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JoeJoe
Sep 6, 2006, 6:16 PM
Wall Street Journal - August 31, 2006

Commentary

The Great Plains

BISMARCK, N.D. — At a time when the much-celebrated coasts creak from rising interest rates, faltering income levels and soaring energy prices, this windswept, energy-rich city of 57,000 on the western edge of the Dakota plains is experiencing the best of times. Cities like this one out in the far-off hinterland — Iowa City, Sioux Falls, Fargo, Grand Forks, Rapid City — now are enjoying job growth rates that, if they don't rival Las Vegas, certainly put to shame those of most major metropolitan areas. Unemployment is negligible and wages are rising across virtually all job categories.

Over the past five years, the fastest growth in per capita income has taken place in energy-rich Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota, New Mexico and West Virginia, while highly urbanized places like California, New York, Michigan and Illinois gather dust at the bottom of the pack. Tax revenues in these once hard-pressed states are also soaring; North Dakota's surplus is now estimated at $527 million, representing more than a quarter of the state's $2 billion annual budget.

Behind the good times are numerous factors, such as an Internet-enabled shift of technology and business service firms into the region, and a growing migration of downshifting boomers and young families. But perhaps the most dramatic change has come from an upsurge of energy prices that is turning places like North Dakota into a Nordic Abu Dhabi.

"We're on the verge of a gold rush driven by energy," crows Bob Valeu, state coordinator for North Dakota Sen. Byron Dorgan. Mr. Valeu and other leaders here in both political parties see their state as a growing bastion of energy production for the U.S. Already North Dakota is among the major exporters of energy to the rest of the country, exporting roughly three-fourths of its 4,000 megawatts of electricity.

Mr. Valeu and other boosters see this as just the beginning — particularly if more transmission lines to the rest of the country can be built. Unlike in Malibu or Manhattan, renewable energy here makes for more than cocktail party chatter. Four ethanol facilities are already in operation and a new biodiesel plant in Minot has just been announced; 11 wind power plants have been put into operation since 1997.

But it's still fossil fuels that are driving things the most in North Dakota. Huge deposits of lignite coal, estimated at 35 billion tons, remain a primary source of electrical generation and synthetic natural gas. This makes the cost of energy half as expensive or less than in New York or California. Oil, as well, is booming. Five years ago, with oil prices low, notes Ron Ness, president of the North Dakota Petroleum Council, there were virtually no rigs operating in the state's Williston Basin. Today his members, consisting of around 140 oil and gas firms of all sizes, are on a hiring spree. They've added 1,500 new jobs — most paying $23 an hour and up — and have still another 200 openings to fill.

This spike in employment could just be the beginning if the largely untapped Bakken oil formation proves to have the reserves, upwards of 200 and 300 billion barrels of crude, that some geologists expect. Development of the Bakken could turn western North Dakota, as well as parts of Montana and Canada, into one of the world's largest new energy centers. Even without it, things are busy as can be in places like Dickinson, located in Stark County, population 25,000, not far from rugged Badlands country. The county now has over 800 job openings, not all of them energy-related. Unemployment barely exists — under 3% — notes Gaylon Baker, a director of the Stark County Development Corporation. "Anyone who wants to show up for work around here," he told me, "has a job."

* * *

Two decades ago the academics Frank and Deborah Popper described the development of the Great Plains as a mistake — an expansion of too many people and farms into an environment unable to support them. They pointed, with some justification, to the depopulation of much of the area and suggested that it be "de-privatized," brought back to its "original pre-white state" and turned into "the ultimate national park." This notion was widely described as the "buffalo commons," and it gained some traction among environmentalists — many of whom seem to regard people as a kind of blot on the landscape. Indeed the Plains — parts of which are now suffering from a severe drought — as a kind of human disaster area remains a popular theme among Eastern journalists: irresistible decline, dying towns, aging populations, a place to visit now before it all blows away.

The portraits of a dying region are increasingly dated; last year North Dakota gained population while Massachusetts, Rhode Island and the District of Columbia all lost people. More to the point, although some parts of the Plains, particularly small towns, continue to lose people, others are enjoying growth in jobs, population and income — in many cases more so than parts of urban, coastal America.

Fargo-Moorhead, the pair of cities straddling the Red River (the boundary between North Dakota and Minnesota), is a thriving metropolis of slightly less than 200,000 that grew by over 20% between 1990 and 2000 and has added an additional 4,300 people over the past five years. One in five newcomers was an immigrant. Bismarck has seen a similar surge in population, growing by 3% over the past five years.

This resurgence has its basis in some often underestimated assets that are reasserting themselves in the Great Plains. For one thing, as Alexis de Tocqueville observed, the rural American was never a pliant peasant. Rather he was an entrepreneur whose restless "industrial pursuits" demanded he improve his land, or sell his farm and move on. Almost all the farmers of the U.S., Tocqueville wrote, "combine some trade with agriculture; most of them make agriculture itself a trade."

Such characteristics were, if anything, more evident later on, when the Great Plains experienced a sudden and highly speculative agricultural explosion. In the great expansion of the area around the turn of the last century, farmers and ranchers often went into processing and land speculation; they readily abandoned one profession or one homestead for a more promising one. When the market for grain dissipated in the 1920s, and even the land itself seem to give way to the "dust bowl," the region's residents experienced a crisis of confidence. Once fiercely independent, many Plains farmers were forced to look to Washington for subsidies.

Yet it is clear now that decades of dependence did not erase the entrepreneurial spirit of the Great Plains. As early as the 1980s lower business costs helped spark the growth of companies — covering everything from business and financial services to manufacturing and high-tech. Later, new telecommunications technology would play the decisive role. Native sons like Doug Burgum and Mike Chambers found they could return home again and, through the use of telecommunications technology, run a world-wide business from places such as Fargo.

Today the Fargo facility of Great Plains Software — the firm Doug Burgum founded — serves as the headquarters for Microsoft's business systems division. It employs over 2,000 people and helped spawn a statewide mini-boom in new technology firms in everything from biotechnology and aerospace. According to the National Science Foundation, North Dakota ranks No. 2 in academic R&D dollars per $1,000 of gross state product, right behind Maryland and right ahead of Massachusetts. It ranks fourth in technology companies as a percentage of all business startups.

As entrepreneurial activity has expanded, Fargo in particular is being transformed. A decade ago, it was just another fading Plains town, with a doughty downtown, few decent restaurants and almost no good coffee houses. Today Fargo-Moorhead boasts the complete opposite. And while it may not be Soho, its downtown is home to hip clothing stores and a great boutique hotel. There's even a thriving local arts scene.

Microsoft's Mr. Burgum, Mr. Chambers — president of Aldevron, a growing biotech firm — and other North Dakota employers welcome these changes but, unlike their competitors in places like Boston or San Francisco, have no illusions that being "cool" constitutes their competitive edge. Instead they pitch employees based on such often underestimated factors like good schools, reasonable housing prices (the median home price is under $150,000), short commutes, the nation's lowest crime rate and ample outdoor recreation.

If the energy and technology booms bring more high-end workers to Bismarck, the broader labor shortages are driving up salaries, on average some 15% across the board between 2002 and 2005. This movement is even helping those workers who have historically had the lowest salaries. Bismark's McDonald's restaurants now start pay at upwards of $8 an hour, with some stores offering "signing bonuses" of between $100 and $150 to work under yellow arches.

Even the most sickly of industries, like the newspaper business, are thriving in Bismarck. Unlike most editors around the country, the Bismarck Tribune's Dave Bundy hasn't had to think about layoffs. Instead he still actually adds new staff on occasion, while circulation and advertising sales at the paper continue to rise at a healthy clip.

"The newspaper that is growing and doing well is a rarity, but we're feeling pretty solid," Mr. Bundy explained from his newsroom. "There's a bigger city feel here than when I got here a decade ago. We're not the middle of nowhere anymore."
_______

I ran across this and thought that it was relevant to Fargo as well as ND.
Oh, and my feelings on services like water/sewer and other stuff like that - if we don't merge the cities we at least need to follow the example of the twin cities and form a council of cities of some sort so we can coordinate vitial public services for the benefit our metro area, just not those who live in one city in the metro. [Metropolitan Council (http://www.metrocouncil.org/)] Just a thought. Later.

JoeJoe
Sep 6, 2006, 9:25 PM
Sweet, I started a new page. :notacrook:
Anywho here's a link to the Forums Review of Monte's in downtown (http://www.in-forum.com/articles/index.cfm?id=138857&section=valleyrr). Monte's is an example of "Today Fargo-Moorhead boasts the complete opposite" of what it had a decade ago.

F-Misthebest
Sep 6, 2006, 11:26 PM
I read that article from the Wall Street Journal too and I was extremely happy too see that! I mean the WALL STREET JOURNAL mentioning Fargo-Moorhead! That's Great!!!!!

I agree and disagree with the Menards situation. I agree with this because I would love to see more development south. I don't think they should build it on the south side because of the Las Vegas Developer. But the Las Vegas Developer called out for two to three big box retailers. So after the Las Vegas thing happens (hopefully) Menard's could be one of the tenats. If this plan happens that Menards wants, I would want higher end retailers instead of those crappy aluminum buildings.

F-Misthebest
Sep 7, 2006, 4:06 AM
I don't know if anyone has seen this or not but I stumbled upon it a couple of months ago and now thought I could put it on here. It's Downtown Fargo-Moorhead's Plan for the Next Five Years. Here's the link: http://www.cityofmoorhead.com/Uploads/downtownFrameworkNewsletterIssue1.pdf

SmileyBoy
Sep 7, 2006, 4:40 AM
I don't know if anyone has seen this or not but I stumbled upon it a couple of months ago and now thought I could put it on here. It's Downtown Fargo-Moorhead's Plan for the Next Five Years. Here's the link: http://www.cityofmoorhead.com/Uploads/downtownFrameworkNewsletterIssue1.pdf

The only thing I didn't like about that document was that the people at the meetings suggested even more niche retail for downtown. I may be in the minority, but I think we need a few chains downtown. This would open up the suburbanite market to the area. Suburbanites will be less timid to go downtown if there are things they are familiar with there. (Quizno's, Starbucks, etc.) I'm not saying downtown should be all Starbucks and architects offices (although just ONE downtown Starbucks would be AWESOME!!). I think there needs to be a mixture of the funky and the customary. This way, downtown serves a purpose for a broad demographic, and not just a certain type of people.

F-Misthebest
Sep 7, 2006, 5:17 AM
I totally agree. If Karen Burgum gets those New York chain stores in the old Strauss Building, downtown will boom. We need some more chains so the more suburban areas don't kill downtown. Like we need Williams Sonoma, Starbucks, Potbelly Sandwiches, Puma, Ann Taylor, and Benetton.

NanoBison
Sep 7, 2006, 4:05 PM
I totally agree Smiley, niche is nice, but downtown needs the larger retailers as well. We don't want to completely create a niche-only market, otherwise we are going to be limiting the number of people visiting/living downtown.

F-Misthebest
Sep 8, 2006, 9:30 PM
I don't know if you read the article in the newspaper about the job growth in Fargo and how it was up 5.7% from last ??????? I don't remeber from when but I'll find out. Sioux Falls was up 5.8% and Bismarck was up 6.2%.

F-Misthebest
Sep 9, 2006, 7:15 PM
I went to the Herd on the Prairie at the FARGODOME. Almost all of the Bison were there and it was very neat. I liked it a lot. I encourage everyone to go.

NanoBison
Sep 10, 2006, 8:02 AM
Went to the Grand Opening of the Burlington Coat Factory earlier today. I must say, I was quite impressed with the selection and definitely the prices. It's definitely good to see the parking lot full and that old Kmart building transformed into something that generates revenue and taxes for the city.

:tup:

Paintballer1708
Sep 10, 2006, 8:38 PM
Not to put a damper on things here, but i was reading something about Fargo's population growth. I can't remember what the source was where i read this but, it said Fargo's population is starting to show signs of slowing down. They said that Fargo was a destination for most people across North Dakota, not many from across the nation. But now most North Dakotans that graduate college are leaving the state and skipping Fargo all together, and going to cities like Omaha, Des Moines, Minneapolis, and Chicago. It was interesting because they had a graph of the growth throughout the 90s and some parts of 2000 and 2001. But then afterwards there were slower growth rates. I will try and do some research and find this so you guys can read it. Do you guys think this is true?

F-Misthebest
Sep 10, 2006, 8:50 PM
Nope.

