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City, developers plan multi-story mixed use building on downtown Fargo's NP Avenue; 2nd project in the works

Global Development, Kilbourne Group would partner with city to build on space next to Old Broadway. Another hotel and/or event center are being considered nearby.

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The city of Fargo, Global Development and Kilbourne Group are looking to join forces on a multi-use project that includes housing, parking and commercial space on the 600 Block of NP Avenue in the city's downtown.
Contributed / City of Fargo, Kilbourne Group, Global Development
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FARGO - The city of Fargo, Kilbourne Group and Global Development want to build a multi-story mixed-use building on an NP Avenue parking lot that could also determine how the former Herbst building on Broadway is redeveloped.

The public-private partnership is still in its early stages, but its aim is to turn the surface lot on the 600 Block of NP (between the Old Broadway and North Dakota State University’s Renaissance Hall) into a building with main floor commercial space, 150-200 housing units on the upper floors, and a parking garage with 500 to 600 spaces, Jim Gilmour, the city’s director of strategic planning and research said.

Part of that lot is owned by Global Development and part by the city, Gilmour said.

“We're early in the process,” Gilmour said Thursday, Jan. 3. “We’re trying to figure out the feasibility of being able to pay for the parking garage.”

Gilmour said city staff need to work with bond consultants and the city’s financial advisors to determine what sort of incentives are needed to make the project work.

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The City Commission will be asked Monday, Feb. 7, to authorize staff to proceed with a renewal plan, financial adviser review, prepare a developer agreement and prepare a financing plan for the publicly funded part of the project.

“The site is very suitable for mixed-use development with parking, housing and commercial spaces similar to the Roberts Commons and Mercantile projects,” a Feb. 2 memo to the City Commission said.

The NP site currently has about 250 surface parking spots.

Warren Ackley and Randy Thorson are partners in Global Development.

Ackley said Thursday that he didn’t want to comment on the project too much in front of Monday’s commission meeting, but he is fired up about the prospects for growing Fargo’s downtown.

“We’re just very excited about it,” Ackley said, saying the project addresses two big needs downtown.

“It’s something that we feel is needed as far as parking down here,” Ackley said, plus “we need more housing. That’s what we’re trying to do.”

Ackley confirmed that planning is ongoing for a boutique hotel, an event center, or perhaps a combination of both, in the former Herbst Department Store building, just south of Old Broadway.

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“There’s a lot of possibilities for it and those are combination ideas or a singular idea. It could be completely a hotel, all an event center. We just don’t know. That really is dependant on the type of parking available for that sort of thing,” Ackley said.

If the 50,000 square-foot building is turned into an event center, he said a big 600-space ramp will be needed to support it.

“We’re still considering all of our options. But really, the parking lot is really key to that development,” Ackley said, adding, “The continued growth of downtown Fargo is all I’m interested in.”

The Forum has reached out to Kilbourne Group seeking comment on their involvement in the project.

Related Topics: FARGOHOUSINGKILBOURNE GROUP
Helmut Schmidt is a reporter for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead's business news team. Readers can reach him by email at hschmidt@forumcomm.com, or by calling (701) 241-5583.
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