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Sale of 4 ballfields could net $8.6M for Fargo Park District

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FARGO — The Fargo Park District is accepting bids for 16.7 acres in Anderson Park appraised at $8.6 million.

Selling the park district-owned land along 45th Street South, a busy and growing part of the city, has been discussed over the past decade among park staff and commissioners.

Joel Vettel, executive director of the park district, said the district's plan was to sell the land after completing the softball complex in north Fargo, 6101 45th St. N. — a project that wrapped up last summer. Construction of the complex kicked off in 2015, and the 18 fields will be available for games this year.

The parcel for sale consists of four baseball fields and a gravel parking lot. To the east, there are eight adult and youth baseball fields closer to 42nd Street South that will not be affected by the potential sale.

The property is zoned as general commercial, so potential future use would be similar to what exists along the corridor. Businesses near the property include a Sonic Drive-In, Pizza Ranch and Famous Dave's BBQ.

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Bidding is open until April 4, and bids will be considered at the park board meeting Tuesday, April 9. Park board commissioners unanimously approved seeking bids at a meeting on March 12.

Vettel said the district has owned a lot of land along 45th Street South since at least the 1980s, including the ice arena and Red River Zoo land that's leased by the park district to the zoo. South of the zoo is Anderson Park, which was built about 30 years ago Vettel guessed.

"When it was built, it was a fairly rural area. Now it's an extremely busy roadway, and it would never be an ideal location for youth baseball fields," he said. "Over time, the city has grown and things have changed, and so we want to change with it."

Vettel said money from the land sale, if approved, will go toward future facilities in the park district.

Kim Hyatt is a reporter for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead covering community issues and other topics. She previously worked for the Owatonna People's Press where she received the Minnesota Newspaper Association's Dave Pyle New Journalist Award in 2016. Later that year, she joined The Forum as a night reporter and is now part of the investigative team. She's a 2014 graduate of the University of Minnesota Duluth.
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