JoeJoe
Sep 10, 2006, 9:55 PM
I wouldn't say it's true or not true at this point. Right now I would say it's inconclusive because it is based on non-census year info coming from the census bureau, which typically is not totally reliable. There may be a good reason to believe though that the future growth of the F-M area will depend on getting more people moving in from outside the 3 state area (SD, MN, ND). It has to happen eventually, better to happen now when we stand a better chance to be appealing to people not just at a regional level but national as well. Personally I think it's not as doom and gloom as some make it seem at times, Fargo and ND are on the grow.

F-Misthebest
Sep 11, 2006, 12:07 AM
That huge technology building up in NDSU Technology Park that was mentioned a few pages back is really coming along nicely. I cannot wait until it's done. Also the Fargo Industrial Park is expanding because of it's quick growth. Oh, by the way YAHOO 500!!!!!!

CPVLIVE
Sep 12, 2006, 1:23 AM
Unemployment is negligible and wages are rising across virtually all job categories.
If the energy and technology booms bring more high-end workers to Bismarck, the broader labor shortages are driving up salaries, on average some 15% across the board between 2002 and 2005.


Rising wages are a positive and indicate strong growth, however continuing wage inflation could begin to erode one advantage that ND has over more expensive locations. I.E. - a colleague of mine worked for ING and they decided to move his entire department to ND (ING also considered outsourcing to India.). He indicated that the primary factor in the decision was prevailing wages. It's always the bottom line these days. He transferred to another department which moved a year later and he ended up in Des Moines.
Energy, unlike IT, tends to be local and therefore insulated.

info
Sep 12, 2006, 2:53 AM
In other news. The new additions to the pioneer center are taking shape. One of the tenants is (you guessed it) Subway, they recently closed their location in the Cenex station in West Fargo. Possibly two but for sure one more drive-thru restaurant is also being built in that same location. And also that Hollister Co. opening in West Acres in January has finally been posted on the West Acres website, so its official. look under the icon "stores".

F-Misthebest
Sep 12, 2006, 4:10 AM
^ Do you live in Fargo too, because how else would you know that. That was a very stupid question but you never know :).That's cool that West Acres continues to grow and prosper. I was there today and it has gotten new shops and many shops have moved around. It is looking very nice. And the www.ci.fargo.nd.us is getting a new website. It's about time they redo it.

SmileyBoy
Sep 13, 2006, 4:27 AM
In other news. The new additions to the pioneer center are taking shape. One of the tenants is (you guessed it) Subway, they recently closed their location in the Cenex station in West Fargo. Possibly two but for sure one more drive-thru restaurant is also being built in that same location. And also that Hollister Co. opening in West Acres in January has finally been posted on the West Acres website, so its official. look under the icon "stores".

Dammit, I was hoping and praying for something unique and new to F-M. Shit shit shit...:hell: :hell: :hell:

NanoBison
Sep 13, 2006, 6:41 AM
Airport awards contracts for expansion
By Andrea Domaskin, The Forum
Published Wednesday, September 13, 2006

A passenger terminal expansion is moving ahead at Fargo’s Hector International Airport.

Municipal Airport Authority members voted unanimously Tuesday to award contracts for three parts of the project, expected to cost $15.5 million.

The terminal will expand this fall to the north, making more room for the passenger screening and meet-and-greet areas.

Next year, a west addition will provide more office space and a fifth gate.

The contracts – awarded to low bidders TF Powers, Grants Mechanical and Bergstrom Electric – depend on the city agreeing to back the bonds the airport may use to pay for the project.

Fargo Mayor Dennis Walaker, who serves as a liaison between the city and airport, said he doesn’t anticipate problems.

Authority members discussed issuing about $7.5 million in bonds for the expansion, though Hector Executive Director Shawn Dobberstein said the airport would be able capable of issuing more.

The remaining cost of the project could be paid for with up to $4.7 million from the Airport Authority’s reserves and federal funding, which is in flux.

Along with the terminal, the parking lot is due for a facelift.

Airport authority members voted 4-1 to approve a new six-year contract with Standard Parking, an Ohio firm that has managed the terminal parking lot for nearly30 years.

As part of the contract, Standard Parking will spend $242,400 on automated equipment to allow customers to pay by credit card. It will also contribute $200,000 to repair the lot.

In return, the firm will increase parking fees by about 10 percent on Jan. 1 and adjust its payment agreement with the airport. The firm’s new contract starts in 2008.

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


With a fifth gate as an addition next year, is there the possibility that we may be seeing another increase in business at the airport in the future and even better yet, another airline, or additional city-direct flights (Cinncinatti, Atlanta,Orlando, ....)

:tup:

NanoBison
Sep 13, 2006, 6:45 AM
We'll everyone remember that parcel of land just southeast of I-94 and 8th St. in Moorhead I thought would be great for a huge factory outlets store? We'll it's finally going to be developed, just not what I though it would be...but this is definitely an improvement!!!

Movie theater in the making
By Teri Finneman, The Forum
Published Wednesday, September 13, 2006


CEC Theatres plans to build a new movie theater in south Moorhead, a company spokesman said.

The St. Cloud, Minn.-based company recently bought 10 acres of a 40-acre piece of vacant land between 30th Avenue South and Interstate 94, Vice President Tony Tillemans said.

The theater will be built to the east of the strip mall that houses O’Leary’s Pub and Osco Drug.

Plans for the theater are being created now, with the goal to present the project to the Moorhead City Council in early 2007, Tillemans said.

Once plans are approved, the theater will take six to nine months to construct, he said.
Graphic
Digital sound, wall-to-wall screens and stadium seating will be incorporated into plans.

The theater will have 12 to 15 screens and will show new movies, most of which will also be playing in the Fargo theaters, Tillemans said.

CEC Theatres also owns West Acres 14 and Century 10 in Fargo and the Safari in Moorhead.

CEC Theatres has looked at different sites in Moorhead for the past year, Tillemans said.

“We just looked at the market, and we used to have a theater that served first-run product in Moorhead,” he said.

“Fargo-Moorhead is a very important market to our company. We want to make sure we do the best we can at taking care of the moviegoers,” he added.

Moorhead City Manager Bruce Messelt said he’s excited about the addition of the new theater and the future development it’s likely to spur.

“I think the Fargo-Moorhead market has become large enough for another first-run theater, and we’re excited that Moorhead was a selected site,” he said.

“It’s an affirmation, I believe, of where Moorhead is going in terms of its development.”


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

It appears they'll be keeping the Safari 7 discount theatre as well. I hope they would eventually spruce that one up too, but then again, it's a discount theatre...

SmileyBoy
Sep 13, 2006, 6:48 AM
You beat me to the punch, nano. I was gonna put those stories up. :D This is DAMN good news for the city. It's awesome that a THIRD first-run multiplex will be built in Fargo-Moorhead!! And that airport expansion will be SWEET.

And why aren't you posting on Bisonville anymore?? is it because of UND's win on Saturday?? Hell, I'm pissed they won as well, but I had to give them their props. They're a damn good football team. I still think the Bison would beat them pretty bad, though.

NanoBison
Sep 13, 2006, 7:09 AM
The admins and lots of other users are getting too "soft" on UND. You can't question anything anymore about that school without being labeled by the Bisonville status quo as no longer being a "respectful Bison fan". I think I'm pretty much done with that site for now. The only way I'd ever get involved with a site like that again, is if I ran it. Besides, I had always wanted to do my own "Bison/NDSU" site, but I just never have the time (as you can tell, I haven't updated my blog in a while now....). That one wouldn't censor folks who question UND all the time (and other schools) like I usually do. I'd also attempt to advertise it better than bisonville currently is.

I hope though you can still give the status quo a run for their money with the other guys who usually shared our views (kchats, bisonbacker, lakesbison(as crazy as he is), JBB, etc...). But for right now, I'm going to stick with the Fargo/Moorhead Developments Forums and Blogs. It's something I find I don't get irritated with (even with the likes of people like Midwesterner...).

:yes:

F-Misthebest
Sep 14, 2006, 3:08 AM
That's great great news about the new movie theatre. I'm glad to see that Moorhead is getting it's act together. :) Glad to see everyone posting again.

NanoBison
Sep 14, 2006, 3:28 AM
I really appreciate when new posters start coming out of the "just reading posts" mode and lend their comments. It's always a delight to read... Especially hearing about new folks on the boards from the region!!!

:tup:

F-Misthebest
Sep 14, 2006, 3:47 AM
Yeah I think that is cool too.

Perhaps when this new movie theatre is finished in Moorhead that will encourage more business owners to move in. Maybe a nice chain restaraunt that the are does not have yet like a Red Robin, or Chipoltle (that's not completley sit down but whatever). I hope Moorhead continues to grow and prosper and keep up with the rest of the metro. I also hope it's always bigger then West Fargo.

Paintballer1708
Sep 16, 2006, 4:37 AM
Does anyone have any photos of Moorhead. That was one place i never checked out when i was there. When i asked people about it in Fargo they didnt have good things to say about it. What is your opinion on Moorhead?

F-Misthebest
Sep 16, 2006, 3:03 PM
Fargo thinks about adding more green
By Mike Nowatzki, The Forum
Published Friday, September 15, 2006

The seas of gray concrete and black asphalt in front of Fargo stores and businesses may have to give way to some green in the future.

Members of the city’s planning and forestry departments are studying whether Fargo should require a certain amount of green space in large parking lots, said Bill Mahar, assistant city planner.

The city of Grand Forks requires landscaping on at least 5 percent of a parking lot’s interior. That doesn’t include trees or shrubs planted along the building or street.

Fargo’s Land Development Code has no such requirement. It does require landscaped buffers between streets and parking lots.

Allen Lee, who manages Fargo’s urban forestry programs, said he would prefer the code require 10 percent or 15 percent canopy cover in parking lots. The trees would require pruning and trimming, he said.

Lee said the code also should require more square footage for trees in open-space landscaping.

Currently, the code requires at least 8 square feet per plant unit, a number Mahar said is low compared to most cities.

For example, a large, mature deciduous tree counts as 10 plant units, requiring 80 square feet of space. Grand Forks calculates tree canopy as 500 square feet for shade trees and 250 square feet for ornamental trees.

Lee said that after factoring in the buffer width, trees may be planted as close as 12 feet or 13 feet apart – not nearly enough space for their canopies or root systems.

“We’re allowing them to be squished into too little room,” he said, pointing to a dense row of trees in front of Lowe’s Home Improvement store as an example.

Fargo has separate rules for street trees. The code requires planting at least one tree for every 35 linear feet of street frontage on local streets and one tree for every 50 feet of frontage on collector and major streets.

During the past several months, Fargo planning commissioners have stressed the need for more landscaping to soften the aesthetic impact of commercial development, especially near residential areas.

Mahar said the study is in the early stages, and planning commissioners will be presented with some draft landscape ordinances for review at a brown-bag session later this month.

“We want to be very pragmatic with our approach and see where it ends up,” he said.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Mike Nowatzki at (701) 241-5528
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I think this is great that Fargo wants to enhance their green space in town. I think that is a smart idea.

F-Misthebest
Sep 16, 2006, 3:11 PM
F-M road projects ahead of schedule
By Joe Whetham, The Forum
Published Saturday, September 16, 2006

Most Fargo-Moorhead road construction projects are ahead of schedule or were completed weeks ago thanks to an abnormally dry summer.

The area registered .10 inch of rain or more just 10 times this summer. About 7.7 inches fell from June 1 through Thursday.

It’s a far cry from last year.

Construction crews worked overtime in 2005 to meet project deadlines after nearly 8.5 inches of rain fell in Fargo-Moorhead during June – the fifth-wettest month in 125 years.

About 18.7 inches of rain fell last summer from June 1 through mid-September. Twenty-two days had more than .10 inch of rain.


http://img102.imageshack.us/img102/9574/0916fgomainuniversityeg1.jpg



“The dry weather seemed to work very well for us and moved us ahead well” this year, said Kevin Gorder, metro engineer for the North Dakota Department of Transportation.

Two lanes of University Drive at Main Street will likely open Monday morning, Gorder said.

Crews are building a new railroad bridge near the intersection as part of a $13 million, three-phase reconstruction project.

When it’s complete next year, University will have five lanes at Main Avenue to ease congestion. The streets carry about 47,000 vehicles per day, Gorder said.

Contractors finished Phase 1 of the project in late June, one month earlier than scheduled. Crews shut down Main Avenue to replace a sanitary sewer line that runs through the center of the street.

Opening two lanes of University marks the end of Phase 2, which contractors will finish 10 days ahead of schedule come Monday, Gorder said.

The two lanes will remain open this winter. If the weather stays consistently warm, contractors could complete the entire project this fall, he said.

“But I’m not really optimistic that will happen,” he said. “We thought going into fall that we would have two lanes.”

