us/img134/8932/corwinbs0.jpg

Toyota’s hybrid vehicles include the Prius and Camry cars, and the Highland SUV, according to the company.

Hybrids will account for

7 percent of the car market in 2015, compared with 2.2 percent in 2007, according to a prediction from J.D. Powers and Associates, a global information services provider.

The new Fargo Toyota store also will feature an improved customer lounge, Wilson said.

The current Corwin Toyota location eventually will become the home of Corwin Honda, now at 303 38th St. S.W., Fargo.

The existing Corwin Toyota location will receive an extensive renovation before Corwin Honda moves in, which is expected to occur in late summer of next year, Wilson said.

The new Fargo Toyota location is part of the Toyota company’s new Image II store design.

So far, 146 dealers have enrolled in the store design program, with 51 projects completed, according to the toyotaimageusaii.com Web site.

The site includes images of some of the Image II stores around the country.



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

F-Misthebest
Sep 18, 2008, 1:20 AM
Jimmy Johns is now open on 12th Avenue North now finally. The Silver Moon supper club is really making headway as well as Gangter's Subs downtown.

F-Misthebest
Sep 18, 2008, 1:23 AM
ND cities improve ranking for creating and improving jobsForum staff report, The Forum
Published Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Three North Dakota cities significantly improved their ranking in the 2008 Milken Institute Best-Performing Cities Index for small metro areas.

From their 2007 rankings, Bismarck rose from 42nd to 15th, while Fargo moved from 36th to 17th and Grand Forks went from 90th to 50th.

“The significant improvement in these rankings is evidence of North Dakota’s strong economy, diverse community offerings and good quality of life,” North Dakota Commerce Commissioner Shane Goettle said. “It is also strong evidence that local leaders and business people are working hard to support a growing economy that is creating news jobs while the opposite is true in many other states.”

The Milken Institute/Greenstreet Real Estate Partners Best Performing Cities Index ranks U.S. metropolitan areas by how well they are creating and sustaining jobs and economic growth. The components include job, wage and salary and technology growth.

The annual index provides a snapshot of where America’s jobs are being created and sustained. Midland, Tex., is the top ranking small metro city (population 235,000 or below). Couer d’Alene, Idaho, Bend, Ore., St. George, Utah, and Grand Junction, Col., completed this year’s top five, in that order.



Other cities in our region are Sioux Falls:23, Duluth, MN: 167, Rapid City: 66, Sioux City: 111, Lincoln, NE: 146

F-Misthebest
Sep 19, 2008, 10:16 PM
The new building being built downtown for NDSU says that they will have some big box retail. I think a Trader Joes would do well. I think the Green Market was here just a little ahead of its time. Now would be the best time for a grocery store to go downtown. I'm very interested in seeing the drawings for the new building.

Also I saw Chicago at the Fargodome yesterday. Very well attended. However, we really really really really really need to get this Performing Arts Center underway. Because the Fargodome just doesn't cut it. The Fargodome is meant for sports and conventions, not theatre. We need a space for performing arts. The Broadway Series, the FM Ballet, FM Jazz Arts Group, and the FM Symphony could use the space. I'm seeing the Symphony tomorrow btw.

F-Misthebest
Sep 19, 2008, 10:24 PM
Project on Fargo's downtown 'superblock' clears hurdle to raze Lark Theater
Helmut Schmidt, The Forum
Published Friday, September 19, 2008

FARGO - A major redevelopment on one of downtown Fargo's “superblocks” was approved for a five-year tax exemption from the city's Renaissance Zone Authority on Friday.

The $18 million to $20 million Cityscapes Development project will raze the old Lark Theater/Cinema Grill at 630 1st Ave. N. and in it’s place put up a five-story retail and apartment complex designed to serve the burgeoning population of North Dakota State University students downtown, developer Mike Bullinger said.

“It’s long overdue to do something on this lot,” Bullinger said. “This is the best use of that property that we could come up with.”

Bullinger told authority members that he was still negotiating to bring in a large firm to anchor the retail area on the first floor.

The other four floors of the building, expected to have apartments to house more than 200 students, will be marketed and rented in partnership with NDSU, Bullinger said.

Read more Saturday in The Forum

F-Misthebest
Sep 20, 2008, 12:18 AM
Hey everyone should go to www.cityoffargo.com and check out the Discover Fargo Video Tour. It's pretty sweet.

F-Misthebest
Sep 20, 2008, 2:19 AM
www.fargodowntowner.com updated

Greco Roman
Sep 20, 2008, 2:39 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.

Where is this story about the airport?

F-Misthebest
Sep 20, 2008, 10:20 PM
www.fargoairport.com Click on the News Releases tab and read August Statistics and anything else that you want to.

BigTicket
Sep 23, 2008, 2:36 AM
I was very happy to see the bulldozers over at the Old Cinema Grill tearing down the building. That is another eyesore gone from this town and in its place will be a nice five story building. Can't wait to see a few drawings of it, NDSU hasn't moved into downtown and its impact is already being felt, its going to be interesting to see how everything looks 10-20 years from now.

Some more info from the Forum..

http://www.in-forum.com/gfx/photos/full/0923demolition.jpg

Demolition begins on the east side of the old Lark Theater and former Fargo Cinema Grill, on the corner of First Avenue and Roberts Street in downtown Fargo on Monday morning by Olaf Anderson and Son, general contractors. A building that will house office and apartment-living space is planned for the space. The 600-seat theater firstopened in November 1970. Since then, the building has housed a dance company, a golf store and a church, to name a few.

F-Misthebest
Sep 23, 2008, 11:37 PM
Beer lovers to get new bar
Helmut Schmidt, The Forum
Published Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A Fargo bar owner hopes to create a place for local beer aficionados to toss one back by the end of the year.

Randy Thorson on Monday said he plans to open J.L. Beers, an on-sale and off-sale specialty beer bar, at 518 1st Ave. N., which is now an empty space next to 1st and Deli.

On a 4-0 vote, the City Commission approved letting Thorson transfer a Class CD liquor license he acquired last year from the former owner of Just One to the First Avenue North location.

Thorson said remodeling would begin today on the site.

“We just want to continue with the success of downtown,” Thorson said. “It’s kind of a fun project.”

http://img87.imageshack.us/img87/497/jlbarbb8.jpg

In other business, the commission voted 4-0 to approve the city’s 2009 budget.

The $66.4 million budget is $6.6 million more than the 2008 budget, but the mill levy will stay the same at 58.24 mills, documents show.

“We’re doing what we can here in Fargo to hold the line” on property taxes, Mayor Dennis Walaker said. “Right now, things are good in Fargo and we hope to keep them that way.”

The name J.L. Beers is a nod to the memory of the late Jim Lauerman, Thorson’s friend and the longtime owner of Lauerman’s Chili, Sandwiches & Beer, Thorson said.

The CD license allows for the sale of beer without any requirements for food sales, City Auditor Steve Sprague said. The license is held by Old Broadway Corp.

Thorson and Warren Ackley, partners in Global Development, bought the building at 514 to 520 1st Ave. N. several weeks ago.

Thorson is also an owner of the Fargo bars Borrowed Bucks Roadhouse and the Old Broadway, and Mr. G’s nightclub, Sprague said.

Thorson originally planned to move the license to 64 Broadway, the former Lauerman’s building, which he purchased last year.

But he and Ackley sold 64 Broadway to Fargo-Moorhead radio personality Scott Hennen early this year. It is now the home of Hennen’s talk radio station 1100 AM The Flag, and 106.9 FM, a classic rock station known as The Eagle.

Thorson hopes he can work with the owner of 1st and Deli. He suggested customers could take advantage of the co-location of the businesses – there is an interior door connecting the two – and purchase sandwiches at 1st and Deli and beer at J.L. Beers.

“We think it’s a nice tie-in with the deli next door,” Thorson said.

1st and Deli owner Shari Wise said she hasn’t talked with Thorson about such an arrangement.




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

F-Misthebest
Sep 23, 2008, 11:38 PM
Bye bye Lark.

http://img89.imageshack.us/img89/5895/byebyelarkqi4.jpg

hey sorry bigticket i didn't see you posted this already

BigTicket
Sep 24, 2008, 5:32 AM
Thats all right FM, I definitely don't mind seeing that picture of the Lark being torn down again.

Staying on topic of the old Lark building, The Forum had a sketch of the new buidling and also some talk of a little controversy surrounding the project...

http://www.in-forum.com/gfx/photos/full/0924rendering.jpg

Process irritates committee member
Helmut Schmidt, The Forum
Published Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Ten years of property tax breaks were approved Tuesday for a planned five-story retail and housing complex to serve North Dakota State University’s growth in downtown Fargo.

While the second of two big tax breaks for Cityscapes Development won unanimous support from the Tax Exempt Review Committee, the process didn’t.

Jim Buus, a member of the city’s Tax Exempt Review Committee, questioned whether the City Commission turned the approval process on its head by voting Sept. 6 to say it backed developer Mike Bullinger’s plans for 630 1st Ave. N.

“I was not comfortable that this project was brought to the City Commission first,” Buus said, adding that it could be interpreted as a slight to the committees and the citizens serving on them.

If the pattern continues, he said, “that will make these committees irrelevant.”

The committee approved 10 years of payment in lieu of (PILOT) property tax breaks for the $18 million to $20 million building proposed on the site of the old Lark Theater and a parking lot. With a five-year Renaissance Zone property tax exemption gaining committee-level approval last week, the completed building is in line for 15 years of aid.

City Administrator Pat Zavoral said the project was floated with the commission first to be sure it had support. Zavoral and City Attorney Eric Johnson said the unusual move was made because too many projects received committee approval in the past, and then were “shot down” by the commission.

“I think it has a chilling effect on committees like this,” Buus countered later, adding that with the commission publicly backing a project, it would be hard for a committee to deny a tax break.

Mayor Dennis Walaker also said the move was unusual, but done at the request of the developer.

“We rely heavily on the expertise of the committees,” he said.

City Planner Jim Gilmour said developers seeking tax increment financing often approach the commission first because those projects are complex and can involve a lot of staff time and expense.

The Tax Exempt Review Committee also debated the accuracy of City Assessor Ben Huschka’s early estimate of the building’s value.

While Cityscapes and JLG Architects of Fargo estimate the cost of construction for the building to be at least $18 million, Huschka said the ultimate value of the structure could be much less – $10.5 million to $11.5 million.

If that pans out, it would drastically lower the city’s expected tax revenue after the tax breaks sunset.

The City Commission is to vote on final approval for the tax breaks on Oct. 6, Gilmour said. No property taxes would be paid on the building for 10 years, and on 25 percent of its assessed value for five years.

The committee pressed Huschka to explain the differences in expected value.

Huschka and Gilmour said it came down to calculating the current value of similar retail, residential and parking spaces in downtown Fargo.

“The market is what it is,” Huschka said. He said the extra costs of construction involved in the project – removal of tons of buried debris and the need to sink caissons more than 100 feet to bedrock – “may not add to the ultimate value.”

Huschka later said the value of the building won’t be truly known until it is complete.

Cityscapes officials hope to complete construction by August 2009.

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

F-Misthebest
Sep 24, 2008, 10:01 PM
NDSU breaks 13,000 mark
Amy Dalrymple, The Forum
Published Wednesday, September 24, 2008

North Dakota State University charged past several milestones Tuesday.

Enrollment broke the 13,000 mark for the first time, with official fall numbers totaling 13,229 students.

The freshman class of 2,661 students is NDSU’s largest ever, 495 more than last year.

