Author Topic: $18 million, five-story shopping-NDSU housing complex, Downtown Fargo  (Read 4936 times)

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Offline pmp6nl

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Downtown Fargo to be site of $18 million, five-story shopping-NDSU housing complex
Tracy Frank, The Forum
Published Wednesday, December 10, 2008




FARGO

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The building will also have underground parking.

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

Project completion is scheduled for August.

The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead and the Herald are Forum Communications Co. newspapers.

From: http://www.grandforksherald.com/articles/index.cfm?id=96688&section=homepage
More information at: http://www.in-forum.com/articles/index.cfm?id=224648&section=news
« Last Edit: December 10, 2008, 10:52:31 am by pmp6nl »
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Offline pmp6nl

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Re: $18 million, five-story shopping-NDSU housing complex, Downtown Fargo
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2008, 10:52:08 am »
That looks pretty sweet.  It would be good to have some housing near the new downtown buildings.  I cant wait to see the prices, I am sure it wont be cheap.
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Offline Sal Atticum

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Re: $18 million, five-story shopping-NDSU housing complex, Downtown Fargo
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2008, 11:07:47 am »
I wish they would do something on this grand of a scale in Grand Forks, but it seems like people are obsessed with driving to strip malls.  They did try building a new apartment building on 42nd Ave west of Campus with commercial space on the ground floor, but they couldn't find any businesses who wanted to rent.  This is sort of odd, considering how many new buildings are going up. 

The city council keeps shooting down ideas to use the open space for downtown, but it looks like nobody is going to bring some serious money to the table like they are doing in Fargo, first with the new student apartments downtown and now this thing.  I like it, but I wish I knew your secret.  Maybe something will get built if UND follows through with its  crazy 'UND Downtown' plan.
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Offline pmp6nl

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Re: $18 million, five-story shopping-NDSU housing complex, Downtown Fargo
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2008, 11:23:20 am »
It will be a really nice addition and will look great.  It seems like many people in Fargo are really adamant about improving downtown Fargo, there have been a lot of renovations down there over the past few years and there are actually a few other projects going on right now.

There is a lot of expansion down there from new businesses and residential buildings to the new NDSU downtown buildings.  Its great for the downtown.  I am sure a lot of it is due to the whole downtown revitalization project and some of the grants, but a lot of it has to do with the momentum, downtown is really becoming a place to go. 

Heck, there are even two websites specifically dedicated to downtown Fargo:  http://www.fmdowntown.com/index.php and http://fargodowntowner.com/ ... that latter is a pretty cool guide to downtown Fargo.  I think little things like this are pretty cool and show that people are really trying to improve downtown Fargo.  I cant wait to see the building in the following video completed, it looks like it will be pretty sweet: http://www.kilbournegroup.com/video/video.swf?videoPath=300_broadway.flv

Maybe some people from Grand Forks can talk to some of the people in downtown Fargo that are really pushing all of this along, or even look at some of the documents for improving downtown Fargo... I am sure there is information out there about their plans for improvement or what not.
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Offline Sal Atticum

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Re: $18 million, five-story shopping-NDSU housing complex, Downtown Fargo
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2008, 01:25:44 pm »
There are plans in the works, but I'm n sure where everything stands right now. This report/plan came out at the end of October and I still haven't gotten around to reading it (and now I have time, but only because my primary computer is in the process of having its hard drive copied, but I feel guilty when I have other things to do.  Such is life).
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