Crews expect to finish construction on Interstate 29 from Main Avenue to just north of County Road 20 by the end of next week, Gorder said. The NDDOT diverted traffic last spring along the stretch to southbound I-29, where vehicles go head to head.

Crews are rebuilding and widening northbound I-29 from Main Avenue to County Road 20 as part of a $19 million project.

Every on- and off-ramp at the 19th Avenue North interchange is now open. Crews rebuilt the bridge that goes over the I-29 at 19th Avenue as part of the project.

The bridge closed March 15 and reopened in mid-August.

“All deadlines were met so far,” Gorder said.

Moorhead awarded construction contracts totaling $23 million this summer, with a little less than half pegged for reconstruction of roads, said Tom Trowbridge, assistant city engineer.

About $2 million was spent rebuilding four streets – 20th, 24th and 28th avenues south, and 11th Street South near Minnesota State Community and Technical College.

Dry weather helped crews complete most of 28th Avenue South more than two months ahead of schedule, Trowbridge said.

“The dry weather we had was perfect for construction, especially for reconstruction projects in town,” he said.

Crews expect to finish construction on Fourth Street South by mid-October, Trowbridge said. Part of the busy street has already been paved.

“So far, the residents have been very understanding about it,” he said. “The street has a lot of traffic. We will be happy when it is done.”

Work on Highway 10 wrapped up last month.

Crews completed a $10.3 project to mill and overlay eastbound lanes of Highway 10 from Dilworth to Hawley, Minn., a month ahead of schedule.

Work to reconstruct and install stoplights at Highway 59 and 34 in Detroit Lakes, was completed a month ahead of schedule, said Shiloh Wahl, a project engineer for the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

Dry weather aided construction, he said.

“Oh yeah, it’s just been a great summer construction-wise,” Wahl said. “It’s definitely contributed to why we’re ahead of schedule.”


Readers can reach Forum reporter Joe Whetham at (701) 241-5557

F-Misthebest
Sep 17, 2006, 3:02 AM
To answer your previous question Paintballer about Moorhead, I would say that Moorhead is the ugly step-sister of Fargo who is getting plastic surgery to make itself look like it's more attractive step-sister. And that's what I think of that. But serioulsy Moorhead is not as bad as people make it out to be. It's a decent city. They are revitalizing their downtown to make it more appealing to the citizens and developers and they are trying to develop their more suburban areas by building office complexes and retail centers. They are shortly going to be building a Menards Super Store and a Home Depot and not to mention that new CEC Movie Theatre. Speaking of CEC Theatre's, West Acres Ultra Screen addition is coming along nicely. Hey Smiley, you know the Fargo 2007 map you posted a couple pages back, well the city has started to bring down roads and water pipes down to 52nd Ave. from Osgood. Lots of roads! Hollister Co. is under construction and should be done soon. Now all we need is a Banana Republic.

Paintballer1708
Sep 17, 2006, 3:17 AM
^Thanks FM for a better idea of what Moorhead is like. A lot of the people in Fargo didnt seem to like it. I asked how to get their and most people told me to not waste my time there. I just stayed on the North Dakota side of the border.

Ex-Ithacan
Sep 17, 2006, 7:10 PM
I'm still perplexed by the Fargo/Moorhead area. With the dozens of projects (office/retail/food) going up, the new road work, and the airport expansion, either the region has been woefully underserved for many years, or the govt demographers just don't have a clue about the true population figures.

F-Misthebest
Sep 18, 2006, 2:53 AM
I would have to go with choice B.

I am in a pickle. I have been researching Fargo and Sioux Falls for several days and I am starting to think that Sioux Falls is a beter city. It is bigger, growing faster in people and developments, a stronger economy, a nicer and growing faster downtown, nicer attractions (zoo,museums,etc.), they utilize their river more, statue of David, hills, more trees, hills, hills, and they don't have as many crappy aluminum siding industrial buildings. I mean a block south of West Acres Mall (which isn't as nice as the Empire, but has less stores for lease which is good) there are two crappy brown aluminum siding warehouses with a dead end gravel road right smack dab in the middle of PRIME real estate. Please Fargo guys prove me wrong, I don't want to like Sioux Falls more then Fargo.

fredstrom
Sep 18, 2006, 4:08 AM
Well, I come from a perspective of not living in either city, but doing all this research for my project. I like both towns, but if I was forced to live in either Fargo or SF, I would probably pick SF. I hate winter, so I prefer to stay farther south though. But the parks system in SF seems awesome, strung out all along the river and 229 the way it is. And yes, demographically SF is growing faster economically and in population, but there is some concern there about the big John Morrell meatpacking plant closting down whihc would throw 3000 people out of work. If that happens, it will probably take a couple years for SF to recover from that kind of a blow.

Fargo has attributes that SF doesn't though. For one, a much larger student population which brings in better concerts, things to do and stuff. Plus a better location for research opportunities. It will be up to Fargo city leaders to capitalize on that though. It seems to be a group you'd hate let slip through your fingers. Like in Lincoln, everyone who graduates moves to Omaha, Denver or Kansas City. I'm moving to KC later this year. Lincoln, although I'd love to stay just doesn't have the opportunities. Hopefully Fargo can do a better job keeping the students once they graduate than Lincoln does. I would bet that Minneapolis would take away a lot of the graduates though.

JoeJoe
Sep 18, 2006, 6:35 AM
FMisthebest, I hope you did not say that The Empire Mall was better than West Acres. While it does have more stores the layout is crappy, you feel like you're in a cave in parts of the place, and the food court is ridiculously small. Honestly when me and a a group of friends were down there we decided to eat there 'cause one place to get whatev each of us wanted. We could barely find a place to sit and it was cramped, I felt almost claustrophobic.

As for the crappy utilization of the real estate behind West Acres, blame that on the old Menards (the two crappy brown aluminum siding warehouses with a dead end gravel road) as well as the railroad spur that used to run through there. Fargo has a lot of improperly utilized space at the moment; by the US Bank Service Center, south of the baseball diamonds between 42nd and 45th, and all sorts of lil spaces here and there. With that said many parts of the city are still quite young, ten years ago Fargo and West Fargo were still separate cities. We are also younger than Sioux Falls and as a city/state a bit behind SF/SD in population. How has that affected Fargo? In 1990 we were 74,111 while SF was 100,814. In 2000 we were 90,599 while SF was 123,975. An increase of 16,488 for us, 23,161 for them - but since 2000 we've hit a bit of a speed bump. We've increased roughly 10,000 while they've increased about 16,000 (that's city of Fargo numbers on our increase and census number on their increase - so if the census typically underestimates SF growth could be more than 16k). SD has more people than ND as well (755k versus 642k).

Unfortunately more people can mean a better place if you like a more urban area. The metro area of SF is prolly 10-20k more than ours at least, but that'll be a given when the city itself is 45k more than us. Honestly both cities have things they're good at and things they could improve. I prefer Fargo, I had a (now former) co-worker who grew up in SF and just moved back down there 'cause he liked it better. I'm sure 10 yrs ago SF had similar issues to Fargo and have improved on them since then. Also I would guess SF issues are prolly quite different from our own, we are a dual-state metro area comprised of 4 core contiguous communities that each have their own city governments. SF is the core city with a few bedroom communities surround it that are not contiguous, what SF city government says goes (though they are in 2 separate counties like the F-M area, both counties are in SD though).

I guess my point is we have to keep things in historical perspective and also cannot directly compare the two cities. I prefer Fargo, I live here, and I hope for Fargo's continued success. SF seems like a good place as well, I have family there, I hope SF sees continued success. Now let's get back to our normally scheduled discussion of Fargo and Fargo-metro developments and let SuFu worry about itself ;). Later.

BigTicket
Sep 18, 2006, 7:26 AM
I would have to go with choice B.

I am in a pickle. I have been researching Fargo and Sioux Falls for several days and I am starting to think that Sioux Falls is a better city. It is bigger, growing faster in people and developments, a stronger economy, a nicer and growing faster downtown, nicer attractions (zoo,museums,etc.), they utilize their river more, statue of David, hills, more trees, hills, hills, and they don't have as many crappy aluminum siding industrial buildings. I mean a block south of West Acres Mall (which isn't as nice as the Empire, but has less stores for lease which is good) there are two crappy brown aluminum siding warehouses with a dead end gravel road right smack dab in the middle of PRIME real estate. Please Fargo guys prove me wrong, I don't want to like Sioux Falls more then Fargo.

No offense to SF but give me Fargo anyday of the week over SF. Fargo has something Sioux Falls will never have and that is Lakes Country a half hour away. Recreation is a big selling point to get people to move to your city and Fargo has no shortage of it. Mix that in with great leadership and a solid base of young people and Fargo has a great future in store for itself.

SF is nice but it just seems too much like a big suburb to me while Fargo seems to have more of it's own identity. I am not trying to bash SF thats just the feeling I get when I go there.

NanoBison
Sep 18, 2006, 1:38 PM
I, too, try not to bash S.F. because we are alot alike and are both fine cities. But like others have mentioned both have their pros and cons and I think Fargo's pros tend to outweigh those of Sioux Falls. The student population. A downtown that is growing quickly. Three major universities. Research, research, research. Like BigTicket says, give me Fargo any day of the week.

On Ex-Ithacan's comments, I'm going to have to say we've been woefully underserved for a while now. We have been growing fast as well. There's always been road construction every Spring to Fall and we can only close so many roads for this work. Also the airport continues to make increases in airtraffic, at the expense of Grand Forks, but when you look at it, it's like people from Fargo driving to Minneapolis to save $100 on a ticket. With gas prices ( unusually low right now $2.15/gal ), the cost of travel outweighs that. So more people decide to travel out of Fargo. Fargo also have 5 direct flight connections (Minneapolis, Chicago, Denver, Las Vegas, Salt Lake City), so more people from smaller cities only served by NWA only going to Minneapolis tend to drive 45 minutes to get a better bargain (from G.F. and V.C., etc...)

I haven't put some pictures up in a while now, I'll make sure to get some pics today...lot's of stuff is coming along nicely...

Update : It's poopy weather outside, so no camera pics today... I'll wait until it's not raining....

NanoBison
Sep 18, 2006, 1:41 PM
...Fargo has something Sioux Falls will never have and that is Lakes Country a half hour away...

Here Here. I love going out to Detroit Lakes. It's a nice escape from the concrete and asphalt jungle of FM. I think the FM Chamber, FM Visitor Center, and FEDC need to really push the fact we are so close to the lakes when trying to advertise the area to future Fargoans.

JoeJoe
Sep 18, 2006, 7:23 PM
True true, I forgot about Lakes Country and the nearby recreation that Fargo has. Also I wanna say most of the numbers I outlined in my post were Fargo only and didn't include Moorhead and West Fargo - which if you include them our core population pretty much matches the core population of Sioux Falls (around 145k) if not excedes it by a lil. Another reason I like Fargo better myself is that it just seems more clean and organized, I dunno that's just me though.

Has anybody heard any news on the existing developments going on downtown or if there are any new ones in the pipeline? Just curious...

F-Misthebest
Sep 19, 2006, 12:11 AM
Thanks you guys. That really makes me like Fargo more then I previously did. I do think that Sioux Falls is kind of like a big suburb. On another thread someone said that "Colorado Springs is it's own suburb." They later went on to say, "Can a city be it's own suburb?" I kind of think that applys to Sioux Falls as well.

Midwesterner19
Sep 19, 2006, 12:12 AM
I found out something that suprised me about Fargo. In the 2005 american community survey Fargo had one of the lowest household sizes in the country, the average household size is 2.08. Thats tied with Pittsburgh, PA for 2nd lowest in the nation. Seattle has the nations lowest household size in the country. Additionally, suprisingly the per-capita income in Fargo is 6% above the national average, in-fact per-capita incomes in Fargo are about 3,000 dollars higher a year then in highly corperate cities like Omaha and Des Moines . I dont know what the cost of living index is in Fargo, I moved to the Omaha area and Omaha is cheaper but I would say Fargo's cost of living has to be well below the national average.

F-Misthebest
Sep 19, 2006, 12:14 AM
Welcome back to the forum. I hope your move went well. Omaha is nice. Oh crap.

SmileyBoy
Sep 19, 2006, 4:26 AM
I'm gonna try to debunk F-Misthebest's earlier post. (First time I've ever done something like that...:D)

About the comparisons between F-M and SF, the first thing I noticed while I drove through SF this past summer is that F-M takes MUCH better care of its roads and traffic. F-M is a LOT easier of a city to drive around. They also have a pothole issue in SF that almost rivals Winnipeg's. 13th Ave. South in Fargo is a beautifully meticulated 6-lane concrete road, and 41st Street in SF is a narrow, 4-lane asphalt driving hazard. I was very surprised that SF had roads that subpar. Also, it's takes a lot less time to get where you want to go in F-M, which is amazing, considering that the F-M built-up area takes up more space than SF's.

