FARGO — A mixed-use building that would add another parking ramp to downtown Fargo, along with more commercial space and apartments, is moving ahead.
The Fargo Parking Commission approved last week initial plans for the six-or-seven-story structure at the corner of Broadway and Fourth Avenue North, the site of the former Schumacher Goodyear business.
The next step is asking the City Commission for approval to allow city officials to continue working with the Kilbourne Group on a development agreement and financing. Kilbourne owns the property so the plan is to have the city purchase the land, and the city would own the parking ramp.
Jim Gilmour, director of strategic planning and research for the city, said the ramp, with an estimated cost of about $11 million, would be sort of hidden behind the commercial and apartment structure, which would be built and financed by Kilbourne. The company hasn't said how much the apartment and commercial building would cost.
Gilmour said a 2015 study identified the Schumacher Goodyear site and the site where the RoCo mixed-use building and parking ramp are along Roberts Street as prime locations for parking facilities as it's long been a complaint that downtown doesn't have enough parking.
The ramp, Gilmour said, would not only be for downtown visitors but for businesses such as Gate City Bank, the Radisson Hotel and Warner Insurance who have been hoping for more spots for employees.
Gilmour said the preliminary plan calls for about 370 parking spots in the ramp, with 100 apartments and several first-floor commercial spots along Broadway and Fourth Avenue North.
Gilmour said tax increment financing and revenue from the Mercantile Parking Garage, as it's being called, would be used to pay off construction. He said there are no plans at this time to use city general funds.
Construction could start as soon as late summer or fall.
The work would overlap with the construction of the 18-story Block 9 tower that is rising out of the ground nearby along Broadway. That project also includes a parking ramp, but Gilmour said the ramp will be exclusively for the R.D. Offutt corporate headquarter employees, hotel guests and condo residents in that multi-use building.
The Mercantile Parking Garage project would take away the space where the city's farmers market, known as the Red River Market, has been held in recent years. Gilmour said the market would likely move to the new half-acre community plaza that will be just south of the Block 9 tower.