FARGO - A massive makeover is in the works for the site of a former bar and a respected real estate headquarters.

Kilbourne Group has released a $27.5 million plan that over the next two years would include 147 apartments in two four-story buildings on the west side of downtown aimed at turning a partially blighted block into an inviting gateway to another walkable neighborhood.

The two-phase plan, which includes climate-controlled enclosed parking for both phases, would raze the former Nestor bar at 1001 NP Avenue and the Park Company Realtors building that stands a half block north at 28 10th St. N., Kilbourne’s project manager Deb Wendel-Daub said Tuesday, June 25.

The former Nestor bar at 1001 NP Avenue will be razed and turned into apartments and a restaurant as part of the first phase of a $27.5 million plan to transform the northwest corner of NP Avenue and 10th Street North into a gateway for a new walkable downtown neighborhood. (Helmut Schmidt / The Forum)
The former Nestor bar at 1001 NP Avenue will be razed and turned into apartments and a restaurant as part of the first phase of a $27.5 million plan to transform the northwest corner of NP Avenue and 10th Street North into a gateway for a new walkable downtown neighborhood. (Helmut Schmidt / The Forum)

“We’re building pretty much the whole lot,” Wendel-Daub said, including vacating an alley that divides the two properties.

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Homes on the west side of the block will not be removed, Kilbourne Group spokeswoman Adrienne Olson said.

Wendel-Daub said the location of the property creates an exciting opportunity.

“We’re anticipating that the area just north of NP Avenue and between 10th Street and University Drive is like the new neighborhood residential area that’s very high density. This building would be a gateway to that new neighborhood,” Wendel-Daub said.

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The area already includes Prairie Roots Food Cooperative, Pixeled Brewing Co., Wild Terra Cider and a mix of housing and commercial space.

“I just envision that that entire neighborhood area, will develop with apartment living,” Wendel-Daub said. “I just have a lot of optimism for that area,” she said.

Park Company has already announced on Facebook that it plans to move out of its longtime downtown home and shift its operations to The Suites at 4170 located at 4170 41st St. S., Fargo.

However, the purchase agreement for the Park Company land by Kilbourne Group is still being reviewed, Olson said.

If that purchase falls through for whatever reason, Olson and Wendel-Daub said the project’s first phase housing and restaurant on the Nestor land at the corner of NP Avenue and 10th Street North can still be built, but it would require taking the changed project back again through the city’s process for obtaining tax incentives.

The Kilbourne Group is in the process of buying the Park Company Realtors building at 28 10th St. N. If the deal is completed as planned, the Park Co. property would be the site of the second phase of a $27.5 million housing project aimed at transforming the northwest corner of NP Avenue and 10th Street North into a gateway for a new walkable downtown neighborhood. (Helmut Schmidt / The Forum)
The Kilbourne Group is in the process of buying the Park Company Realtors building at 28 10th St. N. If the deal is completed as planned, the Park Co. property would be the site of the second phase of a $27.5 million housing project aimed at transforming the northwest corner of NP Avenue and 10th Street North into a gateway for a new walkable downtown neighborhood. (Helmut Schmidt / The Forum)(Helmut Schmidt / The Forum)

Wendel-Daub said the first phase building will feature a restaurant with large glass windows and outdoor seating facing the corner of NP and 10th, providing a striking first view of the four-story building as drivers head north out of the 10th Street underpass.

The 5,200-square-foot restaurant space does not yet have a tenant, Wendel-Daub said.

The first phase includes 77 apartments, with another 70 apartments in the second phase. The apartments would include studio, and one-, two- and three-bedroom units ranging in size from 520 square feet to more than 1,500 square feet, Wendel-Daub said.

The apartments are larger than those done in other recent Kilbourne Group projects, such as Roberts Commons, Dillard Apartments, and Bostad Apartments, Wendel-Daub said. They are closer in size to The Woodrow Apartments at the former Woodrow Wilson school.

The first phase of the project also includes a number of two-story units on the south and north sides that would have their own street-level entrances, Wendel-Daub said. Phase 1 would have 61 stalls of underground parking, while phase II would have 98 stalls of enclosed ground-level parking.

There will also be a surface parking lot with stalls for both the restaurant and tenants, too.

Each of the phases would include a community room with access to above-ground outdoor areas. Several of the units above the Phase II parking area will also have areas to walk out on the roof, too.

If all goes well, demolition at the construction site could begin in September.

The Phase I building is planned to be finished by the end of 2020. If all moves smoothly, Phase II construction could be finished by the end of 2021, Wendel-Daub said.

Deb Wendel-Daub, pictured Tuesday, June 25. 2019, is the manager for a $27.5 million mixed-use project that would turn the Nestor bar and Park Company Realtors properties on the western edge of downtown Fargo into apartments, parking and a restaurant. (Helmut Schmidt / The Forum)
Deb Wendel-Daub, pictured Tuesday, June 25. 2019, is the manager for a $27.5 million mixed-use project that would turn the Nestor bar and Park Company Realtors properties on the western edge of downtown Fargo into apartments, parking and a restaurant. (Helmut Schmidt / The Forum)(Helmut Schmidt / The Forum)

Kilbourne Group plans to get a few other large projects moving this year, including:

  • The $17.6 million Mercantile Building. The six-story, 115,000-square-foot structure is planned for the area of 401 Broadway and 410 and 412 5th St. N., formerly home to a Schumacher Goodyear service station. It will include ground floor commercial space, 100 apartments, 370 parking stalls and townhomes for sale adjacent to Great Northern Cycle. The name of the project pays homage to a mercantile building that once stood on the site.
  • The $12 million “Antique” Building, which would replace the single-story building at 1017 4th Ave. N., that includes an antiques store called the Now and Then Shoppe and some storage space. The building had also been home to Dakota Electric Supply. The project calls for a five-story building, with 68 apartments on four floors and 90 parking stalls on the ground level.
  • The $19.3 million Kessler Building project. It is planned for the area of 617 and 621 First Ave. N., which is now a parking lot. It will be a six-story, 140,000-square-foot building with ground floor commercial and retail space and five floors of apartments. Parking will include underground parking.

Other projects progressing along include:

  • The $117 million mixed-use Block 9 tower at Broadway and 2nd Avenue North, which is rising at a rate of a floor every 10 to 14 days. When finished, the mid-rise tower with its mix of retail, offices, 125-key hotel and high-end condominiums will top out at 235 feet, shouldering itself above the nearby Radisson.
  • The $18 million renovation of the 125,000-square-foot Black Building at 118 Broadway. Work is continuing on the basement and first and second floors. All 280 of the old single-pane windows have been replaced with modern, energy-efficient windows. Asbestos was removed. And the mechanical systems and steam boiler were replaced in the eight-story building, which was completed and opened to the public in 1931.