Also, unlike SF, F-M's interstates cut right through the heart of the city. SF's interstates, along with its bypass, merely sideswipes and encircles the city. I think this makes F-M look more "big-city"-like than SF. The interstates are more of an integral part of F-M than SF. People in F-M actually USE the interstates to get from one place to another. Next time, take a drive from the intersection of South University and I-94 and go all the way to the 29-94 interchange and go north on I-29. You'll feel like you're driving in a big-city expressway. I've had friends from the Twin Cities who visited F-M the first time tell me that they didn't realize the city was this big when they drove along I-94.

At any rate, like others said, F-M is more appealing to young people and high-tech businesses, but I personally think SF is probably more appealing to families. (Probably that's something we have to work on) And about not utilizing our riverfront, well, we really can't build along our river at all. If you've lived here since this past March, you'll know why. :) One professor of mine told me that the ancient Egyptians never built any temples 2 feet from the Nile's banks, for obvious reasons. Same reason for us. The Big Sioux River in SF is not a wild, untamed beast like the Red is.

Another thing I noticed from a lot of people who said they lived in SF is that it didn't seem like a fun place. It didn't seem fun to me at all. It seemed kind of lackluster and semi-morose. It almost seemed like the city was on auto-pilot. The place seemed to me like it was moving at a slower pace than F-M. When I got out of my car, there was some karmic feeling that I felt sucked a lot of the energy out of me. It's probably true that the place is a lot like a big, bland suburb. At least F-M has a more well-defined and established inner core.

All in all, I believe F-M and SF both have their strong points, but the thing that wins me over to F-M is the embrace of the younger population. F-M is just a more fun, energetic place to live. We have more bars, restaurants, concerts, university students, etc. The one down side I see about F-M is the fact that the civic and private leaders are very apt at keeping development plans a secret. In a lot of other cities, if a developer is just INVISIONING a place they want to build, they'll squawk about it in all the local papers, news, etc. I'm pretty damn sure that there's a lot of awesome things the city leaders and developers are looking to build in the city. It's just that the bastards keep it a secret. That's the main thing I think we need to change here.

SmileyBoy
Sep 19, 2006, 5:15 AM
NDSU Downtown buildings to expand

http://www.in-forum.com/gfx/photos/full/0919%20NDSU%20copy.jpg

http://www.in-forum.com/gfx/photos/full/X00019_95.JPG
Lincoln Mutual Life building in Fargo. Darren Gibbins / The Forum

http://www.in-forum.com/gfx/photos/full/20060919pioneerlife.jpg
The North Dakota State University Development Foundation has purchased the former Pioneer Mutual Life building, left, at 203 10th St. N., and the Lincoln Mutual building at 711 2nd Ave. N., for $3.54 million from Noridian, university spokesman Dave Wahlberg said Monday. Photos by Darren Gibbins / The Forum

Downtown campus grows
By Amy Dalrymple, The Forum
Published Tuesday, September 19, 2006

North Dakota State University is adding to its downtown campus with the purchase of two buildings.

The NDSU Development Foundation bought the former Pioneer Mutual Life and Lincoln Mutual buildings from Noridian for $3.54 million, university spokesman Dave Wahlberg said Monday.

The Lincoln Mutual building, 711 2nd Ave. N., will house design studio space and faculty offices for the architecture and landscape architecture departments.

NDSU officials are studying options for the Pioneer Mutual Life building, 203 10th St. N., including renovation and expansion to accommodate the College of Business, Wahlberg said.

In August 2004, NDSU opened its first downtown facility in the Northern School Supply building at 650 NP Ave. for the art and architecture departments. That building was donated to the university by NDSU alum Doug Burgum.

“It’s really been a success for NDSU,” Wahlberg said of NDSU Downtown. “Since then, we’ve been looking to expand our downtown campus, and these two buildings will be a great addition.”

Jason Wohlman, associate executive director of the NDSU Development Foundation, said both buildings are in excellent condition and have substantial parking space.

While the buildings were owned by Noridian, there was considerable work done to bring them up to building codes, said Larry Gauper, Noridian’s vice president for corporate communications.

Both buildings would be renovated, though a timeline for the projects has not been established, Wahlberg said.

From their experience with the other downtown building, NDSU officials have learned that “if you start with a good building – a good structure to begin with – the buildings can be adapted very nicely to the needs of the university,” Wahlberg said.

The downtown purchase could change initial plans to build a new College of Business on the west side of NDSU’s main campus on 18th Street North, Wahlberg said.

As part of the $75 million Momentum campaign, the NDSU Development Foundation is trying to raise $13 million for a Center of Business building. Nearly $11 million has been raised toward that goal, Wohlman said.

Locating the College of Business in the six-story Pioneer Life building is one option being explored, Wahlberg said.

“We’re still looking at that,” Wahlberg said. “No plans have been finalized.”

The Development Foundation did not use funds from the Momentum campaign to buy the buildings, Wohlman said.

Paul Gleye, chairman of NDSU’s architecture department, said the two-story Lincoln building is well suited to house design studio space because the floors are largely open.

The addition of that building will bring all architecture and landscape architecture faculty downtown. Right now they’re split half and half between the main campus and downtown, Gleye said, which can make scheduling meetings challenging.

“There was some hope we might find a way to all be together again,” Gleye said. “This brings us all within three blocks of each other.”

Faculty and students have enjoyed the downtown campus and use the bus a lot to get back and forth, he said.

“Downtown Fargo is becoming such a wonderful place that people love to be down there,” Gleye said.

A shuttle route connecting the main campus to downtown Fargo would expand to include the new buildings, Wahlberg said.

Dante Miller, NDSU’s student body president, said he thinks students would be happy with the expanded downtown campus as long as there is adequate parking and transportation.

Noridian acquired the Lincoln Mutual building in 1989 when Lincoln Mutual became an affiliated company, Gauper said. Employees were later moved to Noridian’s headquarters on 45th Street and the company no longer needed the downtown building.

Noridian acquired the Pioneer Mutual building in 1991. In 2001, Noridian was no longer affiliated with Pioneer Mutual, and the building was put on the market a short time later, Gauper said.

The trust and investment division of State Bank & Trust is a tenant in the Pioneer Mutual building, Gauper said. It was not immediately known what would happen to that arrangement, Wahlberg said.

SmileyBoy
Sep 19, 2006, 5:17 AM
150 new mid-paying jobs coming to West Fargo

Trail King to expand W.F. plant
By Craig McEwen, The Forum
Published Tuesday, September 19, 2006

A national producer of truck trailers on Monday launched a $12 million expansion project in West Fargo that will double the size of its production plant and local work force.

Trail King Industries will expand from 80,000 square feet of production at 202 8th St. W. to a new 160,000-square-foot plant in the West Fargo Industrial Park, President Jerry Thomsen said. It is expected to be ready for occupancy by June 2007.

The expansion will double Trail King’s West Fargo production staff from 150 to 300 in five years, with jobs averaging about $16 per hour, Thomsen said.

“This is a big deal. It took some very good work to get this done,” said North Dakota Gov. John Hoeven. “The people that work here in West Fargo were a key, key part in making this expansion happen.”

Trail King has plants in Mitchell, S.D., and Brookville, Pa. Both states were vying for the project, Hoeven said.

Some of the financial incentives may have been better in other locations, Thomsen said. “The quality work force was critical to our decision to expand in West Fargo.”

Trail King initially planned to announce the project next spring, Thomsen said.

“We fast-tracked it” to meet customer demand.

Negotiations with West Fargo, Mitchell and Brookville started about three months ago, said Dorinda Anderson, West Fargo economic development director. “We moved pretty fast.”

The company got its start in 1974 as Western Ag Sales of Mitchell.

In 1983, the name was changed to Trail King Industries Inc.

The company was acquired by Carlisle Companies of Charlotte, N.C., in 1985.

Carlisle, which lists on the New York Stock Exchange under ticker symbol CSL, did $2.2 billion in sales in 2005 with 11,000 employees, according to online business database Hoover’s.

Trail King Industries opened its West Fargo division in 2000 after buying Red River Manufacturing, which started producing wooden farm-truck boxes in the 1950s.

Red River Manufacturing was co-owned by Steve Danovic and Duane Lee, the late husband of Sen. Judy Lee, R-West Fargo.

“I’m very happy that the business is staying in town and keeping jobs here,” she said Monday. “Duane would have been so proud to see the expansion.”

SmileyBoy
Sep 19, 2006, 5:20 AM
Hay F-Misthebest, is Sioux Falls still better???:D:D:D

NanoBison
Sep 19, 2006, 5:49 AM
Smiley you beat me to the punch on those stories. There was a hell of alot of good news for the FM Area, development wise tonight....

fredstrom
Sep 19, 2006, 3:00 PM
So two great pieces of news for FM developments cements in your mind that yes, indeed Fargo is better than Sioux Falls. I encounter the same provincial attitude in Lincoln. "Omaha is way better....blah blah blah" I would bet if you looked at the Sioux Falls paper you'd find lots of stories of development and expanding companies. As far as being SF being morose, i wonder if the 4,000 people who move to Sioux Falls ever year think that? Or the additional 1,500 who move to the small towns around it?

And to tell you the truth, I took a roadtrip last weekend up I-29 to see all of these cities, and I found SF no more or less suburban than Fargo. You are comparing cities on trival and uncalcuable data. Merely opinion. WIth that said however, all cities need great cheerleaders for them, and maybe if we can somehow acknowledge the impact Fargo, Sioux Falls, Omaha or Lincoln have on their respective states, and the midwest as a whole, we can raise the whole region's profile on the national stage. In reality, the lifestyle lived between SE Nebraska and SE North Dakota is pretty close to the same (except y'all need heavier coats).

I think what may be better is to acknowledge the good that each city does and the fact that they are basically saving thier states from stagnation. Maybe the energy exhibited here should be used to find solutions to the rural decline, instead of comparing and tearing down other cities based on petty jealousies or percieved inferiority complexes.

NanoBison
Sep 19, 2006, 4:29 PM
All I know, is that if Sioux Falls people were as passionate about their city as we are, they would have a thread about to pass "Indy : The Start" as the most read thread in the Midwest forums........

:D



Really though they are both excellent cities that do an excellent job of representing the Midwest and from other posts stated, help their states grow, with the large exile of residents common in the midwest...

:tup:

F-Misthebest
Sep 19, 2006, 9:39 PM
Hay F-Misthebest, is Sioux Falls still better???:D:D:D

You guys have changed my mind quite a bit, but I still think that they are equally beautiful cities. I am more partial to family type cities though I still think Fargo-Moorhead is a very family oriented city with a hip feel to it, because of all the young people. I think it is the best of both worlds.:D I like Fargo-Moorhead a lot.

F-Misthebest
Sep 19, 2006, 9:42 PM
Does anyone have any photos of Moorhead. That was one place i never checked out when i was there. When i asked people about it in Fargo they didnt have good things to say about it. What is your opinion on Moorhead?

I'll post some pictures of Moorhead later.

Paintballer1708
Sep 20, 2006, 12:46 AM
^Thanks, FM. Interesting conversation going on here about Souix Falls and Fargo. Personally because i have been to Fargo i would have to say that i like Fargo much better. Fargo seems to have a nicer and taller skyline than SF. SF didnt seem to have a building that stood out. Although i did like the park along the river in SF.

Midwesterner19
Sep 21, 2006, 12:41 AM
So two great pieces of news for FM developments cements in your mind that yes, indeed Fargo is better than Sioux Falls. I encounter the same provincial attitude in Lincoln. "Omaha is way better....blah blah blah" I would bet if you looked at the Sioux Falls paper you'd find lots of stories of development and expanding companies. As far as being SF being morose, i wonder if the 4,000 people who move to Sioux Falls ever year think that? Or the additional 1,500 who move to the small towns around it?

And to tell you the truth, I took a roadtrip last weekend up I-29 to see all of these cities, and I found SF no more or less suburban than Fargo. You are comparing cities on trival and uncalcuable data. Merely opinion. WIth that said however, all cities need great cheerleaders for them, and maybe if we can somehow acknowledge the impact Fargo, Sioux Falls, Omaha or Lincoln have on their respective states, and the midwest as a whole, we can raise the whole region's profile on the national stage. In reality, the lifestyle lived between SE Nebraska and SE North Dakota is pretty close to the same (except y'all need heavier coats).

I think what may be better is to acknowledge the good that each city does and the fact that they are basically saving thier states from stagnation. Maybe the energy exhibited here should be used to find solutions to the rural decline, instead of comparing and tearing down other cities based on petty jealousies or percieved inferiority complexes.