And – perhaps the most-anticipated milestone for Bison fans – this fall marks the first time NDSU has enrolled more students than the University of North Dakota.

NDSU has 481 students more than UND’s headcount of 12,748.

http://img99.imageshack.us/img99/8075/enrollmentzy7.jpg

UND spokesman Peter Johnson said university officials are happy for NDSU’s success.

“We think that anytime any of the institutions in the university system grows, that’s good for all of us,” Johnson said.

UND’s enrollment grew by 189 students, a 1.5 percent increase over last year’s official tally of 12,559.

NDSU gained 702 students over last year, a 5.6 percent increase.

Prakash Mathew, NDSU vice president for student affairs, said the nearly 23 percent jump in freshman enrollment is “unheard of.”

He attributed the growth to the quality of NDSU’s academic programs, which have become known nationally and internationally.

This fall’s freshman class includes 264 new Presidential and Presidential Honor Scholars, who have a minimum ACT score of 29. That’s about 100 more than NDSU had last year.

NDSU also has 11 National Merit Scholars, compared to four last year.

International student enrollment also hit an all-time high at 963 students.

Graduate student enrollment increased by 42 students to 1,818.

UND continues to boast the largest graduate enrollment in the state with 2,135 students, an 8 percent increase from last year.

Johnson said UND’s strategic plan is for graduate students to make up 20 percent of the university’s enrollment.

UND’s enrollment includes 1,942 new freshmen, a 5 percent increase.

Officials are pleased with the quality of the freshman class, Johnson said. This fall there are 203 Presidential Freshman Scholars, who have a minimum ACT score of 29.


Other eastern North Dakota campuses reported stable or growing enrollments:


- North Dakota State College of Science reported 2,545 students, a 5.3 percent increase over last year’s headcount of 2,417 students.

President John Richman attributed the growth to the college’s accessibility. NDSCS serves students at the Wahpeton campus, the Skills and Training Technology Center in Fargo and through distance delivery.


- Valley City State University reported 1,019 students, a 3.8 percent increase from last year’s tally of 982 students. President Steve Shirley said new programs and collaborations with other universities have driven the growth.


- Mayville State University reported 789 students, a 2.6 percent increase from last year’s headcount of 769.

Mayville State had enrollment declines of 8 percent and 9 percent the previous two years. President Gary Hagen said the turnaround is in part due to growing enrollment in distance education.


- Jamestown College reported 1,020 students, stable from last fall’s enrollment of 1,024. The college saw an increase in new freshmen and transfers and a 6 percent increase in students from out of state.




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

Pappy2000
Sep 27, 2008, 5:35 AM
Hey everyone should go to www.cityoffargo.com and check out the Discover Fargo Video Tour. It's pretty sweet.

I wish they would put something together to show what the city's officials view as a future for Fargo.

NysOne
Sep 30, 2008, 2:53 PM
I'm looking for a tip club to join...anyone know of any? It's a great way to share information about businesses that are going to open, or expand in the area. Some of my colleagues find out information in their tip clubs before anyone else knows! Thank you for any help.

F-Misthebest
Oct 1, 2008, 4:15 AM
WF considers city-owned golf course
Benny Polacca, The Forum
Published Tuesday, September 30, 2008

West Fargo commissioners decided Monday to pursue the idea of a city-owned golf course.

The City Commission voted 5-0 to direct city staff to conduct talks with WestPort Beach Development Corp. officials after WestPort Beach offered 160 acres to the city as a gift for a proposed 18-hole municipal golf course.

The land is north of 52nd Avenue West, south of the WestPort Beach Subdivision and 40th Avenue West, and west of Sheyenne Street. It’s valued at $3.6 million.

City Administrator Jim Brownlee said Monday that WestPort Beach officials also offered to pay for construction of the golf course by paying for storm water special assessments on property they own to prevent flooding. WestPort Beach would also pay for golf pass assessments for developed lots in the area, he said.

The storm water and golf pass assessments would total about

$7.3 million, which is one estimated cost for the golf course, Brownlee said.

A $16,000 golf course feasibility study conducted for the city shows that if an 18-hole golf course is built and opened in 2009 in the WestPort Beach Subdivision, it could lose about $246,000 in its first year.

The study – conducted by HVS Golf Services of Boulder, Colo., and reviewed by commissioners in May – states that by 2018, course losses could decrease to $139,000. The city paid $2,500 for the study; WestPort Beach footed the rest of the bill.

Brownlee said if the course’s profit-loss projections occur, the city could create a $450,000 contingency fund to offset losses until 2013.

“Hopefully by that time the course will break even or that we would have to put that into a budgeted item,” he said.

Jim Bullis, a lawyer representing WestPort Beach, told commissioners: “We’re coming to you with an opportunity. You’re going to have to take a tremendous risk.”

WestPort Beach plans to build additional housing around the golf course if it is built.

Mayor Rich Mattern said it could be a good investment.

“It’s $240 million that would be added to the property tax rolls. … People are looking for amenities,” Mattern said of the proposal. “That is nothing to sneeze at.”

Operation of the proposed golf course is among the topics that needs more discussion. The West Fargo Park District has agreed to participate in course-development discussions in an advisory capacity, but will not contribute financially at this time.

“We just don’t have that on our priority list,” Park Board Chairwoman Sharon Odegaard told the commission. She said there are no Park District funds for course development at this time.

Brownlee said a task committee would be responsible for the course’s operations, pending the commission’s approval and selection of members.

In other business Monday, the commission unanimously approved its 2009 city budget, which projects $29.4 million in spending and the mill levy remaining at 88.41.

F-Misthebest
Oct 1, 2008, 4:20 AM
Breaking new ground
Tracy Frank, The Forum
Published Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Appareo Systems is building a new office and manufacturing facility in the North Dakota State University Research and Technology Park.

The 40,000-square-foot building is scheduled to be finished by July 2009. It will be located just northeast of Alien Technology’s Radio Frequency Identification tag manufacturing facility.

Appareo is an engineering, research and development company that provides augmented reality products to the aerospace industry. The company employs 40 people and expects to double in size over the next three years.

http://img215.imageshack.us/img215/5873/newtechnologyparkgh8.jpg

Within the past few weeks, the company has signed multimillion-dollar contracts with European aviation companies, said Barry Batcheller, Appareo president and chief executive officer.

“What you will see happening on this piece of land, I think you will find to be extraordinary,” Batcheller said during a ground-breaking ceremony Monday.

NDSU plans to occupy half of the new building with its Ph.D. program in materials and nanotechnology.

NDSU President Joe Chapman said students will benefit from working with people like Batcheller. He said the company is an example of a successful public-private partnership.

“This is just the first of many companies that we will see coming here,” he said.

In 2003, Appareo occupied a small office in the first research building NDSU built. The company later expanded to a larger space in NDSU’s second research building before moving into its current location in the technology incubator building.

“This building is in so many ways a physical embodiment of what has been a successful research park investment,” said David Batcheller, Appareo director of quality, process and program management and Barry Batcheller’s son.

Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, directed $1.6 million to use Appareo’s Aircraft Logging and Recording for Training System in U.S. military training aircraft, a news release stated.




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


Kind of a lame plan but oh well.

F-Misthebest
Oct 1, 2008, 4:22 AM
Health software firm plans Fargo office
Craig McEwen, The Forum
Published Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Health care software company Lighthouse 1 will open an office in Fargo early next year, employing 15 to 20 people.

Lighthouse 1, a sister company of Fargo-based State Bank and Trust, has named Jeff Young, Fargo, company president and CEO and Todd Reynolds, chief technology officer. Both were previously employed in Fargo by Microsoft and Great Plains Software.

“We’re excited about this venture,” said Michael Solberg, executive vice president and chief operating officer of State Bank and Trust.

“We are confident that Jeff and Todd are the perfect fit to lead the way as we tie together our company’s banking, health care and technology strategies,” Solberg said.

“Having the chance to join a great team at Lighthouse 1 and lead a fast-growing business in the consumer-driven health care space is incredibly exciting,” Young said.

Lighthouse 1, which employs 100 people at its Minnetonka, Minn., headquarters, was purchased by State Bank and Trust in January.

The new Fargo Lighthouse 1 offices will initially be in the State Bank and Trust headquarters building at 5050 13th Ave. S., Solberg said.

The new location will house software developers, sales associates and administrative staff, he said.

Solberg expects the Fargo and Minnetonka Lighthouse locations to see substantial growth in the future.




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

JoeJoe
Oct 6, 2008, 12:28 AM
Either 'The Forum' story meant to say 3100 13th Ave S (which is the Headquarters of State Bank) or they meant to say at/near the banks Time Square location which is in that strip mall at 5050 13th Ave S.

Also I'll offer a bit of background on the Lighthouse1/State Bank history. Discovery Benefits used to be the sister company to State Bank. However, when State Bank decided to "make a significant investment in" (aka buy) Lighthouse1 they had to cut ties with Discovery Benefits. Discovery Benefits uses Lighthouse1's software to manage their accounts - that's actually how State Bank got the idea to buy them. Lighthouse1 provides its software to many of Discovery Benefits competitors, and to be able to continue to do so the idea to spin-off Discovery Benefits was made. The 'independent' Discovery Benefits is owned by Noridian (51%) and State Bank (49%).

The gist of the deal was to make State Bank a powerhouse for Health Savings Accounts. Lighthouse1 provides the software for companies to manage the HSAs and State Bank provides the service to house the money for the companies using Lighthouse1's software. If growth goes as projected for HSAs this could be a very good thing for Fargo.

F-Misthebest
Oct 17, 2008, 9:37 PM
Wow, no one has talked for a while so i'll try to give updates with what's going on around town.
- the Lark Theatre is gone, and bulldozers have started to dig out the underground parking.
- 301 Broadway is nearing facade completion with much of the brick on already.
- a new store that specifies in women's wear and boutique furniture is opening soon in 102 Broadway. i think it's called Vlana Vlee or something like that.
- the UP Center is almost done in Urban Plains.
- the lake at Urban Plains is done.
- the round a bout at the intersection of Sheyenne and 52nd Avenue south is done as well.
- NDSU downtown's newest additions are also looking pretty finished.

just some updates

Doc
Oct 18, 2008, 4:27 PM
It just opened. (http://www.vlanavlee.com/BrittsBlog.html):)

Pappy2000
Oct 21, 2008, 5:56 AM
Well, it is good to see shops opening downtown, I just can't get excited about this one.

It's good to see projects getting completed, I am going to bring my camera to work as my office sits on Amber Valley Parkway and I get a firsthand look of UP and I travel daily to one of our other offices on 52nd and University so I get a firsthand look of the construction going on over there.

I hope to have pics up within the next day or two, it's time to get more things posted here besides Forum reposts.

BTW - They have started construction on the new Walmart at 52nd Ave.

MoreFM
Oct 23, 2008, 1:36 AM
A while back a post was submitted regarding a new building being built just north of the Microsoft Campus. The building appears to be now almost finished and is for Auto-Owner's Insurance.

Also appears some prep work may be getting started on University from 32nd to 52nd expansion slated for next year.

F-Misthebest
Oct 24, 2008, 2:44 AM
hey they're building a La Quinta Inn and Suites at 2355 46th street south. it's gonna be four stories. is that in Urban plains or is that north of there?

matthew2109
Oct 24, 2008, 4:48 PM
hey they're building a La Quinta Inn and Suites at 2355 46th street south. it's gonna be four stories. is that in Urban plains or is that north of there?

north of there...just west of the Stop N Go and the bearing place

Pappy2000
Oct 26, 2008, 6:51 AM
Sorry Everyone- Been trying to get out and get pictures to post, however scheduling and mother-nature are not cooperating. I will get them though so be patient with me.

