To Fargo's Roosevelt neighborhood, promised townhomes about more than the view

The neighborhood is still waiting for a minimum of seven townhomes, which Roers agreed to build as part of the St. Paul Newman's Center construction project.

The St. Paul Newman's Center and attached faith-based housing, along with The View student apartments loom in the background of the site where at least seven town homes were promised.
Ben Morris / WDAY News

FARGO — The Roosevelt neighborhood just wants what was promised: town houses alongside the Newman Center Project. But they haven't gotten them, which was on display Monday, May 2, with Roers under fire for agreeing to, and not following through with them.

The scene is an interesting one. There's the St. Paul's Newman Center, attached faith-based housing, The View student apartments, and just an empty construction site, where a minimum of seven town houses were supposed to go.

Even after yesterday's city commission meeting, they still don't know if they'll get them.

"It doesn't feel like anything's going to happen at this point. I know there were certain things said that they will still happen, and we just don't know that that's the truth or what the truth really is right now," said Jim Laschkewitsch, president of the Roosevelt Neighborhood Association.

He said the town homes promised to them were not only supposed to be a buffer between the homes across the street and the big buildings, they were supposed to help replenish the community that was lost, as 22 homes were demolished to make way for the new project.


"The idea was that these townhomes would be sold on the market and that families would reside in them, helping our school and helping our neighborhood," Laschkewitsch said. "So we want that neighborhood community feel back, and that's what we're looking for."

Roers claimed they've had to battle surging supply costs and traffic congestion, which has delayed the project from the initial completion date of December 2021.

But Laschkewitsch said, after they've heard nothing for so long, and after they've seen the completion or near completion of other buildings on the lot, it's hard to trust their word at this point.

"It's hard to determine if any of this was done in good faith or not," he said.

He added, they don't want to go back to the negotiating table, but they've put the ball in the city's court, and said it's up to them to get the neighborhood what it deserves, and set a precedent for the need of single family homes in the city.

Ben Morris joined WDAY in June of 2021 as a news reporter. He grew up in southern New Hampshire, before he moved to Fargo. He majored in media communications and minored in marketing at the University of Toledo in Ohio.
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