One of the most urban cities along the Intertstate 29 corridor from North Dakota to Nebraska is interestingly Sioux City, IA its more urban then Sioux Falls and Fargo but has a much weaker economy and is not nearly as clean as both of them.

I dont think ther will ever be a solution for rural decline and there shouldnt be. Agriculture is much more productuive then it used to be. North Dakota should worry about Fargo, Grand Forks, Bismarck only. Bismarck probubly has the most potential in the state and Grand Forks and Fargo are a tie for 2nd place as far as potential goes. Minot is a big population loser and I think its closest decent sized city is Regina which is Fargo's size. South Dakota should only worry about the Black Hills/ Rapid City area and Sioux Falls.

Interestingly enough, Nebraska probubly is in the worst position rural wise because it doesnt have hundreds of millions of barrels of oil and tons of coal under the ground like North Dakota and the zero income tax that South Dakota has that draws retirees and baby boomers to the black hills and scenic Rapid City area. Nebraska has three bright spots: Sidney (home to Cabela's), Lincoln (probubly the least bright of the three) and Omaha (which is booming with a per-capita income of 21% above the national average in 2003) according to the Bureau of economic analysis data.

Fargo by the way has a per-capita income of 6% above the national average according to the 2005 supplemental survey from the census and Sioux Falls is 6% above the national average according to the Bureau of economic analysis data in 2004.

Minehaha County and Cass County are very similar wage wise, per-capita income wise. They have different sectors in their economy: Sioux Falls is a medical and financial services town and Fargo is a college, technology, retail town primilarily.

Midwesterner19
Sep 21, 2006, 12:43 AM
So two great pieces of news for FM developments cements in your mind that yes, indeed Fargo is better than Sioux Falls. I encounter the same provincial attitude in Lincoln. "Omaha is way better....blah blah blah" I would bet if you looked at the Sioux Falls paper you'd find lots of stories of development and expanding companies. As far as being SF being morose, i wonder if the 4,000 people who move to Sioux Falls ever year think that? Or the additional 1,500 who move to the small towns around it?

And to tell you the truth, I took a roadtrip last weekend up I-29 to see all of these cities, and I found SF no more or less suburban than Fargo. You are comparing cities on trival and uncalcuable data. Merely opinion. WIth that said however, all cities need great cheerleaders for them, and maybe if we can somehow acknowledge the impact Fargo, Sioux Falls, Omaha or Lincoln have on their respective states, and the midwest as a whole, we can raise the whole region's profile on the national stage. In reality, the lifestyle lived between SE Nebraska and SE North Dakota is pretty close to the same (except y'all need heavier coats).

I think what may be better is to acknowledge the good that each city does and the fact that they are basically saving thier states from stagnation. Maybe the energy exhibited here should be used to find solutions to the rural decline, instead of comparing and tearing down other cities based on petty jealousies or percieved inferiority complexes.

One of the most urban cities along the Intertstate 29 corridor from North Dakota to Nebraska is interestingly Sioux City, IA its more urban then Sioux Falls and Fargo but has a much weaker economy and is not nearly as clean as both of them.

I dont think ther will ever be a solution for rural decline and there shouldnt be. Agriculture is much more productuive then it used to be. North Dakota should worry about Fargo, Grand Forks, Bismarck only. Bismarck probubly has the most potential in the state and Grand Forks and Fargo are a tie for 2nd place as far as potential goes. Minot is a big population loser and I think its closest decent sized city is Regina which is just a little larger then Fargo's Metro area's size. South Dakota should only worry about the Black Hills/ Rapid City area and Sioux Falls.

Interestingly enough, Nebraska probubly is in the worst position rural wise (for population decline in the future)because it doesnt have hundreds of millions of barrels of oil and tons of coal under the ground like North Dakota and the zero income tax that South Dakota has that draws retirees and baby boomers to the black hills and scenic Rapid City area. Nebraska has three bright spots: Sidney (home to Cabela's), Lincoln (probubly the least bright of the three) and Omaha (which is booming with a per-capita income of 21% above the national average in 2003) according to the Bureau of economic analysis data.

Fargo by the way has a per-capita income of 6% above the national average according to the 2005 supplemental survey from the census and Sioux Falls is 6% above the national average according to the Bureau of economic analysis data in 2004.

Minehaha County and Cass County are very similar wage wise, per-capita income wise. They have different sectors in their economy: Sioux Falls is a medical and financial services town and Fargo is a college, technology, retail town primilarily.

F-Misthebest
Sep 21, 2006, 1:23 AM
One of the most urban cities along the Intertstate 29 corridor from North Dakota to Nebraska is interestingly Sioux City, IA its more urban then Sioux Falls and Fargo but has a much weaker economy and is not nearly as clean as both of them.

I dont think ther will ever be a solution for rural decline and there shouldnt be. Agriculture is much more productuive then it used to be. North Dakota should worry about Fargo, Grand Forks, Bismarck only. Bismarck probubly has the most potential in the state and Grand Forks and Fargo are a tie for 2nd place as far as potential goes. Minot is a big population loser and I think its closest decent sized city is Regina which is Fargo's size. South Dakota should only worry about the Black Hills/ Rapid City area and Sioux Falls.

Interestingly enough, Nebraska probubly is in the worst position rural wise because it doesnt have hundreds of millions of barrels of oil and tons of coal under the ground like North Dakota and the zero income tax that South Dakota has that draws retirees and baby boomers to the black hills and scenic Rapid City area. Nebraska has three bright spots: Sidney (home to Cabela's), Lincoln (probubly the least bright of the three) and Omaha (which is booming with a per-capita income of 21% above the national average in 2003) according to the Bureau of economic analysis data.

Fargo by the way has a per-capita income of 6% above the national average according to the 2005 supplemental survey from the census and Sioux Falls is 6% above the national average according to the Bureau of economic analysis data in 2004.

Minehaha County and Cass County are very similar wage wise, per-capita income wise. They have different sectors in their economy: Sioux Falls is a medical and financial services town and Fargo is a college, technology, retail town primilarily.

I do have to agree with you that Sioux City is suprisingly urban compared to Fargo and Sioux Falls. But, their downtown is one of their only retail centers. There are not that many retail centers in Sioux City.

About your second paragraph though. I do believe that Bismarck has a great deal of potential but I do believe also that Fargo is tied for first with Bismarck. Both cities are doing very well (and when I say Fargo I mean Fargo, West Fargo, Horace, Reils Acres, etc. When I say Bismarck I mean Bismarck, Mandan and the other smaller cities that are surrounding them), but in the long run I think Fargo will take the lead. I think that Fargo will always be the retail, technology, industry, capital of the state. Bismarck will most definetly be in second. No doubt. Grand Forks and Minot, however, is a different story.

Grand Forks is trying to attract more retail but it just doesn't seem to be working all that well. Grand Forks is not "hip and happening" like Fargo is(I put "hip and happening" in quotes as you may have noticed). Especially the downtown. Their downtown seems to be dead. It kind of looks like no one has been there for a long time. See, when the Flood of '97 happened the Government gave the city lots of money to help. I know they did build a floodwall and a couple of new buildings but, I, personally, think they could have done something better with the money to get more people to come to the city. As of my understanding, the city is losing people and losing people at a surprisingly fast pace.

I don't feel comfortable talking about Minot because I don't know a whole lot about the city so I don't want to put false information out. I do know that they are losing a great number of people as well. It's a nice town but it's not near anything else. The people who live there, in my personal opinion, might feel blocked in, or maybe they feel that they want to move some where else to be in a city that has more job opportunites and is closer to more prominate cites. Bismarck and Fargo are the only two places in the state that I would suggest to anyone who was thinking about moving to North Dakota.

Midwesterner, I believe that Fargo is also a medical city as well.

NanoBison
Sep 21, 2006, 2:47 AM
Midwestner and FM is the best, I agree with most of the things you've said and also yes FM, I would put medical center under Fargo's heading as well. Any city where ~6% of the population works in the medical industry has something significant in that area...

On Minot... Moving out of that city was the greatest thing I ever did for myself. I left right after H.S. and enrolled into NDSU for E.E. and then eventually C.S. and now I am nearly finished with the Master's and have an excellent job lined up in the FM area. Minot however is a very stagnant city. Their slogan is "the Magic City", but there is nothing magical about Minot. Other than the population spurts of the old railroad days, Minot has never really grown or gained "new people". It's basically a community where families go to raise a family, the kids leave for college, old people move into the retirement homes and eventually die. The only things holding that city above water in terms of anything economic is Minot State University and the Minot Air Force base. I don't know how much you guys pay attention to the BRAC (Base Realignment and Closures) process, but I'm pretty sure Minot gets mentioned every time they do one of those. The nuclear minuteman missiles are no longer there, the fleet of B-52 bombers is older than god-knows-when, and of the bases selected for the future of military (UAVs, etc...) Minot was not one of them.

Minot does have Dakota Square Mall, and seems to get everything about 5 years later than the other 3 big cities in North Dakota. They are just opening their new SuperWalmart ( hip-hip-hooray (heavy sarcastic undertone there folks)), they now have a Best Buy which is slightly smaller than the Fargo one, and on a Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. there were 5 cars, that's right folks 5, in the parking lot. In Fargo, that would have been easily 50-75. Their movie theatre is just getting stadium seating.

Their economic development initiatives center around a flawed financial fund called the "Magic Fund". It's been pretty much useless to the city, only seeming to attract Call Center/Tech Support type jobs. I can think of 2 off the top of my head that involved at least 250-300 employees each that both failed. The downtown area is completely dead aside from the Trinity Hospital complex which runs the lenght of Burdick Expressway downtown Minot. There is a 5-7 storey glass "tower", I think called the "M" building, which is currently sitting VACANT. The tallest buildings in the city(11, 12 stories) are both old folks homes.

A young man was injured a few years ago, during a train wreck in which he was badly burned over most of his body, I think his name was Chad Yale, and he was awarded a settlement of MANY millions of dollars from the train companies. He turned around and built Sports World. It was supposed to be competition for Scheels in Dakota Square Mall, but it eventually flopped as well, while Scheels is now 1/4 the size of Dakota Square Mall. "Sports World", boy the marketing on coming up with that name must have cost a fortune. Anyways, the man lost everything and now he is broke from last I've heard.

Their airport has 3 daily flights IN and OUT of Minneapolis. That's it folks, 3. Minneapolis only. On the crappy DC-9 and DC-10 planes. An upgrade to first class on those flights from Minneapolis cost me $10/bucks. THAT's it. $10 stinking dollars. I prefer the Airbus A319/A320 we fly out of Minneapolis by far.

The one thing Minot does do right is their Zoo. The Minot Zoo, by far outdoes anything else in the state. Only problem is, it's partially funded by the city. That's the reason Fargo's Zoo stinks, becuase voters continually turn down proposals to get a city-funded zoo.

Finally, the exudos of yound minds from Minot. Of my high-school class, I'd say maybe 20% stayed in Minot. The ones that did were the types that got pregnant in H.S. or never really wanted to do anything with their lives. The others went to NDSU, UND, BSC, or out of state (two even went to Harvard,Yale). There is nothing there for people under the age of 21 to do, hence why the problem of underage drinking in North Dakota is especially bad in that area of the state. Middle age individuals also tend to look down on the younger crowd as trouble-makers. The hot thing to do on Friday nights is drag up and down Broadway ( the main thuroughfare of the city ) looking for chicks and just basically being a$$holes on the road.

The most active place in Minot is probably the Graveyards. Literally, with as many old folks as they have and how terrible Trinity Hospital is, at least I've heard it is, that place probably sees more new "people" daily than the new Best Buy,

That folks, is Minot.

Don't ever move there, or convince anyone to move there. They'll hate it. Period. I've spent the last 10 years of my life pulling each member of my family out of that god-forsaken-town and plopping them down here in the wonderful city of Fargo (where they now have excellent paying jobs and are always in much better moods, than when they were in Minot).

I would never force Minot upon my worst enemy. I'd send them to G.F. before I'd send them to Minot. (and you all know how much I love G.F.)


:slob: Minot City Life :slob:

F-Misthebest
Sep 21, 2006, 3:19 AM
Well said Nano. I learned a lot about Minot and I also learned that I never want to go there :) I am much happier that I am in Fargo. The roads in southwest Fargo continue to grow. It's going to be quite the place down there.

Nano, I was wondering when you were going to update your blog. If you don't update that would be just fine to.

NanoBison
Sep 21, 2006, 3:33 AM
I'm going to update here eventually. I've been meaning to get around to it, but I'm usually pretty tired after work and school. I'll try to put something up there this weekend. Not sure what I'm going to write about, but I have a feeling it will have something to do with the NDSU expansion downtown.....