HarleyGal
Oct 27, 2008, 7:40 PM
Here's the website link to the new steakhouse moving in to the old Bennigan's building in Fargo: http://www.normansprime.com No prices listed, but quite a variety of food!

F-Misthebest
Oct 27, 2008, 10:10 PM
Urban Plains Center
The Forum
Published Monday, October 27, 2008

The wait is almost over. The largest arena to be built in Fargo-Moorhead since the Fargodome – the Urban Plains Center – throws open its doors Thursday when the Fargo Force hosts the Sioux Falls Stampede in its first United States Hockey League home game. The inaugural non-hockey action follows Sunday when Jewel will perform a solo concert. You don’t have to wait for the puck to drop or a guitar to be plucked to get a peek inside the Urban Plains Center. The Forum has toured the $25 million facility and has the details on what fans can expect when they get their first look at the arena’s interior.

http://img231.imageshack.us/img231/8201/upcenter1sz7.jpg

http://img206.imageshack.us/img206/8089/upcenter2xo9.jpg

http://img293.imageshack.us/img293/157/upcenter3tm9.jpg

http://img293.imageshack.us/img293/6808/upcenter4il7.jpg

http://img222.imageshack.us/img222/8353/upcenter5vg7.jpg

Thick layers of dust coat the seats and floors of the Urban Plains Center and plenty of last-minute jobs remain.

The work left to do – hanging the scoreboards and video boards and completing the parking lots, for example – doesn’t include any “show-stoppers,” but project manager Donovan Larson said a little more than a week ago that, “There are going to be some long overnights.”

Despite not being polished to its full sheen, seeing the Urban Plains Center before its public unveiling Thursday left one undeniable impression: It’s going to be a heck of a place to see a hockey game.

“This has got to be the nicest high school arena in the country,” said Mike Hartel, secretary of the Metro Sports Foundation, the nonprofit that will operate the facility. “Hockey fans are going to love it. Entertainment fans are going to enjoy the experience, too.”

Here’s what fans can expect, based on tours of the venue in the past two weeks:

Seating

About 3,000 of the arena’s 5,000 seats will be in the reserved section directly above the ice. Another 1,000 will be general admission bleacher seating on the ends behind the goals, which will be the student section for high school games. The remaining 1,000 tickets are for the 36 private luxury suites, club lounges at opposite ends of the rink and the club-level seating that circles the arena between the suite level and the reserved section.

The sight lines leave little room for improvement. The front row of the reserved seats is positioned slightly above the ice, and the bleachers at the ends will be slightly sunken to prevent standing students from blocking the views of fans behind them.

“You can see that there’s not a bad seat in the house,” said Sommer Lockhart, the center’s marketing director.

When in concert mode, the venue will typically place the stage on the north end of the bowl area. That will drop capacity to 4,000. Even on the edges farthest back, the neck-craning required is modest.

As far as comfort, you’ll get what you pay for. The cushioned suite seats and padded stools bellied up to the barlike club level are more pleasant than the sparse plastic seats in the reserved section – which could be squirm-inducing after two hours.

The bleachers were not built as of Thursday. A group of volunteers constructing them was expected to be done by Sunday, Hartel said.

Amenities

There will be five clusters of bathrooms and one family-style bathroom, Larson said. There are 12 toilets and four sinks in the women’s rooms, with six urinals, two toilets and three sinks in the men’s rooms.

Five concession areas will each feature different foods, Lockhart said, such as pizza, burgers and tacos in a bag. Soft drinks will be Pepsi products. Food, beer and liquor service will be available in club and suite seats. Liquor will not be available in other sections, Lockhart said. Alcohol won’t be served at high school games.

The luxury suites will hold from 14 to 23 people and be outfitted with a 32-inch flat-screen television, some of the 60 such screens throughout the arena. The suites will have two refrigerators, one for soda and one for alcohol.

The main lobby is spacious, with a stage for live music and a fireplace. That area will eventually serve as a hub connecting to the $12 million multisheet tournament facility MSF hopes to begin constructing in late 2009. A restaurant is planned off the lobby, as well, but will not be fully functional until the tournament rinks are built, said Lance Johnson, general manager of the UP Center. Until then, it will be a beer garden area called Shooters.

There will be scoreboards and video boards on both ends of the arena flanked by ads, and a video ribbon for advertisers circling most of the bowl area, Larson said.

Design

One of the most striking aesthetic portions of the UP Center will be the heavy dose of advertising. In addition to signage on the boards circling the rink and above the suites, companies will have logos in the ice itself. Even a Zamboni will be sponsored.

“It’s a miniature NHL facility, with all the marketing and all the advertising that goes with it,” said Dean Blais, coach of Fargo Force, the junior hockey team that will call the arena home.

There are other touches bound to be noticed. Lighting throughout the concourse varies in color, more than a dozen different shades. During the day, that will be drowned out by the natural light coming from the large windows looking out from the hallways ringing the venue.

There are recurring design features, such as the curved wooden boards above the concession areas and the main access to the bowl area and the square tiles of slate spread throughout the arena.

“It’s warm,” Larson said of the slate accents. “It doesn’t seem so stark and hard.”

Also, the tempered glass around the ice sheet – 6 feet tall along the sides and

8 feet on the ends – is actual curved glass in the corners.

Eco-friendly

Some of the most novel elements of the Urban Plains Center will be the most difficult to detect. The firm that designed the center, Icon Architectural Group, employed enough “green” building strategies that it plans to seek Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification – a voluntary accreditation for eco-conscious structures.

Recycled plastic is used in the players’ benches and in shelving; lights in locker rooms and restrooms are motion-controlled; and the heat produced by cooling the ice will be captured and used to heat the arena. Larson said the ice-refrigeration system will produce sufficient heat that it could eventually be piped to nearby businesses in the Urban Plains district.

The green tactic that will be most obvious to arena-goers will be in the bathrooms. Toilets will have two flush settings – pull up for liquid waste and push down for solids. And urinals in the men’s room will be water-free, using a filter instead to save on water usage.



Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Roepke at (701) 241-5535

NysOne
Oct 28, 2008, 2:04 PM
Hey...CBB is going into four locations...does anyone know anything about them? 905 Main Ave, 4501 19th Ave S, 1001 38th St.S, & 1220 19th Ave N. I would guess if it's a coffee house it may be going into old Starbuck locations?

Wolfmanfromsufu
Oct 28, 2008, 4:40 PM
Urban Plains Center
The Forum
Published Monday, October 27, 2008

The wait is almost over. The largest arena to be built in Fargo-Moorhead since the Fargodome – the Urban Plains Center – throws open its doors Thursday when the Fargo Force hosts the Sioux Falls Stampede in its first United States Hockey League home game. The inaugural non-hockey action follows Sunday when Jewel will perform a solo concert. You don’t have to wait for the puck to drop or a guitar to be plucked to get a peek inside the Urban Plains Center. The Forum has toured the $25 million facility and has the details on what fans can expect when they get their first look at the arena’s interior.

http://img231.imageshack.us/img231/8201/upcenter1sz7.jpg

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Thick layers of dust coat the seats and floors of the Urban Plains Center and plenty of last-minute jobs remain.

The work left to do – hanging the scoreboards and video boards and completing the parking lots, for example – doesn’t include any “show-stoppers,” but project manager Donovan Larson said a little more than a week ago that, “There are going to be some long overnights.”

Despite not being polished to its full sheen, seeing the Urban Plains Center before its public unveiling Thursday left one undeniable impression: It’s going to be a heck of a place to see a hockey game.

“This has got to be the nicest high school arena in the country,” said Mike Hartel, secretary of the Metro Sports Foundation, the nonprofit that will operate the facility. “Hockey fans are going to love it. Entertainment fans are going to enjoy the experience, too.”

Here’s what fans can expect, based on tours of the venue in the past two weeks:

Seating

About 3,000 of the arena’s 5,000 seats will be in the reserved section directly above the ice. Another 1,000 will be general admission bleacher seating on the ends behind the goals, which will be the student section for high school games. The remaining 1,000 tickets are for the 36 private luxury suites, club lounges at opposite ends of the rink and the club-level seating that circles the arena between the suite level and the reserved section.

The sight lines leave little room for improvement. The front row of the reserved seats is positioned slightly above the ice, and the bleachers at the ends will be slightly sunken to prevent standing students from blocking the views of fans behind them.

“You can see that there’s not a bad seat in the house,” said Sommer Lockhart, the center’s marketing director.

When in concert mode, the venue will typically place the stage on the north end of the bowl area. That will drop capacity to 4,000. Even on the edges farthest back, the neck-craning required is modest.

As far as comfort, you’ll get what you pay for. The cushioned suite seats and padded stools bellied up to the barlike club level are more pleasant than the sparse plastic seats in the reserved section – which could be squirm-inducing after two hours.

The bleachers were not built as of Thursday. A group of volunteers constructing them was expected to be done by Sunday, Hartel said.

Amenities

There will be five clusters of bathrooms and one family-style bathroom, Larson said. There are 12 toilets and four sinks in the women’s rooms, with six urinals, two toilets and three sinks in the men’s rooms.

Five concession areas will each feature different foods, Lockhart said, such as pizza, burgers and tacos in a bag. Soft drinks will be Pepsi products. Food, beer and liquor service will be available in club and suite seats. Liquor will not be available in other sections, Lockhart said. Alcohol won’t be served at high school games.

The luxury suites will hold from 14 to 23 people and be outfitted with a 32-inch flat-screen television, some of the 60 such screens throughout the arena. The suites will have two refrigerators, one for soda and one for alcohol.

The main lobby is spacious, with a stage for live music and a fireplace. That area will eventually serve as a hub connecting to the $12 million multisheet tournament facility MSF hopes to begin constructing in late 2009. A restaurant is planned off the lobby, as well, but will not be fully functional until the tournament rinks are built, said Lance Johnson, general manager of the UP Center. Until then, it will be a beer garden area called Shooters.

There will be scoreboards and video boards on both ends of the arena flanked by ads, and a video ribbon for advertisers circling most of the bowl area, Larson said.

Design

One of the most striking aesthetic portions of the UP Center will be the heavy dose of advertising. In addition to signage on the boards circling the rink and above the suites, companies will have logos in the ice itself. Even a Zamboni will be sponsored.

“It’s a miniature NHL facility, with all the marketing and all the advertising that goes with it,” said Dean Blais, coach of Fargo Force, the junior hockey team that will call the arena home.

There are other touches bound to be noticed. Lighting throughout the concourse varies in color, more than a dozen different shades. During the day, that will be drowned out by the natural light coming from the large windows looking out from the hallways ringing the venue.

There are recurring design features, such as the curved wooden boards above the concession areas and the main access to the bowl area and the square tiles of slate spread throughout the arena.

“It’s warm,” Larson said of the slate accents. “It doesn’t seem so stark and hard.”

Also, the tempered glass around the ice sheet – 6 feet tall along the sides and

8 feet on the ends – is actual curved glass in the corners.

Eco-friendly

Some of the most novel elements of the Urban Plains Center will be the most difficult to detect. The firm that designed the center, Icon Architectural Group, employed enough “green” building strategies that it plans to seek Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification – a voluntary accreditation for eco-conscious structures.

