MOORHEAD — Enclave is planning a major business and apartment development project on the southeast corner of the intersection of Interstate 94 and Eighth Street South in Moorhead.

Although final details are sketchy, Downtown Moorhead Inc. CEO Derrick LaPoint announced this week that the major project, although in its early stages, was coming to the highly visible area.

Brian Bochman, a developer for Fargo-based Enclave, told The Forum in an interview the estimated $30 million project would involve redeveloping and rehabilitating the almost empty strip mall currently on the site as well as constructing a major multifamily housing development in an open field just east of the mall and next to Ward Muscatell Subaru.

He said they hope to start some of the mall improvements this fall, with other construction beginning in the spring.

"It's kind of the first stop into Minnesota and Moorhead, and we thought it was a primary location for redevelopment," Bochman said.

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"We're planning for a new and better use of the area," he said. "It was a natural fit for us."

Marissa West, who will be opening Murphy's Pub along with her partner Cody Parr in the former O'Leary's Irish Pub & Grill in the new development, is also excited about the project and the improvement for south Moorhead that lies ahead.

She said she feels "confident and comfortable" with their lease arrangement that involves Enclave and hopes to open the new business in November. Although, she added, the coronavirus has changed many things.

"We are excited to be a part of a growing Moorhead, especially the small business community and watching this sweet little town thrive," said West, who also operates Legend's Sports Bar & Grill in south Moorhead with Parr.

O'Leary's has been closed since January, and West and Parr received their liquor license for the business at Monday's Moorhead City Council meeting.

The only business operating in the strip mall is the CVS Pharmacy, with three other retail spaces remaining empty.

LaPoint told the City Council that Enclave is planning to ask for a Tax Increment Financing district for the area, which is a public financing method used as a subsidy for redevelopment and community improvement.

Bochman verified that they would be seeking the assistance.

Details of work in the area, including the size of the new multifamily housing building, are still being worked on.

"We should have a better idea in a few weeks," Bochman said.

However, as far as the business end of the project, he said they are planning for another restaurant and more retail businesses.

Enclave is buying the property from a lender who owns it. A Dairy Queen and First International Bank & Trust are in the parking lot of the complex closer to Eighth Street or U.S. Highway 75.