NanoBison
Sep 21, 2006, 6:08 AM
4 Seasons project aims to meet changing health-care demands
By Craig McEwen, The Forum
Published Thursday, September 21, 2006


http://img213.imageshack.us/img213/297/fourseasonshf5.gif

Work has begun on a $4 million expansion to 4 Seasons Assisted Living in Moorhead.

The project will add an adult day services wing and two assisted-living units, bringing the total complex size to about 32,000 square feet when completed, said co-owner Russ Johnson.

4 Seasons, a for-profit business owned by seven partners, opened in September 2004 with an assisted-living unit and a separate memory care unit, each containing 10 apartments at 2921 6th Ave. N., Johnson said.

The four-acre facility is on the former Romkey farmstead. When completed, the five-building complex will employ about 60 people, he said.

The new horseshoe-shaped, three-wing addition being built adjacent to existing facilities is expected to open in early 2007.
An architect’s rendering of the four-acre complex in north Moorhead.

“This expansion is a two- step process starting with the adult day-services wing,” Johnson said.

Once completed, the existing units will contain a combined 20 memory care apartments for Alzheimer’s and dementia residents.

Two of the new wings will provide 20 assisted-living apartments, Johnson said.

The third, an adult day services wing, will provide recreational, socialization, physical, occupational and speech therapy services to clients who are bused or driven from their homes or apartments in metropolitan Fargo-Moorhead.

“We bring them to this facility and care for them all day,” he said.

Some will come every day and others may come only one day a week, he said.

“This is just another way to help meet changing health-care needs and another way for seniors to remain in their own homes as long as possible,” said Beverly Marcy,4 Seasons health-care coordinator.

The three new wings will be connected by common areas that will be used for church services and family and community gatherings.





:tup:

SmileyBoy
Sep 21, 2006, 6:32 AM
Hey Nano, my professor jokingly calls Minot "Mindrot".:D

And while Sioux City may seem the most urban among the cities in the I-29 corridor north of Omaha, remember that the city has remained stagnant for at least 30-35 years.

Midwesterner19
Sep 21, 2006, 8:15 PM
I know that Grand Forks is economically weaker then Fargo or Bismarck, but last I recall and all look it up. Grand Forks actually is on a per-capita basis in the the same vicinity as Des Moines and Omaha on per-capita income. I guess with only 49,000 people in the city of Grand Forks and having 13,000 students at the university all the professors drive up the per-capita income.
I looked it up and I believe that: Fargo per-capita income is 106% of the national average, Bismarck (Buleigh) is 102% and Grand Forks was 94%
So Fargo and Bismarck are above the national average but Grand Forks is certainly respectable. This data is on the Census bureaus American community survey site (it has information on demographics in 2005 for all counties above 65,000 people) it is very imformative.

I will say this that Fargo's per-capita income of 106% of the national average is impressive because the cost of housing is so cheap. Small apartments start at about $250, Fargo probubly has the lowest rents of the cities in North Dakota as far as cheap, clean apartment units. Fargo has alot more up-scale housing though, which would probubly make it seem more if a survey was done. I think Fargo in retrospect had some of the cheapest restaurants I have been in, sure they have expensive ones downtown and down south but I remember having a great Asian buffet I remember for 7.25 for dinner and that included crab legs and I never got sick and the place was very clean.

F-Misthebest
Sep 21, 2006, 9:30 PM
Well I'll be a monkey's uncle. Midwesterner19 is actually saying nice things about Fargo. Wow. But really Midwesterner, thank you. That's good that Grand Forks is going in the right direction. Thanks for the information on the Census Bureaus American Community Servey Site.

Good news Nano, on the development for once in Moorhead. That's great!

F-Misthebest
Sep 21, 2006, 9:37 PM
Dupe.

F-Misthebest
Sep 21, 2006, 9:37 PM
Did you see that Fargo has udated their website. Check it out! www.ci.fargo.nd.us It's awesome. I also wanted to share with you guys the new Downtown River Redevelopment/Downtown Redevelopment plan located on the city of Fargo's website http://www.cityoffargo.com/attachments/3db91126-f8db-46ce-b0e6-24494125bbb7/Riverfrontbook.pdf . It's filled with lots of goodies and lots of great information so I really encourage you to read it. Read it (Page 28!)

F-Misthebest
Sep 22, 2006, 4:46 PM
Well, I'm off to the cities. Be back on Sunday. Bye.

F-Misthebest
Sep 25, 2006, 12:03 AM
I've read furthur into the Downtown Riverfront Plan and it is awesome! They say that Mid America Steel and themselves have not agreed yet on another location, but they are working on it. They said in their plans that the Mid America Steel would be replaced with offices, more park/bike path area, and "Fargo in the Timber" Interpretive Site. They say also say in their plan that they want to build a median on 2nd Street and put trees in the center. Go Figure! They want more decorative intersections on 2nd and Main, 2nd and NP, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th. Did you see they would bring 2nd Ave. through the Library and Civic Center to the Red River, and there would be a Marina. There's Plans in Fargo!!!! Their taking a Risk!!! Get this, on page 29 they said that there might be a Performing Arts Center!!! Holy Smokerson!!! It's like they read our thread or something. Read This Entirely!!!!!! Do it and you will be happy.

NanoBison
Sep 25, 2006, 7:47 PM
New life downtown
By Mike Nowatzki, The Forum
Published Monday, September 25, 2006

The recent acquisition of two downtown Fargo buildings for North Dakota State University has the potential to redefine the central business district, a downtown leader says.

As many as 1,400 college students could eventually be taking classes in the Pioneer Mutual Life and Lincoln Mutual buildings, university officials said last week.

Those students will eat, shop and possibly even live downtown, pumping new life into Fargo’s core, said Dave Anderson, president of the Downtown Community Partnership.

“We really have the opportunity to make this a real neat, multi-age, multifaceted downtown that serves the student population as well as the whole community,” he said.

The NDSU Development Foundation bought the buildings from Noridian for $3.54 million on July 31.

The university already has about 400 art, architecture and landscape architecture students taking classes at NDSU Downtown, the remodeled Northern School Supply building at 650 NP Ave.

The Lincoln Mutual building at 711 2nd Ave. N. will provide studio space for the remaining 150 students in the architecture and landscape architecture department, plus faculty offices, said Paul Gleye, department chairman.

University officials have no concrete plans for the Pioneer Mutual Life building at 203 10th St. N., but are considering remodeling and expanding it to house the College of Business, which has 1,266 students, said NDSU spokesman Dave Wahlberg.

The foundation has raised $11 million for a new $13 million College of Business building to be built along 18th Street North on the west side of campus. But the university may get more and better space at the downtown location, and it would be ready for students at least a year sooner, Wahlberg said.

Another option for the Pioneer building is to house individual programs that serve non-traditional students, such as continuing education, and offices for faculty, staff and graduate students, Wahlberg said.

Fargo real estate broker Konrad Olson said he first started talking to NDSU about the buildings in January 2004. Originally, they discussed moving faculty and staff offices to the building to free up classroom space on campus, he said.

Calling NDSU’s involvement “great for downtown,” Olson said the bustling buildings will expand what is generally considered the perimeter of downtown’s core past Roberts Street to the west. Olson added he’s working on a possible project to convert the old Union Storage and Transfer Co. warehouse at 11th Street and NP Avenue to market-rate housing.

The influx of NDSU students will likely bring new housing downtown, Anderson said.

“I think the free market will respond to that,” he said.

Having NDSU take over the buildings isn’t all good news for the city.

Under the foundation’s ownership, the buildings are exempt from property taxes, meaning the city will lose about $90,000 in property tax revenue next year. That’s roughly equal to the property taxes paid on 42 homes valued at $100,000 each.

However, as City Assessor Ben Hushka noted, the taxable value of the two buildings represents less than 0.1 percent of the city’s total taxable value, so they won’t have a major impact on the tax rolls.

Anderson said having the two tax-exempt buildings is a trade-off that works in downtown’s favor.

“In other uses, we might have seen a few hundred people come into downtown as employees. … The impact is probably going to be significantly more than that,” he said.

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


I'm still kind of mixed on my feelings towards whether NDSU should use the $11 million they have right now to build a totally new building on campus or just completely rennovate and expand the Pioneer Mutual Life building. I'm leaning more towards the downtown buildings because it would add an additional 1,200 students downtown,spur more developments, and free up desperately needed classroom space on the main NDSU campus. However I'm always for getting new buildings on campus. We'll see how it goes....

:tup:

zifnib
Sep 26, 2006, 1:42 PM
The Minot Zoo is the best in the state? what about the Chahankapa zoo in Wahpeton. I have always heard that was the best...

NanoBison
Sep 26, 2006, 3:31 PM
The Minot Zoo is the best in the state? what about the Chahankapa zoo in Wahpeton. I have always heard that was the best...

I've never been to Wahpeton yet. Just Minot, Grand Forks, Bismarck, Fargo, Jamestown, Dickinson, Valley City, etc... Being only 45 minutes away, I'll have to go check it out sometime, especially before winter starts.

It looks decent from there website : http://www.chahinkapazoo.com/

Thanks for the heads up zifnib...

:tup:

SmileyBoy
Sep 26, 2006, 9:28 PM
I've never been to Wahpeton yet. Just Minot, Grand Forks, Bismarck, Fargo, Jamestown, Dickinson, Valley City, etc... Being only 45 minutes away, I'll have to go check it out sometime, especially before winter starts.

It looks decent from there website : http://www.chahinkapazoo.com/

Thanks for the heads up zifnib...

:tup:

Don't go to Wahpeton, Nano. It's widely known as the most rednecky town in the state. That place basically consists of 9,000 Larry The Cable Guys. I swear, country music must be the ONLY kind of music they listen to there. Also, it took them until 6 months in the FUTURE just to get a freakin' Wal-Mart in their town. Don't forget the pole-barn, semi-quonset architecture that's prevalent in 99.9 percent of all buildings in that town.

I used to live in Wahpeton when I was a little boy. I had some traumatic experiences there. I did not like the place one bit. 15 years later, I drove there again, and the place looked exactly the same as I remembered it.

Wahpeton makes Grand Forks look like London.

NanoBison
Sep 26, 2006, 11:01 PM
Yikes. I've got two differing stories... I'll probably see it from the interstate because I have a wedding to goto in Aberdeen. If it looks hospitable, I might stop off, if not, I'll drive on...

SmileyBoy
Sep 26, 2006, 11:04 PM
Yikes. I've got two differing stories... I'll probably see it from the interstate because I have a wedding to goto in Aberdeen. If it looks hospitable, I might stop off, if not, I'll drive on...

Actually, it's not on the interstate. It's about 10 miles off I-29 on Highway 210 (At least that's the highway number in Minnesota, I don't know what the ND number is). It's right on the river, and you have to get off the Interstate and drive about 10 miles to get into Wahpeton. Highway 75 from South Moorhead will bring you to Breckenridge, which is across the river. But that whole place isn't worth seeing.

Don't do it, man. It'll be a waste of your time.

NanoBison
Sep 26, 2006, 11:11 PM
Okie dokie....I'll just continue on to Aberdeen that day. Maybe I can find some pictures online from this zoo. Then again, I'll wait for a slow day in Fargo development news or school work to look it up...

F-Misthebest
Sep 27, 2006, 12:50 AM
I've been to the Wahpeton Zoo before and it's not horrible but's not fantastic. I liked it though. The town isn't that great. It's pretty much blah.

zifnib
Sep 27, 2006, 1:54 PM
Don't go to Wahpeton, Nano. It's widely known as the most rednecky town in the state. That place basically consists of 9,000 Larry The Cable Guys. I swear, country music must be the ONLY kind of music they listen to there. Also, it took them until 6 months in the FUTURE just to get a freakin' Wal-Mart in their town. Don't forget the pole-barn, semi-quonset architecture that's prevalent in 99.9 percent of all buildings in that town.

I used to live in Wahpeton when I was a little boy. I had some traumatic experiences there. I did not like the place one bit. 15 years later, I drove there again, and the place looked exactly the same as I remembered it.

Wahpeton makes Grand Forks look like London.

I do not consider myself or my family a "larry the cable guy". Not everyone listens to Country, and there are pretty much no pole barns at all...

We were very close once to getting Walmart. We were a bigger city that Fergus Falls at the time and they chose to put it 20 miles over in along the interstate in Fergus and that town had a boom because of it...