Recycled plastic is used in the players’ benches and in shelving; lights in locker rooms and restrooms are motion-controlled; and the heat produced by cooling the ice will be captured and used to heat the arena. Larson said the ice-refrigeration system will produce sufficient heat that it could eventually be piped to nearby businesses in the Urban Plains district.

The green tactic that will be most obvious to arena-goers will be in the bathrooms. Toilets will have two flush settings – pull up for liquid waste and push down for solids. And urinals in the men’s room will be water-free, using a filter instead to save on water usage.



Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Roepke at (701) 241-5535

Wow, you guys are forward looking enough to build a nice second arena while here in SF we're having a hard time getting a replacement for our horribly out of date arena.

F-Misthebest
Oct 29, 2008, 2:13 AM
Yeah but you have a lot of downtown construction.


Here's an article about TJ Maxx Plaza renovation



T.J. Maxx Plaza getting a facelift
Tracy Frank, The Forum
Published Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The T.J. Maxx Plaza in Fargo is getting a new look.

The entire fa?ade of the strip mall west of West Acres shopping center along 13th Avenue South is being renovated into a sleeker, more modern style.

“We needed a new look to keep our tenant base and also to expand our tenant base,” said Vern Kepler, T.J. Maxx Plaza manager. “The center’s been very successful in that regard, but there is a lot of retail out there and a lot of new stores.”

The project started in May and should be finished on Saturday. The construction crew lost some time due to weather delays, said Charles Huske, construction supervisor with Innovative Construction Solutions based in Brookfield, Wis.

Other changes include expanding the Party City store and a move for the Jo-Ann Fabrics and Crafts store.

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“We’ve expanded our merchandise in about every category,” said Party City co-owner Colleen Cameron.

The store now offers more balloons, baking accessories, and items for kids’ birthday parties and weddings. Party City will also leave its Halloween items out year-round.

Jo-Ann Fabrics and Crafts is closing its current location and moving to a bigger store on the other side of the plaza. The new store is planned to open Nov. 7.

“We’re moving to a larger space so we can offer our customers a wider variety of fabrics and crafts,” said Lorraine Schuchart, Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores public relations manager.

Negotiations are in the works to fill the space Jo-Ann Fabrics and Crafts is leaving.

A 2,400-square-foot space is also open in the strip mall.

“With the plaza doing what it is, I don’t think the space is going to last long,” Kepler said.

The parking lot is also being repaved, Kepler said.

“It’s an excellent location,” he said. “One of the advantages this center has over others is our location near the regional shopping center, West Acres. Being between Target and Kohl’s also is a good intermediate point and we do draw quite a bit of traffic.”




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

F-Misthebest
Oct 29, 2008, 2:15 AM
52nd, I-29 road work nearly done
Helmut Schmidt, The Forum
Published Tuesday, October 28, 2008

After a summer featuring a sea of orange construction cones, work to widen Fargo’s 52nd Avenue South and improve the interchange at Interstate 29 is nearly done, city and state project managers said Monday.

The only major pieces of roadway that need to be completed are the southwest ramp from 52nd Avenue South to southbound I-29, and a new frontage road for Frontier, said Joe Peyerl, project engineer for the state Department of Transportation.

The last month’s wet weather has made finishing the job tough, Peyerl said.

“Basically we’re slugging our way through the rain,” he said.

Peyerl said work on the interstate ramp was scheduled to start Monday, but would certainly be under way by today. He said curb and gutter work for the frontage road is planned for the next couple of days, with asphalt laid by the weekend.

Fargo officials said work east and west of the interstate is down to minor items such as road striping and landscaping.

“Hopefully, if it quits raining, we should have it done by the end of the month,” said Kristi Schmidt, a Fargo civil and project engineer who has guided work on the project.

Cody Eilertson, project manager for work on 52nd Avenue from 38th Street South to 45th Street South – plus some water infrastructure farther west – said finishing work is also being done on manholes in his area. Peyerl said traffic signals and overpass lights should be done by Thanksgiving.

He said the old interstate overpass will demolished by the first part of November.

He said traffic will be detoured off I-29 using the interchange for three days to keep cars safe from debris.

Previously, 52nd Avenue South was classified as two-lane rural asphalt.

All of 52nd from University Drive South to 45th Street South is now at least four lanes of concrete – two lanes each way plus turn lanes. Through the new I-29 interchange, it is six lanes wide – three each way plus turn lanes.

Bids for the interchange portion of the project were $23.1 million, with the federal government paying 70.6 percent of the cost, the state 6.4 percent and local governments 23 percent, the DOT Web site said.

Eilertson said work from University to the interchange area cost about $10.2 million. Work west of the interchange on the project cost about $6 million, he said.




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






Drove down there today and it really does look pretty nice.

Pappy2000
Nov 2, 2008, 2:58 AM
Here are the photos I promised. First time posting photos so I appologize for the quality. I'll post more later.


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New gas station on 45th in Urban Plains.

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UP Center 1 week before opening.

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Construction on Walmart has begun.


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Microsoft New Addition.

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Settle Inn

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Liberty Square

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New construction in Urban Plains next to ICON building.

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Brandt Park.

F-Misthebest
Nov 2, 2008, 3:15 AM
Great pix. Urban Plains is really coming along nicely.

JoeJoe
Nov 4, 2008, 5:05 PM
I went to the open house for the UP Center on Saturday and took some pictures. They are at my blog
Urban Plains Center - iJJ Photos (http://innerjoejoe.wordpress.com/2008/11/01/urban-plains-center-ijj-photos/)
My blog is SFW, though be warned that my blog mantra is "ruminations on politics, culture, technology, & being queer."
If someone wants to post them here (and knows better than I how to do it) you can link to my photos or copy them to a site that is compatible with this forum.

F-Misthebest
Nov 5, 2008, 4:27 AM
New restaurant to open soon
Tracy Frank, The Forum
Published Tuesday, November 04, 2008

A new high-end restaurant will open soon in Fargo where the beef served will be hand-selected from cattle owned by the restaurant’s owners.

Normans Prime Steaks & Seafood, which will occupy the former Bennigan’s location at 1776 45th St. S., is expected to open in late November or early December.

Normans Cattle & Fine Foods LLC is raising its own cattle to control the supply, said David Norman, the primary partner and one of the chefs. He is the former owner of the Fireside restaurant in Detroit Lakes, Minn.

Normans will also supply beef to four other upscale restaurants nationwide.

“We want to make sure our supply is safe,” Norman said. “We don’t use any growth hormones, we don’t use any steroids, we don’t use any antibiotics.”

Randy Gormley and his father, Richard, are partners in the restaurant and own the ranch near Cody, Wyo., where the cattle will be raised before being transferred to a ranch near Carrington, N.D., to be fed special diets in preparation for slaughter. The Wyoming ranch has been in the Gormley family for five generations.

“It’s a great concept to have the connection between the restaurant and the cattle producers so that it can meet the needs of the consumer,” Randy Gormley said.

The beef served at Normans will be prime grade, the top of five categories graded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Raising beef to a higher standard takes more time, special feeds and careful breeding, Norman said, adding that it’s worth it.

“We have complete control of the cow from the day it’s born to the day it gets to their plate,” Norman said. “That resonates very well with the customer.”

Normans will have fresh seafood flown in daily. Prices have not been set.

The facility will boast several fireplaces, an outdoor patio, torches along 45th Street, and a bar called Flame Lounge that seats 36.

“I’ve had a chance to travel all over and I really wanted to bring the best to Fargo and I think we’ve done that,” Norman said.

Ed Schultz, national syndicated talk show host, was involved in early stage negotiations, but later dropped out, Norman and Schultz said.




Forum reporter Jon Knutson contributed to this report.

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

F-Misthebest
Nov 6, 2008, 3:36 PM
I drove by the abandoned Blockbuster on 13th and there was a sign with a Walgreens coming soon.

Doc
Nov 9, 2008, 10:55 PM
Went into the new boutique on Broadway and 1st (MUCH nicer than the web site). It is largely furniture and very nice. I'm pretty sure think it will find a big fan base here.

Silver Moon has been getting great reviews in the paper as well.

Did anyone post the story about NDSU building 800 new apartments on campus?

F-Misthebest
Nov 10, 2008, 3:39 AM
Fargo pool idea makes splash
Heath Hotzler, The Forum
Published Sunday, November 09, 2008

Another multimillion-dollar sports facility appears to be on the horizon for southwest Fargo.

The sport at the center of the effort: swimming.

A community group is spearheading the push to build a $10 million to $20 million aquatic center – including an eight-lane, 50-meter Olympic-sized pool and a separate diving well – across the street from the recently built Urban Plains Center, said Lance Bergstrom, the group’s organizer.

The aquatic center, which Bergstrom said would be privately funded, would fill a growing need for a premiere competitive swimming facility in North Dakota’s largest city. The additional water also would help ease overcrowding at area high school pools.

“We’ve been working in the last six months with several people, and we’ve had a number of parent group meetings and meetings with community groups at-large,” said Bergstrom, a Fargo eye surgeon. “Clearly, there is a need for more water.” And in this case, location may be everything.

Because the $25 million UP Center was built with geothermal capabilities, a pool and a hockey arena next to each other could help both facilities save money on energy costs.

“One wants heat, and one wants the cold,” said Todd Berning, president of the Metro Sports Foundation and a key player in getting the UP Center built. “You could run a geothermal swap with utilities. The bills would almost go away. You would just be swapping heat and cold.”

A geothermal system – a series of underground wells and water pipes – uses heat from the earth instead of fossil fuels to provide cheaper, cleaner energy.

Berning said a geothermal system was built as part of the UP Center to connect with future buildings in the Urban Plains development.

Berning said he’s heard an organized group is trying to solve some swimming issues, but said he hasn’t had any formal discussions with the group’s representatives.

“Would we love to have a pool out here? Absolutely,” he said. “I would be more than happy to talk about it.”

Figuring out where to build the aquatic center is another challenge.




‘Worth looking into’

Bergstrom’s group would likely need to purchase land from Urban Plains Land Co. or would need to have it donated.

The swimming group also has discussed partnering with the YMCA of Cass and Clay Counties, which also is looking to build a new facility in southwest Fargo.

Paul Finstad, YMCA chief executive officer, said they have zeroed in on a 32nd Avenue South location across from the Urban Plains Center, and a pool would be part of those plans.

It is unclear whether the YMCA would be able to partner with Bergstrom’s group and build the facility it has in mind.

“We haven’t done enough homework to know,” he said. “But it sounds like something that is worth looking into.”

Finstad also said the YMCA will not start a new project until its planned southeast Moorhead YMCA is done. The new Moorhead facility is scheduled to open in fall 2011, he said. Bergstrom said he hopes the aquatic center could be open by then.

Another partnership idea that has come up involves Fargo’s MeritCare Hospital.

Fargo Shanley girl’s swimming coach Ben Hanson, who coaches Bergstrom’s daughter, said MeritCare could be involved in the project because it is looking into opening an aquatic rehabilitation facility in Fargo.

Bergstrom’s aquatic center proposal calls for a rehabilitation center.

MeritCare spokeswoman Carrie Haug said MeritCare is aware that a private group is looking into building an aquatic center, but there have been no formal conversations about it.




Push for pool space

The biggest driving factor behind the push for a Fargo aquatic center is the need for more pools in the area. For example, the Shanley swimming team practices at South High School at 6 p.m. because Shanley doesn’t have a pool.

West Fargo High School’s girls team has grown from 28 participants last year to 40 this year, coach Marsha Dahl said. The Packers boys team is up from 25 to 35.

