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New office building planned for Sheyenne area

The building space near Hornbachers in West Fargo would create nearly 100 jobs paying about $45 per hour and would house three tenants.

A water tower on south Sheyenne Street in West Fargo, N.D. Carrie Snyder / The Forum
A water tower on south Sheyenne Street in West Fargo.

WEST FARGO — An office building planned for the area near Hornbachers in West Fargo touts it will bring in nearly 100 high-paying jobs.

The West Fargo City Commission approved giving the building plans a tax break in December by approving a
Payment-in-Lieu-of-Taxes or PILOT program.

The PILOT program is a development incentive that uses the abatement of taxes to attract private investment that meets the development goals of the City. A PILOT can be used anywhere in the community as long as the applicant adds property value through private investment and brings jobs with a livable wage into the community.

Gateway Office Park LLC applied for a 5-year PILOT incentive for a $36,000 square foot office building at the 2000 Block of 7th St. W., just north of Interstate 94, and west of Hornbachers on Sheyenne Street. The PILOT program offers tax breaks on improvements only.
Assistant City Administrator Tim Solberg said the proposed project, a nearly $9 million addition to the Gateway Office Park would build office space.

The PILOT program would allow the developers to pay $100 in annual property taxes on new improvements in lieu of $138,486.
The building space would give lease agreements to three tenants, United Sugars, BC Contracting and an undisclosed third tenant.
Each of the three tenants have stated that the incentive would enable faster growth in the first five years if they received the incentive.

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Solberg said the proposed offices occupied by the three tenants who would create over 95 jobs in West Fargo with an average salary of $45 per hour over three years.
"It also increases the amount of users to this area, hoping to have an impact to the sales tax to the community," Solberg said.

On Dec. 9, the Economic Development Advisory Committee approved the project unanimously.
Commissioner Mandy George, the sole vote against the project, said the application did not pass a but-for test, meaning the project would or could likely move forward even if the city did not approve a tax break.

“It's just my opinion, but this building is going up anyway,” George said. "The corporate tenants are not guaranteed to come with the building. They’re not guaranteed to not come either. To take $750,000 out of the community is not worth it."

The commission passed the application on a four to one vote with George the sole nay vote.

As the West Fargo editor, Wendy Reuer covers all things West Fargo for The Forum and oversees the production of the weekly Pioneer.
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