Wahpeton has also won the "most industrial city in ND" many times. Between Wahpeton and Breckenridge there is 13,000 people. The zoo does have about 200 animals 60 spiecies so it is pretty much the same as Minot. The golf course is nationaly ranked in the top 100 courses and it spans 2 states, 9 holes in Wahp and 9 in Breck. We have a very nice and large park also.

The college does attract a lot of "hicks" but it also attracts a lot of athletes as well. This is because the school has won many national titles and it is a good place to get noticed for guys who did not have the best grades in HS and cannot get into the bigger schools. I enjoyed my 2 years there while I majored in Computer Programming. I now go to NDSU in computer Science while I work at Harland Financial solutions programming core systems for banks. Wahpeton is really a good place to raise a family. I sugest everyone to at least check it out, dont compare it to citys like GF it is nothing like that, consider it in regards to other cities that have 13,000 or less and you will see that Wahpeton has a lot to offer....

Ex-Ithacan
Sep 27, 2006, 2:56 PM
^ OK guys, I think it's fair that zifnib has some pride in his hometown. After all, I use to catch it all the time from the NYC kids when I visited my relatives in the big city ("You got cows in your back yard?"). I'm sure you fellas probably get ticked off when someone makes remarks about Fargo too. It's all relative. I'm glad zif isn't ashamed of his home turf. Good for him.

F-Misthebest
Sep 28, 2006, 1:41 AM
I have absolutley no grudges against Wahpeton, I think it is a peachy keen city.

On Friday I am going to be driving down to Sioux Falls for the weekend. I'm staying at the Empire Towers, going to the mall, downtown, and the Sculpture Walkway. I'm looking forward to it.

SmileyBoy
Sep 28, 2006, 3:02 AM
I just saw the new pics for that development in DT Sioux Falls. The civic and economic leaders of Fargo-Moorhead better take a good look at those drawings and realize that they have had their heads up their asses for way too long. We cheer on this thread that in downtown, they're building a tiny indoor ramp for a loft conversion and a tiny expansion to the OB, and SF comes out with this $100 million monster. Even GRAND FORKS is building a multi-million dollar apartment complex in their downtown soon. These things comparably make F-M look like something more small-time than Devils Lake. The leaders of this city need to get their thumbs out of their rectums RIGHT NOW and come up with something VISONARY.

I'm SICK of this shit. I pray that the CityScapes development wasn't our one and only opportunity.

NanoBison
Sep 28, 2006, 4:57 AM
Not so quick Smiley... that $100 million dollar development is in the "vision" stages. They haven't even identified what the funding sources will be for it or the time table, even though from the articles I've read it's about a decade, and also it has yet to be approved by any form of city government. I look at this as Sioux Falls' attempt at a CityScapes Project. Let them bask in the glory and excitement of having a project that large proposed for their city.

Then next couple years, we'll see if it actually even pans out. It may. It may not.

Cityscapes was not our one and only. Not by a long shot. The developers just expected the people to pay WAY to much up front for something that wasn't really needed at the time. (It's kind of hard to push for a BB/Hockey arena at the time when the Fargodome is already competing with everything up north). I think though, in time, more developers will want to push some new ideas forward with downtown. I just hope its sooner than later....

Somebody quick, start leaving subliminal messages for Konrad Olson to get to work on his tower....

:yes:

NanoBison
Sep 28, 2006, 4:58 AM
zifnib, I'm glad to see you have such civic pride in your home city. I'm really glad to see your in NDSU Comp. Sci. as well!!!

NanoBison
Sep 28, 2006, 4:27 PM
I didn't want to sound too negative on Sioux Falls in that previous post, so while I'm skeptical of the entire project (anyone should be at $100 million), I will admit that perhaps concentrating that sum of money into multiple little projects in an overall grand project is much smarter than what Cityscapes tried to do, which is a $100 million tower/arena complex... $60million on the tower alone would have been fine. Just plop a fancy hotel in there, place some toplevel office space and put condos and penthouses on the top floors and you should be covered (easier said than done, I know...)

Ex-Ithacan
Sep 28, 2006, 4:56 PM
On Friday I am going to be driving down to Sioux Falls for the weekend. I'm staying at the Empire Towers, going to the mall, downtown, and the Sculpture Walkway. I'm looking forward to it.

Make sure ya get plenty of pics F-M.:tup:

F-Misthebest
Sep 28, 2006, 9:10 PM
Oh yeah. I didn't even think about taking pictures of Sioux Falls so thank you for telling me. I'll do a Sioux Falls Photo Thread on here. Thanks!

F-Misthebest
Sep 29, 2006, 3:10 AM
Downtown building gets new life as retail-office complex
By Helmut Schmidt, The Forum
Published Thursday, September 28, 2006


Like an old diamond ring pulled from the attic and cleaned up, the historic Ford Building in downtown Fargo has taken on a new shine.

In just over eight months, the building’s owner, Mutchler Bartram Architects, has transformed the former home of Kaye’s Printing from an aging, nondescript pile of bricks by the northside railroad tracks, into a smart-looking retail and office complex, with third-floor condominiums not far behind.

“It’s stunning,” says Jessica Thomasson, a senior planner for the city of Fargo. “(The renovation) takes a historic building that’s a jewel and gives it new life.”

MBA has poured more than $6 million into the Renaissance Zone project at 505 Broadway, which includes a nearly completed indoor parking area, Kevin Bartram, principal architect and an owner of MBA, said Wednesday.

The building, valued by assessors at about $1 million before reconstruction, has had its exterior completely redone. The entrance was moved to the center of the building. The entry features dark-stained white oak and an ornately tiled floor. Long boarded-up window spaces now are filled with modern, energy-efficient glass. New concrete parking lots were poured. The ornate, but crumbling, terra cotta cornices are being replaced with replicas.


http://img295.imageshack.us/img295/8026/ford4hx1.jpg


The Ford Building has about 17,500 square feet on three floors, with another 7,500 feet added by building a mezzanine level. The parking area is about 11,000 square feet. There is also a 4,500-square-foot basement.

Northern Home Furniture and Design takes up most of the first floor and its sister company, InterOffice, an office furniture supplier, fills the mezzanine.

With 16-foot high windows on the first floor, and a mix of natural brick, massive cement columns and carpet, the sales area is an eye-catcher with an urban, warehouse/loft feel.

“We love it. What’s not to love,” said Sheila Hanson, manager of Northern Home. “(Customers) just come in and say ‘Wow.’ It’s like no other place in Fargo-Moorhead.”

MBR, Sterling Cos. and Highmark Realty are on the second floor. Another six to eight office tenants are expected, with a couple seeking Renaissance Zone approval, said Greg Anderson, a broker for Highmark

Two condominiums have been sold on the west side of the third floor, leaving room for another seven to nine, Anderson said.

The view to the south is a postcard shot of Broadway. To the north, the spires of First Lutheran Church and St. Mary’s Cathedral are framed by trees in their fall colors.

With the concrete pillars and a 27-inch concrete roof, “it’s a fortress,” Anderson said.

Bartram said the windows needed no reinforcement to handle vibrations from trains, though the first-floor windows use special glass to filter out ultraviolet rays to protect the furniture sold there.

He said once the railroad quiet zone is OK’d, tenants and condo owners will notice little rumbling from the 20 or so trains running daily.

As part of the Renaissance Zone incentives, MBR gets a five-year property tax exemption on the building (but not the land), and a five-year exemption on state income tax from revenue generated by the building, said Bob Stein, a senior planner for Fargo.

Stein said the property tax exemption is valued at $26,000, using the pre-project appraisal. After the project is completed, a new appraisal will be made and that’s what the building will be taxed on in the future. The income tax exemption was valued at $25,000, Stein said.

The project also got a $100,000 Community Development Block Grant for exterior work.

Ford Motor Co. built the building for $150,000, finishing it in August 1915. For years, Ford built and sold Model A and Model T cars there to service the Dakotas.

It was later purchased by Kaye’s Printing (which became a subsidiary of Forum Communications in 1999).

MBR purchased the building in 2004 and continued its lease with Kaye’s Printing until that business moved.

Northern Home, InterOffice, MBR and Sterling recently moved from 300 NP Ave. to the new building to expand, Bartram said.

Bartram expects the office space to be rented and fitted up in six to nine months. The condos should be finished within a year, he said.

“The timing was right for a building like this. There seems to be a lot of momentum downtown right now,” Bartram said. “I think we improved this little portion of Broadway.”


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

NanoBison
Sep 29, 2006, 5:55 AM
Busy road’s facelift begins
By Andrea Domaskin, The Forum
Published Friday, September 29, 2006

Commuters who already complain about a busy two-lane West Fargo thoroughfare will soon groan more loudly.

West Fargo has started a $1.3 million project that will add turn lanes and signals to Sheyenne Street and resurface its southern stretches.

The work, stretching from 19th Avenue West to 52nd Avenue south of Interstate 94, will affect residents of West Fargo’s southern housing developments and thousands of others who drive the road daily.

“We will cause some significant delays on Sheyenne Street,” Assistant City Engineer Brock Storrusten said Thursday.

One lane of the former county highway is expected to close Oct. 5-7 as workers resurface the road, Storrusten said. The other lane could close for a couple days the following week. Dates of lane closures could change depending on the weather.
A truck turns off Sheyenne Street at 32nd Avenue on Wednesday to dump its load of dirt to cover a culvert. Traffic must stop to allow the trucks to turn off and re-enter traffic, so cars can back up a long way. “During that time, we’re asking everybody to use alternate routes,” Storrusten said.

Drivers north of the interstate should use 13th or Main avenues. South of the interstate, drivers are asked to use 52nd Avenue or another road farther south.

When the work is done, Sheyenne Street will have a new overlay from 19th Avenue West south to 52nd Avenue.

Turn lanes will be in place at 32nd Avenue and traffic lights working at Sheyenne’s intersections with 40th and 32nd Avenues.

The speed limit, now ranging from 40 mph to 55 mph, will be 40 mph.

Residents and drivers complain of increasingly difficult driving conditions on that stretch of Sheyenne Street, formerly known as Cass County 17 or the Horace Road.

It was part of the Cass County highway system until last year, when West Fargo took control as houses continued springing up.

In 2000, Sheyenne Street just north of 32nd Avenue had a daily average of 3,400 vehicles. Last spring, an average of 8,000 vehicles a day passed through the same stretch.

“Having driven that road, you know, there’s no doubt that something had to be done,” West Fargo Mayor Rich Mattern said.

City commissioners voted in June to add traffic lights at the two intersections even though they didn’t meet federal guidelines for installing them.

The signals will allow drivers an easier turn onto Sheyenne Street.

But Storrusten said the lights won’t cure the street’s traffic woes.

“The downside of that is all that nice flowing traffic on Sheyenne Street will be stopped on occasion,” he said.

Signals and turn lanes also won’t solve problems seen by Dave Olson, general manager of RJ’s Conoco.

Some customers tell him they don’t drive into his business at the southeast corner of Interstate 94 and Sheyenne Street during busy times because they can’t get back on the street.

“It’s like a locomotive train is what it is,” Olson said of the steady stream of vehicles.

He sees bottlenecked traffic in the morning as drivers try to get on the interstate from both the north and south where Sheyenne Street goes under the interstate.

“The interstate itself is a different issue,” Storrusten said. “And it’s something the city cannot control.”

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


You know, I absolutely love the fact that West Fargo is growing by leaps and bounds and the smaller suburbs (Horace,Harwood,etc...) are as well. But when we the city of Fargo runs into annexation disputes with these smaller cities that claim they are entitled to the land and drag everyone through a long process, I really start to get pissed off.

They think they can handle the growth and anything that's thrown at them in terms of traffic, waste management, water supply, planning, etc. It's clear that West Fargo is just scraping by in terms of budgeting on development. They were first bitching about how they wanted to wait on the 9th/I-94 interchange becuase there was no money (holding back the Urban Plains development on the west side). Now they are spending $1.3 million to basically add stop lights and turn lanes? I've driven that road many times before. It's got TOO many damn cars on it during morning and afternoon rush. They should have done what Fargo did with 45th street, just went ahead and said "yeah, that area is going to get super busy in the next decade" and made it 6 lanes with double turn lanes.... But no, West Fargo, which is so strapped for cash their Fire department is pretty much volunteers, just is going to add turn lanes and turn signals to ensure people can actually make left hand turns out on that road. SO basically traffic has to stop, build up EVEN MORE and the trip to work and home will take EVEN LONGER!!! Great planning on that one West Fargo!!!

Maybe WF and the other towns west of Fargo, need to slow down and grow at an acceptable rate, becuase they simply can't handle the demands of constantly creating new infrastructure year after year. Maybe they need to realize the double-edged sword of living off others in the metro area attracts alot of citizens to that particular city and in turn, it's just going to cost them just as much to have the services that Fargo does. What a pitty, what a shame.

