MOORHEAD — A new project along the riverfront here moved forward after the city tentatively approved a land sale with a tax incentive also receiving the blessing of the Moorhead City Council on Monday, March 25.
Bolig Square, a five-story, $8.25 million multi-use building with four stories of apartments and main floor commercial space, will sit on a piece of city property many thought couldn't be developed.
The city will sell the property next to the river and across from the Moorhead Center Mall for $200,000 to EPIC Companies of West Fargo, once title transfer issues have been resolved. It currently is a parking lot.
Derrick LaPoint, president of Downtown Moorhead Inc., said the company will be the first to take advantage of a newly revamped Renaissance Zone program for the city that offers a graduated property tax exemption starting with 100 percent for the first five years then 75 percent for years six through 10 and 50 percent through year 15.
"We're excited," LaPoint said. "The site will be kind of a challenge to develop, but it'll make for a nice entryway into downtown."
He said, ideally, a restaurant will be on the first floor with a patio overlooking the Red River. "I don't think there's a restaurant with a view like that (in the metro)," he said.
The company, which has been working on or completed other major multi-use buildings in the downtowns of Moorhead and West Fargo, is going "to great lengths to create a distinct identity (for the structure) with high-quality architecture materials and features as well as build upon the historic buildings and landmarks in the area."
The company named the building Bolig, which means residence or housing in Norwegian, to fit in with the city and state's heritage and the nearby Hjemkomst Center.
LaPoint said construction may start this spring or early summer, with completion planned for the fall of 2020.
The council also approved a tax incentive for a new $1.4 million office building to be constructed by 815 Partners north of the south Hornbacher's grocery store. The 10,000 square-foot office building will be mostly occupied by Village Family Services, which has outgrown its previous location on 8th Street in south Moorhead. Another 2,000-square-foot part of the building will be for lease.
The council approved a five-year property tax exemption for the structure under a citywide commercial and industrial program for buildings over $1 million with a job creation number, LaPoint said.
In a smaller land sale, the city agreed to sell part of a parking lot next to the Dorothy Day Food Pantry to Harold's, a pub next to it at 1328 Main Avenue.
LaPoint said the sale of the 25-foot by 90-foot parcel will allow Harold's to offer some outdoor seating during the summer months. The land will be sold for a price of $9,100.
Dorothy Day officials said they had enough parking under its lease agreement with the city for the lot.