Busy businesses: A look ahead at what's ahead for F-M in 2018
FARGO—The new year will bring plenty of new things to the local business community.
Some developments have been in the works for months, such as the transformation of West Acres Shopping Center. Others will be entirely new, including groundbreaking on the tallest building in the city.
Here are 10 things to watch for in 2018.
A popular hangout near North Dakota State University is on track to finally reopen.
The Bison Turf, 1211 N. University Drive, was damaged and closed after a July 2016 fire. Reconstruction on the building, which involved replacing nearly the entire structure, has stopped and started throughout 2017. That's why the bar and grill missed several deadlines to reopen last year.
But Owner Pete Sabo said work is almost done now, and the business will be open again early this month.
Last year was a time of goodbyes for West Acres Shopping Center—the mall lost several stores, a restaurant and two original tenants. Another original tenant, Stabo Scandinavian Imports, will move downtown this summer.
But 2018 could be a busy building year starting with the Jan. 18 opening of a Chick-fil-A restaurant. A Dry Goods women's clothing store is expected to open this spring, and Best Buy will move into a large part of the former Sears building in March.
ALDI isn't waiting to build in the community after opening in Dilworth two months ago.
The brand will open a second location in either Fargo or West Fargo this year, and another store is slated for south Fargo in 2019.
West Fargo will get its first Hornbacher's store this fall at Sheyenne Street and Interstate 94. In south Fargo, a new Cash Wise is expected to open in mid-2018 northeast of 52nd Avenue South and Interstate 29.
The downtown Fargo skyline will grow up as construction starts on the city's tallest building.
Kilbourne Group spokesperson Adrienne Olson said groundbreaking is planned for the late spring on the Block 9 high-rise, which will take shape at Broadway and Second Avenue North.
The $98 million project includes an attached parking garage and a public plaza in front of U.S. Bank. The 232-foot tower is tentatively set to include office space for RDO, as well as a hotel, condos and restaurant and retail space.
The project was delayed in 2017 largely because of the departure of a major partner, TMI Hospitality.
Block 9 won't be the only buzzworthy downtown project.
Kilbourne Group is working toward a spring opening of its mixed-use retail and apartment building around the Roberts Commons parking garage that will include Pink Luxe Boutique, Power Plate Meals, Ecce Art Gallery, Scoop N Dough Candy Co. and other tenants.
Not far away, the former Metro Drug pharmacy along Broadway will open in the spring as a three-unit commercial and restaurant space.
On the west edge, a former laundromat along North University Drive will become a new eatery known as 701. The building is owned by development company 701 Collective that brought Daran's Southern Soul Food to a former tow shop last year.
Downtown revitalization isn't just for Fargo anymore. Leaders gathered last winter to try to breathe new life into Moorhead's downtown, with the group expected to name an executive director this year.
Change is already visible, especially at the southeast corner of Eighth Street South and Main Avenue. A four-story, mixed-use building will replace a former Tesoro gas station with a new complex for offices, apartments and business tenants.
It's still up in the air, but things will start to take shape at a proposed new outlet mall.
Fargo's Property Resources Group is exploring a large outlet center northeast of 52nd Avenue South and Interstate 29. Fashion retailer H&M intends to open a store there in the fall.
Plans for the project have been altered along the way, including the swap of an entertainment complex for a Cash Wise grocery store, car wash and liquor store that's expected to open in mid-2018.
Workers have already made significant progress at an old building west of downtown that will become a second location for Drekker Brewing Co. The brewery plans to use its 14,000-square-foot section of the building to make more beer while adding more amenities it can't offer at its current downtown spot.
A Moorhead business will also open a second location. Usher's House, 700 1st Ave. N., closed at the end of Dec. 31, with the restaurant planning to reopen as Usher's somewhere else in Moorhead in the second half of 2018.
That could leave the historic property Usher's House now calls home vacant, though its owners expect to renew their lease and find a new use for the venue.
Big things are happening along West Fargo's Sheyenne Street.
On the north side, work is almost complete on the $12 million Sheyenne Plaza complex that developer Todd Berning's associates started last spring. Some residents have already moved into apartments there, while the building will also house the West Fargo VFW and offices.
Once that's done, work will start on the similar Pioneer Place project.
Berning's team is also involved with the separate Sheyenne 32, a $54 million mixed-use development with at least three buildings, a parking ramp and a public outdoor pavilion at Sheyenne and 32nd Avenue South.
A women-centric development will fill in this year.
The BLU Water Creek development along Fargo's 45th Street South near 32nd Avenue already is buzzing with activity at shops and providers like A Cutting Edge Gallery of Jewelry, Rejuv Medical Aesthetic Clinic and Leela & Lavender and Laurie's boutiques.
Look for the development to grow with the addition of a Custom Express Car Wash, The Tavern Grill eatery and Hair Success Salon & Day Spa, which is tentatively expected to open its new location here in mid- to late-February.