FARGO — The Cass County Commission on Monday, Aug. 19, approved seven years worth of tax breaks for a proposed downtown apartment project, but it's unknown if it will be enough to convince the developer, Kilbourne Group, to move ahead with the work.
Kilbourne Group had asked for 10 years worth of tax breaks for a roughly $19.3 million project that contemplates a six-story, 140,000-square-foot mixed use project on what is now parking lot space.
Sometimes referred to as the Kesler North and South Projects, the construction would take place in downtown Fargo between First Avenue North and Second Avenue North behind the Black Building.
Earlier this summer, the Cass County Commission offered Kilbourne Group the same seven-year tax incentive for two other projects, including one that is on the site of the former Nestor bar and one that is on the site of an old antique business on the northwest side of town.
Those two projects were placed on hold after Kilbourne Group's request for 10-year tax breaks was turned down by the Cass County Commission and company representatives indicated Monday the Kesler projects would also remain on hold while the developer mulls the seven-year tax incentives offered.
Fargo City Strategic Planner Jim Gilmour said Monday he was disappointed that the tax incentives the county commission offered Kilbourne Group fell short of what it gave to the developer behind the project to build the new St. Paul's Newman Center in North Fargo.
For tax breaks to be used, they must receive approval from the Cass County Commission, the Fargo City Commission and the Fargo School Board, because all would be denied property tax dollars for a period of time.
Cass County commissioners have indicated they have concerns about the duration of some of the tax break requests they have received.
Commissioner Chad Peterson said Monday he is in favor of discontinuing a tax break once a developer reaches certain goals when it comes to things like apartment rentals.