A developer wants to build a new development on 19th Ave. NORTH, kitty-corner to the Fargodome, and across the street from the NDSU campus.
Developer targets 19th Ave. N.
Mike Nowatzki, The Forum
Published Friday, May 05, 2006
A developer will approach the Fargo City Commission on Monday to gauge support for a redevelopment project at the northeast corner of 19th Avenue North and University Drive.
Roers Development Inc. of Fargo is asking the city to create a tax-increment financing (TIF) district to help develop the land, kitty-corner from the Fargodome, into an office, commercial and college housing area.
President Jim Roers said his proposed project would boost the combined value of the properties from $854,900 to more than $14 million.
In a letter to commissioners, Roers said his company has options to buy seven privately owned properties, totaling 2.74 acres, for the project.
Roers declined to identify the properties in an interview Thursday, saying he’s still finalizing the option agreements and wants to get a feel for whether the commission would support a TIF district before releasing details about the project.
“That area of town has seen great retail growth and great retail opportunity, as well as always had need for student housing, and that’s why we saw the opportunity there,” he said.
In his letter to commissioners, Roers said the property within the proposed TIF district “is in dire need of redevelopment,” given its proximity to North Dakota State University, the Fargodome, Hector International Airport and the North Dakota Air National Guard base, as well as NDSU’s Research and Technology Park and the Fargo Skills and Technology Center.
“The corner of 19th Avenue North and University is a gateway to the city, one of the first intersections viewed by visitors to the city coming from the airport,” he wrote.
The properties targeted for redevelopment currently have a combined assessed value of $854,900, generating less than $30,000 in property taxes annually, Roers wrote.
“Our preliminary analysis indicates a post-redevelopment value in excess of $14 million, which would generate more than $300,000 annually in taxes,” he wrote.
Revenue generated by the TIF district would be used to assist with the costs of demolition, business relocation and infrastructure costs, Roers wrote.
Cities typically create TIF districts in blighted or underdeveloped areas. The revenue comes from the additional taxes captured on the property as its taxable value increases with redevelopment.
City Commissioner Linda Coates, who has spoken with the developer about the project, said TIF districts are a touchy issue right now.
“We’re all trying to accomplish the goal of lowering, or at least not raising, the level of property taxes,” she said. “And because TIFs are based on increasing property taxes over time and capturing that increment, it makes the future of TIFs kind of fuzzy.”
Still, Coates said she favors studying a TIF for Roers’ project, adding it may have to be a modified version of the current TIF structure.
“I think it looks like a terrific development,” she said. “I think it would be a real boost to both that area of north Fargo and to the NDSU community.”