Participation in the West Fargo Flyers club teams has increased from 90 to 120 in the past year.

Overcrowding is a problem at West Fargo’s L.E. Berger Pool, Dahl said.

Berger hosts West Fargo’s high school teams, club teams, lessons, exercise classes and open swimming.

“It’s becoming increasingly difficult to fit everybody into our pool out there,” said Dahl, the supervisor at Berger pool. “There are times when we have 300 people in here in a day, and we’re open from 5:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. (An aquatic center) would definitely benefit us.”

Bergstrom said an aquatic center could be used by local high schools for hosting large events, including the state tournament.

Teams at Fargo North, Fargo South and the soon-to-be-opened Davies High School could use an aquatic center for large events, said Fargo Public Schools Activities Director Ed Lockwood.

But Lockwood said the facility could never take the place of pools now on campus.

“It’s extremely expensive to build a pool on campus,” he said. “If we had an aquatic center, we would still need to use those sites at the school. … I just don’t know how beneficial it would be for Fargo Public Schools.

“With that said, I won’t say I wouldn’t be in support of (an aquatic center).”

The Davies campus will include an eight-lane, 25-meter pool with seating for 702. Original plans for a separate diving well at Davies were scrubbed.

Lockwood said he hopes to draw a future state swimming meet to the Davies pool.




‘No public money’

An aquatic center could help Fargo-Moorhead’s growing club swimming teams compete at a national level, Bergstrom said.

He said the center could draw major national summer swimming meets to the area.

“It’s not just about the pool, it’s about the whole economy,” he said.

The grass-roots effort to get a multimillion-dollar aquatic center built in Fargo isn’t entirely unlike recent efforts to get the UP Center built.

One involved a need for more ice; one for more water. Both are fueled by private fundraising efforts, though the UP Center was forced to eventually turn to the public for help when other funding fell through.

The Fargo Park Board struck a deal with the Metro Sports Foundation to take the UP Center as a gift in exchange for a tax break needed to secure financing to complete construction of the main arena.

Bergstrom stressed there would be no public money needed for his proposal.

“We have economic models. It will cash-flow if paid for from the beginning and there is no debt against it,” he said. “This would be paid for purely with community funds, no public money.”

He declined to elaborate more on the project’s details, but said more specifics on the proposed aquatic center would be coming soon.

“I’ve never been more optimistic.”




Readers can reach Forum reporter Heath Hotzler at (701) 241-5562.

Hotzler’s blogs can be found at www.areavoices.com

F-Misthebest
Nov 10, 2008, 3:47 AM
Went into the new boutique on Broadway and 1st (MUCH nicer than the web site). It is largely furniture and very nice. I'm pretty sure think it will find a big fan base here.

Silver Moon has been getting great reviews in the paper as well.

Did anyone post the story about NDSU building 800 new apartments on campus?

here's the articles you were talking about:

NDSU proposes new apartment project
Amy Dalrymple, The Forum
Published Tuesday, November 04, 2008

North Dakota State University is proposing a $20 million campus apartment project that would alleviate a housing shortage.

NDSU wants to build four new apartment buildings that would accommodate up to 800 students.

The buildings, which would encompass 200,000 square feet, would be part of University Village along North University Drive.

NDSU will go to the state Board of Higher Education on Thursday to get permission to move forward with the project.

The request will then need approval from the Legislature.

Janna Stoskopf, NDSU’s dean of student services, said the proposal will help the university’s housing shortage.

This fall, with a record enrollment of 13,229 students, NDSU had more than 400 freshmen living in nine hotels.

The new apartment buildings, geared for upperclassmen, would free up space for freshmen in NDSU’s traditional residence halls, Stoskopf said.

The earliest the new buildings could open is fall 2010 if NDSU gets approval for the project, she said.

Joe Heilman, NDSU student body president, said the proposal is a great idea.

“There’s such a high demand for the apartment-style living that is near or on campus,” Heilman said.

Each apartment will accommodate up to four people.

The units will have two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a kitchen. Laundry facilities and lounges will be located on each floor.

A large community room also will be included in the project.

The complex will be part of Niskanen Apartments, formerly called F Court Apartments.

The location is currently green space, so it will not replace any campus parking.

NDSU is proposing to pay for the project with revenue bonds, which are repaid with revenue from campus housing and other auxiliary services.

Laura Glatt, vice chancellor for administrative affairs for the North Dakota University System, said if the Legislature approves the request, the state Board will take a second look at it to look more closely at bonding limitations.

NDSU has issued a major bond revenue request each year since 2004 for projects such as the Living Learning Center West, the Wellness Center addition and the Memorial Union.




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



NDSU gets OK for apartments
Amy Dalrymple, The Forum
Published Friday, November 07, 2008

North Dakota State University got permission Thursday to proceed with a $20 million proposal to build new campus apartments.

The state Board of Higher Education – during a meeting held by conference call – agreed unanimously to forward NDSU’s request to the Legislature.

The proposal is to construct four buildings that would accommodate up to 800 students in NDSU’s University Village.

The project is expected to alleviate a housing shortage at NDSU.

More than 400 freshmen lived in overflow housing in nine Fargo hotels this fall.

President Joseph Chapman said the university planned to request this project in a few years, but moved it up to this biennium in response to the housing shortage.

“We’ve got significant enrollment growth, so we think it’s a good time to bring this forward,” Chapman said.

NDSU had a record enrollment this fall of 13,229 students, including a nearly

23 percent increase in freshmen, who are required to live on campus.

University officials expect enrollment could be 16,000 students by 2014 if current trends continue.

The apartment project, totaling 200,000 square feet, will be part of Niskanen Apartments on North University Drive, formerly called F Court Apartments.

Each unit would accommodate up to four people.

The project would be funded with revenue bonds.

If the Legislature approves NDSU’s request, the board will consider it again for final approval.



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

Doc
Nov 10, 2008, 7:58 PM
With the defeat of measures 1 and 2, it looks like the goal of 16,000 students at NDSU is attainable.:tup:

F-Misthebest
Nov 10, 2008, 10:47 PM
Totally. Hector Airport's October statistics rose 12.9% over last year. Year to date statistics is 8.8% more than last year. That's a 44,000 person increase. 53,313 people used the new airport in October.

WLF
Nov 13, 2008, 8:27 PM
anyone know the GC for cityscapes plaza? who will be building it?
thanks.

NysOne
Nov 13, 2008, 10:24 PM
If I remember correctly...Mike Bullinger.

F-Misthebest
Nov 21, 2008, 5:09 AM
Driving development
Helmut Schmidt, The Forum
Published Wednesday, November 19, 2008

It’s one thing to plan Fargo’s future sitting in a leather chair and looking at a Powerpoint slide. It’s another thing to board a bus and drive the land, City Commission and Planning Commission members said Tuesday.

The city is poised for rapid growth, and good and bad decisions become clearer when seen firsthand, the officials said after touring developments on the city’s far south side.

“When I was younger, 13th Avenue (South) was a dirt road. Now, it’s 76th Avenue (South). And you’ll be shocked at how soon we’re out there,” City Commission Dave Piepkorn said.

“I think we’re going to be growing faster. I think with the high school and the prospect of two new grade schools,” the city is poised for fast growth, Piepkorn said.

“These kinds of visits are very, very helpful for us. It takes it out of the abstract,” said Planning Commission Chairman John Q. Paulsen. “I think we saw in some of the residential areas some of the things we need to do and shouldn’t be doing.”

The bus tour, which also included representatives from the Fargo Park District, circled through areas of development north and south of the rebuilt 52nd Avenue and Interstate 29 interchange, and stopped in areas where flood control measures, parks and recreational trails would be integrated with residential and commercial development.

The tour also looped farther south to give commissioners a look at residential developments under construction, and early work on Judge Ronald N. Davies High School, at the intersection of 70th Avenue South and 25th Street South.

Senior Planner Jim Hinderaker said such tours give commissioners a better idea of how projects are progressing, and staff get a better idea of the policy directions elected officials want to take.

City Commissioner Mike Williams said the communication with the city’s planning and engineering staff is vital. For Williams, a policy he’d like to see implemented is to increase the height of 64th Avenue South above the future 100-year flood plain.

That way when the street becomes an arterial corridor in the future, it can “help provide a line of defense for the core of the city,” he said.

Besides the high school and interchange, some other stops included the Wal-Mart construction site southeast of the 52nd Avenue South/I-29 interchange; the Prairie Grove and Maple Valley additions, south of 52nd Avenue South and west of 25th Street South; and the proposed Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch site south of 76th Avenue South.

http://img221.imageshack.us/img221/6480/davieshighschool1qg3.jpg

http://img221.imageshack.us/img221/9047/davieshighschool2nl8.jpg


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

F-Misthebest
Nov 21, 2008, 5:11 AM
Walgreens to open 3 new stores
Tracy Frank, The Forum
Published Thursday, November 20, 2008

Three new Walgreens drugstores are planned to open next year in Fargo-Moorhead.

One will be near in the former Blockbuster store at 2300 13th Ave. S in Fargo. The vacant Blockbuster building will come down to make way for a 13,650-square-foot facility estimated to open in fall 2009.

Another Fargo store will be in the former Grandma’s Saloon & Grill site at 4201 13th Ave. S. It will be a 13,762-square-foot facility estimated to open in summer 2009.

The third is planned at 700 30th Ave. S. in Moorhead. The 14,490-square-foot facility is estimated to open in fall 2009.

Aging baby boomers are a big reason for the new stores, which will have one-hour photo stations, groceries, pharmacies and small waiting rooms, said Robert Elfinger, Walgreens spokesman.

“The demand for pharmaceuticals is increasing every year because the baby boomers are coming of age in their peak prescription use years,” he said.

Eight years ago, 23,820 people ages 60 and over lived in Cass and Clay counties, comprising 14 percent of the population, according to Fargo-Moorhead Metropolitan Council of Governments, the planning organization for the Fargo-Moorhead area.

By 2035, the number of people ages 60 and over will grow to 62,590, or 25 percent of the population, said Brian Gibson, MetroCOG transportation planner.

David Martin, Chamber of Commerce of Fargo Moorhead president and chief executive officer, said the drugstores now in the area fill the need.

“(Walgreens) must see a good and growing market here. We would say it’s already well-served,” he said.

Walgreens puts a lot of research into the locations it chooses, Elfinger said. The company is not worried that a CVS Pharmacy is located across 13th Avenue from the 23rd Street store, he said.

“When we build one, they last,” Elfinger said. “We compete really well against any pharmacy.”

Howard Anderson Jr., executive director of the North Dakota State Board of Pharmacy, said North Dakota has more pharmacies at 26 per 100,000 people than any neighboring state. The next closest is South Dakota at 16.5, he said.

The reason is that North Dakota law requires a state-licensed pharmacist to control at least 51 percent of the pharmacy, Anderson said.

In fiscal 2008, Walgreens opened 629 new stores and relocated or closed 561 stores, according to the company’s Web site.

Walgreens plans to open 495 stores in fiscal 2009.

There is now one Walgreens at 900 Main Ave. in Moorhead and one in the West Acres Shopping Center, which will close when the 42nd Street store opens.



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

wilson
Nov 21, 2008, 6:57 PM
Allegiant Air just announced nonstop to Orlando.