However, don't get me wrong, I'd rather we have these problems than those problems of other areas in the Midwest that are stagnant or losing population.

Both the cities of West Fargo and Horace deserve a whip on the ass for being pains in the ass to Fargo.

:whip:West Fargo

:whip:Horace

F-Misthebest
Sep 29, 2006, 12:32 PM
This is the picture that came in the article that Nano has put on here.
http://img86.imageshack.us/img86/617/2006092929adsheyennexr5.jpg
Yeah, roads West Fargo can get busy.

Paintballer1708
Sep 29, 2006, 8:11 PM
^LOL you think thats busy...... thats what the line into Starbucks looks like in Greentree (suburb of Pittsburgh) when im on my way to work. But without all the construction trucks. Its more like BMWs and Range Rovers

F-Misthebest
Sep 29, 2006, 9:54 PM
^Bragger.

F-Misthebest
Sep 29, 2006, 11:52 PM
http://img227.imageshack.us/img227/8827/img9554wta8.jpg
Urban Plains from the sky.

NanoBison
Sep 30, 2006, 5:40 AM
How did you manage to get your hands on that wonderful pic FM?

NanoBison
Sep 30, 2006, 5:51 AM
Arts center high priority in draft plan
By Mike Nowatzki, The Forum
Published Saturday, September 30, 2006

Consultants updating a plan for the future of downtown Fargo-Moorhead say a performing arts center along the Red River in Fargo should be a high priority during the next several years.

Supporters of such a center – including Fargo City Commissioner Linda Coates – say a citywide sales tax would be one option to pay for it.

http://img222.imageshack.us/img222/5770/0930performingartscm6.jpg

“It’s kind of an obvious solution that comes to mind, because it’s been used so effectively for other large civic projects,” such as the Fargodome and Fargo Public Library projects, Coates said.

A riverfront arts center is one of several recommendations being considered for the F-M Downtown Framework Plan for the next five years.

In February, the F-M Metropolitan Council of Governments hired Minneapolis-based consultants Short Elliot Hendrickson Inc. to update the original 2002 plan.

Dave Anderson, president of the Downtown Community Partnership, said the cities have met several goals from the original plan and the related Riverfront Development Master Plan.

“I think it’s pretty important to do a self-assessment of what did we set out to do, what have we accomplished and what do we do next,” he said.

The consulting team will host an all-day workshop Tuesday in Moorhead where participants will review ideas and begin to chart the course for priority projects.

A key to the success of a performing arts center is integrating permanent flood control into the site along Second Street North between First and Third avenues, according to a summary of the priorities. A new City Hall should also be planned as a future part of the project, it says.

A task force of the Lake Agassiz Arts Council has been developing a feasibility study for a performing arts center, “which we hope to conduct in the not too distant future,” said Martha Olsen, executive director of the council.

The idea of a riverfront performing arts center is nothing new. In 1975, a Fargo-Moorhead task force hired architect Michael Graves to design a Red River bridge that encompassed an arts center, interpretive center and a concert hall for the symphony and opera. But Fargo voters quashed the project in 1978.

Olsen said the idea has surfaced several times since then. The most recent feasibility study – initiated by private interests – was done in 1989.

The Arts Council’s study would assess the needs of the metro area’s various arts groups, determine how large the facility would need to be and how it would operate, and explore fundraising possibilities, Olsen said.

The metro area has numerous venues for theater productions, musical events and art displays, but almost all of them are tied to high schools or colleges, often making it hard for outside groups to book events, Olsen said.

“There’s a great deal of pressure on the use of those facilities just for the educational institutions,” she said.

Some shows won’t stop in Fargo-Moorhead because it doesn’t have a big enough performing arts center, Olsen said. Among them is Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion,” which books at the Chester Fritz Auditorium in Grand Forks because it holds more than 2,000 people, she said.

North Dakota State University’s Festival Concert Hall, which is the current concert home for the F-M Symphony and F-M Opera, seats 1,000.

The Fargodome’s Gate City Bank Theatre setup has made it a more versatile facility able to host Broadway shows, “but everybody knows it’s not a concert hall,” said Coates, a past executive director of the Symphony and Arts Council.

Olsen said the fact a performing arts center emerged as a priority in the draft plan shows there is public interest in such a facility.

“If the right building is built for the right price and serves the right groups in the correct fashion, then it ends up being a great economic boon to a community, as well as a great cultural boon,” she said.

When the Forum polled 555 Fargo residents in April 2005 to gauge support for the proposed Renaissance Center, 33 percent said their preferred purpose for a downtown events center was performing arts.

A sales tax for an arts center would require 60 percent voter approval, so proponents would need to build support for it, Olsen said.

If the arts center recommendation makes it into the final Downtown Framework Plan, a steering committee made up of city leaders and the arts community would likely pursue it, Coates said.

MetroCOG has approved an $80,000 budget to update the framework plan, with Fargo and Moorhead each contributing $8,000 to that amount.

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


It's good to see that this is finally getting to the front of the line for projects that the FM area needs to concentrate on. The one thing I seriously hope that does not happen, is that Linda Coates and the others responsible for the fudge ups on the Library project don't go in half-assed on this one. Sure I support using the city sales tax to help fund this project, once the Fargodome and Library terms on it run out. But I think this project, in order to be sucessful, should also have at least 25%-50% of the project costs come from local donations and fundraisers. We need to have a majority of the community behind it, or else it just won't simply fly.

Also, I'd hope before any plans went to the voters, that they would actually be able to see the blueprints and renderings of what the Performing Arts Center would actually look like. That way, the tax payers know exactly what they are getting from there taxes.

Cross your fingers and hope that Coates and the other commissioners and committee members do this right and do it on a grand scale. (it better be 3-5 times better than Festival Concert Hall at NDSU is all I am saying...)

:poke:

F-Misthebest
Sep 30, 2006, 3:07 PM
How did you manage to get your hands on that wonderful pic FM?

I got it from www.upfargo.com .

That is excellant news about the Performing Arts Center. The pic that you have on that post is the Riverfront Development Plan that I found on the www.cityoffargo.com . Awesome!

I'm in Sioux Falls now and am having a good time so far. I haven't left the hotel yet but I will soon. I'm going downtown to shop and eat, look at the Falls, and get my puppy. Maybe the mall tomorrow.

F-Misthebest
Oct 1, 2006, 12:07 AM
I am having a great time in Sioux Falls! I went downtown and walked on Phillips Avenue to see the SculptureWalk, and right today there was a Harvest Festival Downtown. Their Downtown is sooooooo nice! Their buildings have awesome architecture! 41st Street is awesome too. I saw their Champs and all the new development on Minnesota Ave, 41st Street, and Louise St. I love this city but I must say I miss Fargo.

On Friday I was driving around the Fargo-Moorhead area and went into Downtown Moorhead and saw the GREAT Progress on the apartment complex. Also across the street from the apartment complex to the north, they have put in the foundation for the 5-8 story building where the Starbuck's and the Applebee's will go. Go Moorhead!

F-Misthebest
Oct 1, 2006, 2:15 AM
Another thing that I have noticed is that there doesn't seem to be that much development going on around the Sioux Falls area. There's two things in downtown, and only one development on Minnesota Ave. and one on 41st Street. It seems that there are a lot more developments happening in the Fargo-Moorhead area. There is more construction and renovations downtown and more suburban developments like stip malls, banks, and other misc. shops. In my personal opinion (and Sioux Falls residents and Midwesterner feel free to disagree) the Sioux Falls growth is coming to a slower speed. It doesn't seem to be growing as fast as the Census says it is. But that's my own opinion and I would like to get some local input.

fredstrom
Oct 1, 2006, 2:36 AM
Go down to 57th and Louise, follow 57th all the way to Cliff and then go down to 69th. When I went up there that's what impressed me the most. You're staying in the center of the city, which, I'm sure if you only stayed on the middle of Fargo, you'd get the same impression. The large amounts of growth in Sioux Falls form a cereal bowl shape on the west (sertoma ave) the south (57th, 69th and 85th streets) and the east (Sycamore ave, and Arrowhead Parkway).

If you wanna see the growth, that's the big stuff.

F-Misthebest
Oct 1, 2006, 2:49 AM
Well, 13th Ave. is still seeing A LOT of growth and construction. University and 25th Street is seeing a lot of construction as well. I still think the growth is slowing in Sioux Falls. But spending some time in Sioux Falls really makes me like it a lot. I could even say I love it. A little less then Fargo though. :)

fredstrom
Oct 1, 2006, 3:31 AM
Dude, seriously. You haven't seen the whole town. How can you say the growth is slowing in SF by looking at two streets in the middle of the city? I think it's very cool you are going and checking these places out, but growth isn't measure by one weekend in the fall. Every economic indicator for SF shows that not only is growth continuing, but accelerating year over year.

The census bureau doesn't play favorites. You probably have a legitimate arguement that it's methodology is flawed when providing estimates. But if that's the case for Fargo, it wouldn't be the the opposite for Sioux Falls. I've said this before: if the CB is wrong, it is wrong equally. There isn't some guy working in a DC dungon shilling for Sioux Falls and purposefully underestimating Fargo. My guess is most of them probably have never heard of, or been to, either one.

Lincoln's census estimates, btw, are pretty close to what the City of Lincoln says. You can actually justifiably say the growth in Lincoln is slowing.

NanoBison
Oct 1, 2006, 5:28 AM
...The census bureau doesn't play favorites...

*Cough*Bullcrap*Cough*

...There isn't some guy working in a DC dungon shilling for Sioux Falls and purposefully underestimating Fargo...

Of course there is, but he's shilling for Grand Forks and probably graduated from UND and has a grudge against Fargo. Sioux Falls isn't on this person's map of destruction.....whoahahahahahaha....


Ok enough paranoia, back to FM developments...

F-Misthebest
Oct 1, 2006, 3:05 PM
Dude, seriously. You haven't seen the whole town. How can you say the growth is slowing in SF by looking at two streets in the middle of the city? I think it's very cool you are going and checking these places out, but growth isn't measure by one weekend in the fall. Every economic indicator for SF shows that not only is growth continuing, but accelerating year over year.

The census bureau doesn't play favorites. You probably have a legitimate arguement that it's methodology is flawed when providing estimates. But if that's the case for Fargo, it wouldn't be the the opposite for Sioux Falls. I've said this before: if the CB is wrong, it is wrong equally. There isn't some guy working in a DC dungon shilling for Sioux Falls and purposefully underestimating Fargo. My guess is most of them probably have never heard of, or been to, either one.
Lincoln's census estimates, btw, are pretty close to what the City of Lincoln says. You can actually justifiably say the growth in Lincoln is slowing.

Well Duh.

F-Misthebest
Oct 1, 2006, 3:07 PM
Dude, seriously. You haven't seen the whole town. How can you say the growth is slowing in SF by looking at two streets in the middle of the city? I think it's very cool you are going and checking these places out, but growth isn't measure by one weekend in the fall. Every economic indicator for SF shows that not only is growth continuing, but accelerating year over year.

The census bureau doesn't play favorites. You probably have a legitimate arguement that it's methodology is flawed when providing estimates. But if that's the case for Fargo, it wouldn't be the the opposite for Sioux Falls. I've said this before: if the CB is wrong, it is wrong equally. There isn't some guy working in a DC dungon shilling for Sioux Falls and purposefully underestimating Fargo. My guess is most of them probably have never heard of, or been to, either one.
Lincoln's census estimates, btw, are pretty close to what the City of Lincoln says. You can actually justifiably say the growth in Lincoln is slowing.

Well Duh.

Dude seriously, chill out.

Midwesterner19
Oct 1, 2006, 3:42 PM
I actually have to admit I think Fargo has a better lay-out then Sioux Falls.
After being in Sioux Falls many times and having lived in Fargo two years I think Fargo has a very good set-up. Pretty much every neighborhood in Fargo has a large retail devolopment with-in a 5 minute drive, retail in Fargo is distant enough from the neighborhoody areas that people dont hear cars all the time . People in Fargo have the money being that the per-capita income is 106% of the national average. Most mid-western plains cities are 90-95% so Fargoans have the resources to support those centers.

The one thing about Fargo is the downtown in Fargo while bustling on Friday and Saturday nights just isnt that active during the week. I think downtown Fargo has the retail downtown but people during the week just dont go down there much at all. Weekday evenings, except Fridays in downtown Fargo were always especially boring and had a major of lack of people downtown

I think University should be turned into a retail loft style corridor with lofts above retail. The NDSU and other college zones all have alot of potential.

Fargo has everything in place, its up to the people whether they wanna come downtown or do everything 5 nights a week on the west side of town.