MOORHEAD —Moorhead is nearing the halfway mark of adding 500 new housing units downtown in their revitalization effort after approving a tax break for a new 33-unit complex on the corner of Main Avenue and 12th Street in their meeting on Tuesday night, May 26.

The new $4.1 million, four-story apartment building was granted a 10-year Renaissance Zone break with five years at a 100% exemption and the next five years at 75%, with an estimated tax benefit of about $475,000.

Realtor Justin Berg of Moorhead, one of three partners in the development, noted in an application for the tax break that they would still have to pay taxes on the land during the time period.

With the 33 new apartments aimed at college students and young professionals, council member Shelly Carlson wondered how the city was doing on its goal of 500 new housing units downtown that was set in 2018.

Derrick LaPoint, president of Downtown Moorhead Inc., said with this Main Avenue project the goal is at about 200 permitted units of the 500 desired.

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LaPoint said another 40 to 50 units are in the conceptual phase.

Berg said they would be starting the project this summer with the aim of opening the new structure next summer.

The project fits in with the city's goal of more urban development and infill in the city's downtown zone.

It was also noted that it transforms that area of downtown that is currently an open lot. It used to be the site of a parking lot and two dilapidated structures that have been torn down.

The structure will improve the lighting and landscaping in the area, with a mural tribute to the history of Moorhead added on the main level, where there will also be enclosed parking for residents who will be living in the efficiency to two-bedroom units. There will also be off-street parking in the project.

Council members were pleased that there was adequate parking, and council member Steve Lindaas also suggested indoor bicycle parking for residents as one thing college students are desiring.

Lindaas and council member Shelley Carlson also wondered if there could be any four-bedroom units as some college students also indicate that they would like larger apartments so they can group together.

Berg said there were no such plans for this structure, but said he was interested in doing more projects in downtown Moorhead.

"I think the future is bright," Berg said.