F-Misthebest
Nov 27, 2008, 7:36 PM
with Orlando, that's the sixth non-stop destination from Fargo. yay! hopefully we'll continue to get more and more as our economy grows.

i'm in lincoln, nebraska currently for the holidays and it's doing very well. when driving down 84th Street i came across so many new business and housing developments that were not there last january including: wal-mart, lowes, office max, walgreens, restaurants galore and full strip malls.

i also stopped in sioux falls for lunch on my way down. i just went to the food court at the empire and the mall was very busy. the old radisson hotel on I-29 i think was either demolished or split into two different buildings and then remodeled into two different marriot hotels. i thought that was a very clever idea for that spot. clearly the midsized midwestern cities are not too negatively affected by the shrinking economy. yay!

oh, and remember the old hurley's religious goods downtown? they split that space up into three different spaces. one is an architecture firm, one's still for lease, and the other one i just discovered is going to be some yoga studio called ecce (something like that). their sign in the window says "art+yoga." i think it will do well in fargo.

happy thanksgiving!

F-Misthebest
Nov 28, 2008, 9:11 PM
WF leaders to decide land use
Benny Polacca, The Forum
Published Friday, November 28, 2008

West Fargo city leaders could decide as early as Monday whether about 20 acres on the city’s western edge should be designated for residential development.

The Beaton family, which owns 19.87 acres between 13th Avenue and Interstate 94 west of 10th Street West, wants the city to change its land use plan for the area so it will be designated for medium- and high-density residential development.

The land is currently designated for office park development in the city’s comprehensive plan, the legal document providing the framework for future development.

The City Commission will hear feedback on the land use plan amendment at 5:45 p.m. Monday during a public hearing.

If the commission approves the amendment request, the land owners can begin marketing the property for residential development, said West Fargo planning director Larry Weil. “And when they’re ready, come in for an actual zoning change … currently the property is zoned agricultural.”

http://img167.imageshack.us/img167/500/westfargolanduseav0.jpg

Michael Domitrovich, a planning consultant representing the Beatons, told planning officials the land has been on the market for three years but has failed to attract interested developers.

Domitrovich submitted a rough concept to the city on what the land could look like with the land use changes. The concept calls for at least 32 homes in the land’s southern portion and two housing complexes along 13th Avenue.

The concept is not definite until the developers create a lot arrangement plan for all the housing, which will also require platting and land zoning amendments, Weil said.

If solid plans for housing are developed, the land faces an annexation hearing process so the residences can be hooked up to city water and sewer lines, Weil said.

The city’s Planning and Zoning Commission approved the land use amendment Nov. 10 in an advisory opinion. The approval also recommends that the developers build sound-buffering structures to minimize noise from I-94 and the nearby Red River Valley Fairgrounds.


If you go

- What: West Fargo City Commission meeting

- When: 5:45 p.m. Monday

- Where: City Hall, 800 4th Ave. E.



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

F-Misthebest
Nov 28, 2008, 9:35 PM
http://www.ci.moorhead.mn.us/Uploads/GAP_chapter3.pdf
check that out! it's sweet. moorhead's growth plan is really stepping up to the plate.

http://www.ci.moorhead.mn.us/uploads/1st_Avenue_Report_Final_11_13_08.pdf

Also, check that out. it's about the 1st avenue north project and plan

NanoBison
Dec 4, 2008, 7:15 PM
Delta just announced they are re-establishing flights to Salt Lake City again. I remember that last time Fargo was missing the numbers by 1 or 2 passengers a day. Perhaps it'll be able to be maintained this time around. Also not sure what it means now that NWA and Delta are merging.
Delta is also offering SLC to Bismarck.

F-Misthebest
Dec 6, 2008, 1:06 AM
Delta adds Salt Lake City flights
Janell Cole, The Forum
Published Friday, December 05, 2008

BISMARCK – Delta Airlines’ president confirmed Thursday it will add daily direct flights from Fargo and Bismarck to Salt Lake City, and reassured mayors and other local officials that the company is committed to serving small cities.
Delta President Ed Bastian said the direct flights to Salt Lake City will begin in June, using Delta’s SkyWest partner, and will operate seven days a week.

The U.S. Department of Justice recently approved the merger of Northwest Airlines and Delta. U.S. Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., invited Bastian and other Delta officials to the state to hear concerns about possible changes in service.

Delta will eventually swallow up the entire NWA brand, according to Delta’s Web site, which promises a “thoughtful integration process over the next 12-24 months.”

Dorgan, North Dakota Gov. John Hoeven and others had worried that airline service to North Dakota could suffer under the proposed merger. Delta’s headquarters are in Atlanta; Northwest’s headquarters are in Minneapolis.



Bastian assured officials at the gathering that Delta is committed to service in small cities. He said he was pleased that the company can now combine the different “strongholds” Northwest and Delta hold in different regions of the nation and world.
Those at the meeting included mayors and other officials from Fargo, Jamestown, Devils Lake, Minot and Bismarck.

Officials from each city outlined factors that make their markets a good place for Delta to maintain service. Conversely, they’re all concerned that poor or diminishing airline service could hurt their local economy if business representatives can’t fly in or out conveniently.

“We need you as a partner, Gov. John Hoeven said.

Grand Forks Convention and Visitors Bureau Manager Julie Rygg described the thousands of people who have flocked to Grand Forks for major international curling and junior hockey tournaments.

For Fargo, it was Microsoft’s expansion and thousands of employees. Jamestown officials noted the presence of Goodrich Manufacturing. Devils Lake area officials explained that it is a national draw for hunters and anglers and training of National Guard soldiers from all over the U.S.

Fargo’s Hector International Airport’s boardings are up

9 percent so far this year, its executive director, Shawn Dobberstein, told Bastian.

Cole works for Forum Communications Co., which owns The Forum. She can be reached at (701) 224-0830 or forumcap@btinet.net

Doc
Dec 9, 2008, 4:11 PM
New Downtown Apartments and Retail. (http://www.in-forum.com/articles/index.cfm?id=224615&section=news).:tup:

F-Misthebest
Dec 9, 2008, 5:17 PM
For What?

Doc
Dec 9, 2008, 11:44 PM
Does the link work now?

JoeJoe
Dec 10, 2008, 6:52 AM
More than just Broadway
Tracy Frank
The Forum - 12/10/2008

A more contemporary skyline will soon take shape in downtown Fargo.

The new focal point: an $18 million, five-story complex on the former Lark Theater site featuring shopping and housing.

Cityscapes Development unveiled the exterior plans Tuesday for the building at 630 1st Ave. N., offering a sharp contrast to the neighboring historic buildings.

The design will put a contemporary spin on the historic architectural style of the existing downtown buildings, said Joel Davy of JLG Architects, which designed the building.

Davy said the five-story retail and North Dakota State University housing complex will help transform First Avenue into the next downtown destination.

“What a renaissance from that funny Lark Theater sitting on stilts in a parking lot to bring that much retail activity and that many students downtown – it’ll just enhance everything that has been happening over the last couple of years since NDSU moved downtown,” Davy said.

The development is being built on the site of the former Lark Theater and Cinema Grill, which has been demolished.

The north façade is almost 330 feet long and has an entrance for the NDSU apartments that helps break the building into two parts, Davy said.

Developer Mike Bullinger said the facility creates an opportunity for downtown to be more than just Broadway.

The main floor will consist of approximately 40,000 square feet of retail space. Cityscapes Development has not yet signed any leasing agreements, Bullinger said.

The company wants to attract a variety of retail shops including a bookstore, drug store, fitness center, fast-food restaurants and a grocery store that might sell organic foods.

Cityscapes is also talking seriously about including an upscale downtown restaurant, Bullinger said.

“We would like to put in more unique things than just the standard but it will all depend on the economy and what we’re able to bring to the party,” Bullinger said. “Downtown Fargo is totally different than West Acres and it needs to attract businesses that can relate to students and student life downtown and if we find the right mix, I think it can be accomplished.”

The top four stories will contain 104 apartments and will be marketed and leased through NDSU’s housing department. The apartments will be able to house about 220 students, Bullinger said.

“(Students are) very excited. They can’t wait to see that option come available for them,” said Michael Harwood, NDSU assistant dean of student life. “They are, I think, going to enjoy the downtown living.”

The student apartments include a mix of efficiencies, one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom units and will have bay windows along Roberts Street and First Avenue.

The building will also have underground parking.

Fargo city commissioners have approved giving the project 10 years of payment in lieu of property tax breaks and a five-year Renaissance Zone property tax exemption to help overcome problems with the site such as extensive rubble from the “The Great Fire” of June 1893. Large underground columns must also be sunk to bedrock to stabilize the building.

Project completion is scheduled for August.

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

http://innerjoejoe.files.wordpress.com/2008/12/night-081205.jpg
http://innerjoejoe.files.wordpress.com/2008/12/1210downtown.jpg

---
Hope this resolves the link issue and the subsequent question ;)

Doc
Dec 10, 2008, 4:39 PM
I secretly hoped you would do that. Some afternoon, I'll have to teach myself to embed the stories and images.

JoeJoe
Dec 10, 2008, 7:22 PM
Well, I did kind of cheat... Since I uploaded the images to my blog it makes things a bit easier to embed. :)

matt35503
Dec 11, 2008, 5:13 AM
I am very impressed with that building. In conjunction with 300 Broadway, Fargo is starting to get some nice buildings going up. I think Fargo has enough three story generic apartment buildings....its nice to see something new. It is kind of funny because the Cityscapes Plaza reminds me of something I would see here around the U of M or down in Uptown. Very nice. So I haven't been home in awhile. Has the Walmart gone up and how is Urban Plains looking?

lifelong fm
Dec 13, 2008, 5:08 PM
Hello people. I am new to this thread but have been following for a few years. From time to time I may put in my two cents. The latest downtown project looks good although is Fargo destined to have only 4-5 story projects and nothing more substantial? Anybodys thoughts?

Buzter123
Dec 14, 2008, 5:05 PM
I am very impressed with that building. In conjunction with 300 Broadway, Fargo is starting to get some nice buildings going up. I think Fargo has enough three story generic apartment buildings....its nice to see something new. It is kind of funny because the Cityscapes Plaza reminds me of something I would see here around the U of M or down in Uptown. Very nice. So I haven't been home in awhile. Has the Walmart gone up and how is Urban Plains looking?

Construction on the new Wal-Mart is underway and should be completed by spring/summer of next year. Other 'big box' stores like Target and Menards have also began looking into expanding into "The District" off of the newly completed 52nd ave corridor. Urban Plains is slow but shure. Most of the new construction seems to be along 45th st., but with the (hopefull) completion of the new 9th st overpass/ramps on the west side of UP next summer, residential developement within and around UP should pick up as long as they don't get to crazy with their land/lease prices.

Buzter123
Dec 14, 2008, 5:32 PM
Hello people. I am new to this thread but have been following for a few years. From time to time I may put in my two cents. The latest downtown project looks good although is Fargo destined to have only 4-5 story projects and nothing more substantial? Anybodys thoughts?

It's tough to say. I don't think we can expect to see any commercial or office high rise developement in the downtown area in the near future simply due to the lack of demand. Last I heared, downtown office space was sitting at a pretty high empty rate. Downtown's best hope for high rise developement comes from residential thru NDSU's continuing expansion of it's downtown campus. Hopefully it will cause a snowball or 'trickle-down' effect. Bringing more students downtown will cause an increase of demand in commercial services thus increasing the demand in residential for the employees of those services and so on and so forth.
Also, with the lack of direct freeway access to downtown, and even the bottelnecking that occurs in all directions going in and out of downtown, people still find it a hassle. The only ways to fix the traffic flow and access problems in regards to downtown are very expensive. A spur to connect downtown to the freeways is financialy and logisticaly impossible. And the only way to make Main Ave better going into downtown would be for the city to buy out and demolish several businesses and buildings between BN's main line and Main avenue between 25th and University. Six lanes with a frontage road for the businesses on the south side would be ideal but probably not likely.

Buzter123
Dec 14, 2008, 6:40 PM
Man, this is one hell of a blizzard.:(

JoeJoe
Dec 15, 2008, 12:35 AM
Logistically there is a possibility of running a spur into the north west side of downtown by utilizing the railroad and an elevated roadway. I think NanoBison drew up the idea about 50 pages or so back in this (gigantic) thread. Financially, at this time, a downtown spur probably wouldn't make much sense. Eventually it may make sense.

Buzter123
Dec 16, 2008, 2:38 PM
http://www.in-forum.com/articles/index.cfm?id=225295&section=news

WF City Commission approves golf course deal
Benny Polacca, The Forum
Published Tuesday, December 16, 2008
· advertisement ·

West Fargo city commissioners approved an agreement between the city and a Fargo-based housing developer Monday to build an 18-hole municipal golf course with a 3-1 vote.

WestPort Beach Development Corp. officials offered to donate land it owns in south West Fargo to the city for the course construction last year.

WestPort Beach owns about 520 acres north of 52nd Avenue West, south of the WestPort Beach Subdivision and 40th Avenue West.

The agreement calls for the city and WestPort Beach to agree on several phases of the course construction including hiring an architect and the concept plans, said City Attorney Brian Neugebauer. The agreement lists course construction beginning on or before May 15, 2009.

It’s unknown how many acres of the land the course would cover. Neugebauer said, “We have to agree to that (amount) … but that land will be donated.”



RELATED CONTENT
Benny Polacca Archive
Earlier reports said 160 acres could be donated.

WestPort Beach is also planning to build housing around the golf course, which could bring property tax revenue to the city, some city officials said.

Commissioner Mike Thorstad voted against the agreement saying he was concerned about costs the city may incur as a result of the construction.

Thorstad referred to the city’s laundry list of projects, including construction of a water treatment plant, Main Avenue’s reconstruction and upgrading outdated utility infrastructure.

City Administrator Jim Brownlee said the city will incur some costs for the course through storm water assessments, but assessments on the future home lots and developer-owned land would cover most of the costs.

Mayor Rich Mattern said the decision is a big one, adding that he questioned the amount of property tax revenue the city could incur from prospective property owners who move into the housing built by WestPort Beach.

Commissioner Bryan Schulz was absent during Monday’s vote.

Buzter123
Dec 16, 2008, 3:02 PM
Logistically there is a possibility of running a spur into the north west side of downtown by utilizing the railroad and an elevated roadway. I think NanoBison drew up the idea about 50 pages or so back in this (gigantic) thread. Financially, at this time, a downtown spur probably wouldn't make much sense. Eventually it may make sense.

I agree that is the only real location that has the 'room' for that type of project, (and 'impossible' may not have been the best word to describe the challenges), however I see several problems that could be faced; first, the interchange with 29 would have to be located between 12th and 19th and would have to be 'squeezed' into that mile stretch. Traditionaly they have planned intetersections at 1 mile intervals which would provide limited space for on and off ramps to the spur. The intersections at 12th and 19th would also have to be redesigned to accomodate. (But for anyone that has driven the freeways of Minneapolis would know, it's not impossible.) Second, with the interchange being located so far north, people may not find it worth the extra mile and half drive N on 29 (from Main Ave) to find it that much more convenient. Third, the spur may have to 'dead end' in downtown similar to that of 394 in Minneapolis unless some miracle of cooperation with Moorhead could be reached to have it extend thru downtown and down Main ave to intersect with 94 by 34th st. So, you are correct that it could be done, but most likely in several expensive phases over a long period of time. And if they put a measure forward for a sales tax proposal to help pay for it, I would probably vote yes.

Buzter123
Dec 16, 2008, 3:08 PM
p.s. I'm really happy that Iwas able to find this forum. I have such an interest, (or as my friends and fiance would say "obsession"), to FM's growth and future planning that I needed this type of outlet. SimCity 4 is no longer cutting it as a fix for my addiction.:)

rrskylar
Dec 16, 2008, 7:44 PM
IKEA to set up shop on Kenaston
CJOB's Jeff Braun reporting
12/16/2008

IKEA has announced it will open a store in Winnipeg.

The Swedish furniture giant signed an agreement to acquire a large piece of land at Kenaston Boulevard and Sterling Lyon Parkway.

However, whether or not the store gets built is conditional upon municipal and provincial government approvals. But, both Premier Gary Doer and Mayor Sam Katz have pledged to accelerate capital plans to meet IKEA's timelines.

Madeleine Löwenborg- Frick tells CJOB it might take a couple of years before it opens.

She estimates it will open between late 2011 and early 2013.

The proposed store would be 350-thousand square feet, making it among the largest stores in Canada.

wilson
Dec 16, 2008, 7:50 PM
About time, Winnipeg. haven't you guys been wanting/waiting for one for years?

rrskylar
Dec 16, 2008, 8:45 PM
;) they have talked about IKEA to death here, looks like it may finally happen!

F-Misthebest
Dec 17, 2008, 10:48 PM
That's great news about the IKEA. I love that stuff they have there. Such a neat store.

In other news, if you go to www.fargoairport.com and click on news releases then on terminal expansion pictures and then completed pictures you can see all of the final updates at the airport. Looks pretty nice.

Doc
Dec 22, 2008, 5:30 PM
North Dakota posts population gain for third consecutive year
Patrick Springer, The Forum
Published Monday, December 22, 2008

North Dakota’s population grew by 3,577 and reached 641,481 this year, according to new Census estimates released Monday.

The 0.56 percent gain was the third consecutive increase and the largest in recent years.

The estimate, as of July 1, compared to an estimated population of 637,904 on July 1, 2007.

In recent years, North Dakota’s population peaked in 2000, when it was estimated at 641,183.

Demographers and state officials have said North Dakota’s population gains in recent years have mirrored economic gains, with personal income growing at a faster rate than the nation.

Minnesota’s population grew by 38,037, an increase of 0.7 percent, to 5.2 million.

For more on the story, read Tuesday's Forum.

Paulyt23
Dec 23, 2008, 3:59 PM
Adding a downtown "spur" would probably be the worst idea one could possibly imagine. Cities all around the country including Milwaukee and Portland have actually dismantled urban freeways because they add nothing to the central cities except noise and air pollution, and they are eye sores as well. The city should also NOT widen Main. Destroying businesses along Main Ave. would amount to simply a loss for the tax base, and it also ignores the fact that it is an actual neighborhood. Why should everything revolve around driver's needs? Fargo has been way too enthusiastic about widening its roads, including 45th. Why not expand bus service instead of widening roads? Widening roads only creates more traffic and makes it less friendly to pedestrians and bicyclists. I think Fargo is still operating under the urban planning ideals of the 1950s and Robert Moses when they should be applying the principles of Jane Jacobs.

jwmn
Dec 23, 2008, 6:10 PM
I completely agree Pauly. I was trying to imagine how I would walk from my south Moorhead home to the DQ on 8th and Main, as I often like to do, if Main Ave was a freeway. Of course, it wouldn't matter because they would have to destroy the DQ to make room for the highway anyway. It is completely not worth the destruction of buildings and the division of neighborhoods so that those from The District or whatever suburban sprawl neighborhood can get downtown a couple minutes faster.

Also, having a spur to the northwest along the railroad tracks does not make any sense because the population is to the southwest. It would hardly save anyone any time to have to go that far north to get downtown. As it is right now, I really don't think it is that hard to get downtown. I commute through downtown every day, and the only traffic problems I ever face is on University during rush hour. Main, NP, and 1st Ave do a pretty good job of moving East-West traffic.

If they ever do something else with that northern set of tracks, I would LOVE it if it was turned into a greenway.

F-Misthebest
Dec 27, 2008, 9:18 PM
The rebirth of downtown: Renaissance Zone helping revitalize old city center
Helmut Schmidt, The Forum
Published Saturday, December 27, 2008

Sometime in the past 10 years, downtown Fargo was reborn.

An old city center that once saw plunging property values and merchants fleeing for malls is now witnessing rundown buildings being refurbished and new buildings being built. Opportunity is once again in the air.

Much of that can be tied to a 1999 state law that allowed Fargo and other cities to create downtown renaissance zones.

“There’s a visible, discernable improvement in downtown,” said Fargo Senior Planner Bob Stein. “The cumulative effect of the investment has been to upgrade the entire area in terms of safety, appearance and value.”

Stein estimates $93 million in private investment has been made downtown.

The city put more than $8 million into infrastructure improvements on Broadway, he said. Another $2.5 million in railroad quiet zone work makes it possible to sell housing downtown, he said.

Nonprofit entities also invested, Stein said. MeritCare Hospital spent $55 million to expand its downtown campus, and North Dakota State University has spent $15 million to buy, expand and remodel two buildings to house its College of Business (Barry Hall) and for architecture (Klai Hall).

Dave Anderson, president of the Downtown Community Partnership, said the results have been transformative.

“I think culturally and socially, for the community, it’s provided a gathering place that we just didn’t have,” he said. “You can come downtown and live. You can be entertained. You can go to school, and shop and work.”

Vital tax base

The changes have also rebuilt a tax base vital to the city and Fargo School District, Anderson said.

Several blocks in the Renaissance Zone have had building values increase 300, 400 and 500 percent since 2000, city records show.

The block holding NDSU’s Renaissance Hall (the former Northern School Supply), the Old Broadway entertainment complex, the 12 Broadway condominiums and other improvements had an 852 percent increase in value on buildings, city records show, rising from $1.88 million in 2000 to $17.9 million for 2009.

The block holding the 300 NP condominiums, the Vogel Law Firm and Keifer’s Big Value store posted a 495 percent increase in value on its buildings, records show, going from $1.8 million in 2000 to $10.7 million in 2009.

In all, building values in the Renaissance Zone rose from $103 million in 2000 to

$218.5 million for 2009, records show, an increase of 111 percent.

Property tax receipts for Renaissance Zone projects that were at $400,000 in 1999 should be nearly $2.2 million by 2014, when the latest projects return to the tax rolls, records show.

Extension sought

The Legislature created renaissance zones in 1999, setting aside $2.5 million in tax credits to spur revitalization statewide, Stein said.

Another $2.5 million in credits were later added to the pool, Stein said.

There are also income tax credits for people who buy condominiums or apartments for use as residences.

More than 40 communities now use renaissance zone funds, Stein and Anderson said. They said they’d like to see the next Legislature:


Expand the program from its original 15-year limit, which will end in five years.

Increase the pool of tax credits.

Offer tax credits to utility companies to bury power lines.

Let cities move renaissance zones from fully developed blocks to blocks that need the incentive program
.

Kevin Bartram, owner of Mutschler Bartram Architects and an owner of Sterling Companies, both of Fargo, took on the 300 NP Avenue and the Historic Ford Building retail, office and condominium projects.

“I just hope it keeps going,” Bartram said of the program. “It’s definitely helped the more marginal projects.”

Two recent eye-grabbing Fargo projects were both spurred by Renaissance Zone incentives: the $5.4 million 300 Broadway retail and condo project by the Kilbourne Group, and developer Mike Bullinger’s $18 million Cityscapes Plaza, retail and student housing project.

Without the benefits from the state, “This kind of investment wouldn’t have been possible,” Anderson said. “The state and the community have benefited in a growth in tax valuations. But the whole community has benefited because we have a place that didn’t exist 10 years ago.”

http://img380.imageshack.us/img380/5238/renzone1bc7.jpg
http://img380.imageshack.us/img380/7543/renzone2dm8.jpg
http://img72.imageshack.us/img72/3498/renzone3fm2.jpg

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Helmut Schmidt at (701) 241-5583

F-Misthebest
Dec 29, 2008, 10:57 PM
Sandella's Flatbread Cafe is moving into the Bison Block.

I took a drive today through south fargo and the new wal-mart construction is really coming along. Brick is already up on it. Urban Plains has a couple new buildings, Liberty Square has an addition, The Crossing seems to have been canceled or something like that, and there's quite a few new houses down there.

SmileyBoy
Dec 30, 2008, 4:29 AM
Sorry I haven't posted on this thread in such a long time, folks. I'm kind of in crunch time as far as my curriculum to graduate college is concerned (ONE MORE YEAR TO GO!!!), and I've been too busy to concentrate on a whole bunch of different personal interests this fall and winter. Mostly for me it's been NDSU athletics I've been focusing on rather than F-M developments. Also, I haven't been in Fargo in weeks (currently spending the holidays in Mpls.), so I don't know what's going on up there.

I'll be back in town on Jan. 7, and I'll post anything that piques my interest. You can rest assured that I am completely STOKED about the 5-story CityScapes project near NDSU Downtown!!!

agassiz904
Jan 8, 2009, 4:31 PM
Downtown's best hope for high rise developement comes from residential thru NDSU's continuing expansion of it's downtown campus. Hopefully it will cause a snowball or 'trickle-down' effect. Bringing more students downtown will cause an increase of demand in commercial services thus increasing the demand in residential for the employees of those services and so on and so forth.

That's one thing I don't quite get, why is Fargo trying to get more students downtown? Is it just a certain area of downtown? A butt ton of drunk college students aren't exactly conducive to higher property values (especially residential).


So what exactly is there downtown these days for bars, restaurants, housing (both rental and for sale), coffee, books, et al? I'm just curious what's really there beyond the regurgitated PR the newspapers give us. Grax.

Only The Lonely..
Jan 8, 2009, 8:46 PM
Cool to hear about the Renaissance Zone.

F-Misthebest
Jan 8, 2009, 11:37 PM
2008 was the busiest year in the airport's history. 648,137 total.

2008 annual passenger enplanements, deplanements and total passengers broke the previous record set in 2006.

December 2008 was the second busiest month ever for passenger enplanements, deplanements and total. 57,631 total.

jwmn
Jan 9, 2009, 7:24 PM
That's one thing I don't quite get, why is Fargo trying to get more students downtown? Is it just a certain area of downtown? A butt ton of drunk college students aren't exactly conducive to higher property values (especially residential).

So what exactly is there downtown these days for bars, restaurants, housing (both rental and for sale), coffee, books, et al? I'm just curious what's really there beyond the regurgitated PR the newspapers give us. Grax.

Well, the city of Fargo isn't necessarily trying to get more students downtown. It's the university that has made those decisions. They have found it to be much cheaper to renovate already-existing buildings downtown than to build new ones on campus. So, that's why NDSU has moved downtown. Given the increasing enrollment, there is a need for more student housing, in general, and specifically downtown near the new campus.

But, how could it not be good for downtown to have more people living there, whether they are students or not? Look at what previously existed at that location, the ugly Cinema Grill and surrounding parking lots, and it's not hard to imagine how this building (which includes street level retail) will be a huge improvement for downtown. I don't know where you live or when you were last downtown, but I really like downtown and would definitely be looking at this new building were I college student. I drive by there everyday on 1st Ave, and I think this is a pretty exciting development.

F-Misthebest
Jan 9, 2009, 9:57 PM
well said jwmn

lifelong fm
Jan 10, 2009, 5:02 AM
ok people, question here. Are there any sites to view future depictions or visions of FM? Also, does anyone know of any current plans or ideas that may be on the table or even discussed for future major projects downtown? Thanks for any info and again a very cool forum.

F-Misthebest
Jan 10, 2009, 6:33 AM
You can always go to the city of fargo website and look for the downtown framework plan. it's a detailed plan of the future of downtown including enhanced river access, a performing arts center, new condo high/mid-rise near library, condos along main across from fryin' pan, and a "dinky town" idea for northwest downtown. it also includes enhancements for moorhead's downtown including a new hotel, movie theatres, restaurants, civic plaza, moorhead center mall remodelization, and redevelopment of main, center, and first avenues between downtown and the church's united location.

F-Misthebest
Jan 13, 2009, 4:38 AM
Fargo commissioners and school officials near deal after land value controversy
Helmut Schmidt, The Forum
Published Monday, January 12, 2009

FARGO – City commissioners in Fargo will be asked tonight to approve a $1.85 million settlement with the Fargo School District more than 30 acres of land taken by eminent domain as part of the 52nd Avenue construction project.

The settlement calls for the city to pay $1.25 per square foot of land for a storm water retention pond and street and utilities right of way on two parcels, according to a letter to the commission from Assistant City Attorney Garylle Stewart.

The city had taken the land under eminent domain to meet state and federal timelines to complete the 52nd Avenue project, which included rebuilding 52nd from University Drive to west of Interstate 29, and the I-29 and 52nd Avenue interchange.

The settlement price was determined by an independent appraiser, Stewart said in his letter. The price of the land had been in dispute since December 2007, the letter said.

City Attorney Erik Johnson said the city had originally offered 70 cents per square foot for the land, and had set aside $1,031,337 to pay for the two parcels in question. Johnson said the School District had sought about $1.70 a square foot.

Requests for comment on the proposed settlement from the School District were referred to Superintendent Rick Buresh, who was not immediately available.

The land was originally purchased by the School District several years ago as a potential high school or middle school site. However, the district later decided to purchase land farther south, and is now building its next school, Judge Ronald N. Davies High School, at the intersection of 70th Avenue South and 25th Street South.

That decision also created some controversy. The Davies High School land originally was outside the city limits, and the need for roads and utilities to be extended to the site led to debates among commissioners as to whether the city should support the construction in an area that had not been planned for development for several years. However, commissioners eventually approved the annexation in December.

“It’s always difficult when two public bodies are disputing something like this. It was good to be able to get it resolved,” Johnson said. He added that the negotiations were “difficult because both sides were so far apart.”

Read more Tuesday in The Forum.

Buzter123
Jan 13, 2009, 2:56 PM
ok people, question here. Are there any sites to view future depictions or visions of FM? Also, does anyone know of any current plans or ideas that may be on the table or even discussed for future major projects downtown? Thanks for any info and again a very cool forum.

Try this; http://www.cityoffargo.com/CityInfo/Downtown/FrameworkPlan/

I believe the next significant downtown building project will be a new 4-5 story condo building on the site of the temporary library. A neighboring building has already been raised and I believe the temp library building will also be demolished after its use is up.

Buzter123
Jan 13, 2009, 3:00 PM
Sorry, I missed F-Misthebest's post.

F-Misthebest
Jan 14, 2009, 4:35 AM
Mayor says Moorhead will ‘move forward’ in ’09
Moorhead Mayor Mark Voxland said Monday that Minnesota’s financial problems may mean trouble for the city in 2009, but the rough going could have a silver lining.
By: Dave Olson , The Forum

Moorhead Mayor Mark Voxland said Monday that Minnesota’s financial problems may mean trouble for the city in 2009, but the rough going could have a silver lining.

Instead of continuing its habit of imposing unfunded mandates on local governments, Voxland said Minnesota may instead “reinvent itself” and adopt a cooperative approach to working with cities to deal with the state’s revenue woes.

Voxland’s remarks came during his annual State of the City address, in which he noted that while much of the nation is gripped in a housing crisis, Moorhead’s situation remains relatively stable.

He said the median price for a home in Moorhead in 2008 was $138,200 – up $200 from 2007.

Voxland added there are 730 lots ready and waiting to be built on.

“We can and are going to be able to move forward in 2009,” said Voxland.

Lisa Vatnsdal, Moorhead’s Neighborhood Services manager, agreed.

“As we look to 2009, I think it could be an exciting time. We’re actually looking forward with optimism,” said Vatnsdal, who cited low interest rates among factors that could make the coming year a good one for housing.

Later during Monday’s City Council meeting, Voxland reviewed the outcome of the board’s six-month evaluation of City Manager Mike Redlinger.

The council rated Redlinger in several areas using a scale of one to five.

Redlinger’s overall score of 3.8 shows that the council

is very pleased with his performance, said Voxland.

In other business Monday, the Moorhead Human Rights Commission announced its 2009 Human Rights Award winners.

Three organizations received the award: The FM Coalition for Homeless Persons; the Moorhead Housing Authority and the Clay County Housing and Redevelopment Authority. Inforum searchword: local government


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

Drube
Jan 14, 2009, 8:45 PM
Voxland added there are 730 lots ready and waiting to be built on.

This is an insane number...

F-Misthebest
Jan 16, 2009, 10:31 PM
Everyone should take this survey on what should be done with the Moorhead power plant.

http://www.cityofmoorhead.com/PowerPlantSurvey/

lifelong fm
Jan 22, 2009, 3:15 AM
Just wondering where I could find a drawing of the proposed Moorhead 20th/21st st. underpass project. I searched everywhere with no luck. My retired railroad uncle thought the project to FINALLY start next year. Anybody with other news on this project?

F-Misthebest
Jan 23, 2009, 3:32 AM
Blue Cross Blue Shield venture expected to add 100 jobs
ND, Neb. pairing to form CoreLink
A new joint venture between Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota and its Nebraska counterpart is expected to create up to 100 jobs in Fargo in the next year and a half.
By: Patrick Springer , INFORUM

ND, Neb. pairing to form CoreLink


A new joint venture between Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota and its Nebraska counterpart is expected to create up to 100 jobs in Fargo in the next year and a half.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska announced Wednesday that they have formed a new company, CoreLink Administrative Solutions, to process health claims and manage health benefits.

The new company processes employee and retiree health claims for Blues plans in the two partner states as well as Wyoming, and expects to have 200 employees in Fargo by the end of the year.

More than 100 former Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota employees already work for CoreLink, which has its headquarters at Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota in Fargo.

By joining forces, the partners can process claims and administer benefits more efficiently, therefore saving money, said Steve Grandfield, CoreLink’s chief executive officer, also chief operations officer of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska, based in Omaha.

“We can share a significant amount of expense,” he said.

Blues plans in other states have expressed interest, and CoreLink could continue to grow, Grandfield said.

Mike Unhjem, chief executive of the North Dakota Blues, said CoreLink is a significant step for the company.

“This has been a huge endeavor involving more staff across the company than any initiative we’ve worked during my tenure with Blue Cross Blue Shield, and the positive implications for the future are immense,” he said.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota has 1,087 employees and its affiliate company, Noridian Administrative Services, which processes Medicare claims, has 1,027 employees.


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

UP Fargo
Jan 26, 2009, 10:26 PM
For those of you that want to know what's happening out at Urban Plains, I just started a new blog at www.upfargo.com/blog. Let me know if I can answer any questions regarding what's going on. I'll try to keep as much information out there as possible. We'll have some news regarding the proposed pool very soon!

Doc
Jan 26, 2009, 11:24 PM
Is there a Panera in our future down in the Plains?:D