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Developers pitch big plans for replacing two downtown Fargo parking lots

FARGO - Contenders to provide yet another sizable jolt to the recent flurry of development downtown were unveiled Monday, plans that would all add new dimensions to the city's skyline.

2282743+012616.N.FF_13655697ss.jpg
The city-owned parking lot behind the Black Building on Monday, Jan. 25, 2016, left, and the Kilbourne Group proposal, top right, the Enclave Development proposal, middle, and the Roers proposal, bottom. Photo by Michael Vosburg / The Forum
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FARGO – Contenders to provide yet another sizable jolt to the recent flurry of development downtown were unveiled Monday, plans that would all add new dimensions to the city's skyline. Three local developers are vying to win the city's go-ahead to allow them to develop two city-owned lots and possibly some adjacent private lots near the corner of Second Avenue North and Roberts Street just west of Broadway. Two of the projects would have price tags pushing near $50 million. Roers, Kilbourne Group and Enclave Development submitted to the city last week their proposals to build new parking ramps on the lots, as well as mixed-use buildings including both residential and retail space.

2282736+0126-Parking-ramps.jpg
The city-owned parking lot behind the Black Building on Monday, Jan. 25, 2016, left, and the Kilbourne Group proposal, top right, the Enclave Development proposal, middle, and the Roers proposal, bottom. Photo by Michael Vosburg / The Forum

Planning Director Jim Gilmour said he expects city leaders will come to some agreement by the end of spring, with construction possibly starting as early as May for at least one of the proposals. The city's goal is not just to alleviate the parking shortage but also to make better economic use of scarce downtown land. All the lots targeted for development are now used only for parking. Mike Hahn, president of the Downtown Community Partnership, said having more people living and working there would be a very good thing for downtown. "If we start building that density back up within Roberts, it can become the next Broadway," he said, referring to downtown's busiest commercial corridor. The lots in question are also between downtown and North Dakota State University buildings to the west, presenting opportunities for further growth, he said. Three approaches The lots hadn't always been empty. Kilbourne Group said the city lot south of Second Avenue North between what's now King House Buffet and the Graver Inn Apartments had been home to the Kesler Block, a three-story building demolished in 1976. The city lot north of Second Avenue North had been home to the Carnegie library, demolished in 1970. Many downtowns of that era replaced historic buildings with surface parking lots in desperate, often failed, bids to compete with automobile-centric malls. Now, it's buildings and the bars and restaurants in them that bring people back. Each of the three competing firms bring slightly different emphasis to their proposals. Roers, a major regional construction and development firm, aims to maximize density on just the two city-owned lots and a third privately owned lot but in a way that wouldn't overwhelm the existing cityscape, Vice President Larry Nygard said. The firm's $48 million proposal calls for 478 parking stalls, 151 housing units and 32,640 square feet of commercial space. [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"2282754","attributes":{"alt":"Roers is proposing a $48 million project that packs in 478 parking stalls and 151 housing units.","class":"media-image","height":"709","title":"Roers is proposing a $48 million project that packs in 478 parking stalls and 151 housing units.","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"1200"}}]] The two buildings, each seven to eight stories, would be connected by a skyway for both pedestrians and automobiles, which allows the two buildings to share one automobile entrance. Another pedestrian-only skyway would connect the south building to the Black Building, which is part of downtown's existing skyway system. That would leave two privately owned lots to the north for future development. Kilbourne Group, which owns dozens of downtown properties, including the nine-story Black Building, and is buying up more, aims for "human scale" buildings that feel comfortable to pedestrians, General Manager Mike Allmendinger said. [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"2282750","attributes":{"alt":"Kilbourne Group is proposing a $27.8 million project with at least 381 parking stalls and 143 housing units.","class":"media-image","height":"659","title":"Kilbourne Group is proposing a $27.8 million project with at least 381 parking stalls and 143 housing units.","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"1200"}}]] The firm's proposal is the only one that includes walkability studies and a focus on not just enhancing business on Second Avenue North and Roberts Street but also Roberts Alley, the alley between Roberts and Broadway. A video the firm produced shows pedestrians perusing boutiques and enjoying drinks in small alley shops. Kilbourne's $27.8 million proposal calls for 381 parking stalls, 143 housing units and 16,200 square feet of commercial space in two five-story structures. The firm plans to work on a $10 million project on privately owned land to the north. Enclave Development, which develops apartments statewide, aims for truly affordable housing to combat gentrification, said Austin Morris, Enclave's owner and managing director. All three proposals include a mix of large and small apartments at different rental rates, but he said only Enclave's would have income-based units. As downtown booms, he fears the people that make it unique - bartenders, artists, students - are finding it harder to afford rent, he said. "The culture creators, as rents go up, are slowly pushed out of downtown," Morris said. [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"2282749","attributes":{"alt":"Enclave Development is proposing three options ranging from $30.1 million to $46.8 million with as many as 696 parking stalls.","class":"media-image","height":"741","title":"Enclave Development is proposing three options ranging from $30.1 million to $46.8 million with as many as 696 parking stalls.","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"1200"}}]] Enclave's proposal comes in three flavors, with the smallest option taking up just the two city-owned lots and the largest taking up the two lots plus three private lots to the north. That largest option is a $46.8 million project that calls for 696 parking stalls, 231 housing units and 20,400 square feet of commercial space in a seven-story and a six-story building. Public funds Gilmour characterized the project as a public-private partnership, which is a simple way of expressing the complex financial arrangement involved. In anticipation of the project, the city has issued $10 million in bonds, which it will use to buy the parking ramp from the developer it picks, Gilmour said. It'll repay the bond with income from renting out parking stalls and the additional property tax it collects from the developer's new housing and retail spaces, which would be worth more than the surface lots they'll replace. [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"2282755","attributes":{"alt":"City of Fargo graphic.","class":"media-image","height":"480","title":"City of Fargo graphic.","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"366"}}]]Gilmour said having a private group building the ramp for a fixed cost would be more efficient because the city wouldn't have to go through the trouble of interviewing architects and bidding the project out. The incentives for developers include having access to nearby parking and a five-year Renaissance Zone tax exemption. Gilmour said he doesn't anticipate any payments in lieu of taxes, which are 10-year tax exemptions. Financial data submitted by the three firms show that 30 percent of the Roers proposal would be public funding, including possible state transportation fund for the skyway. Kilbourne's proposal includes 27 percent public funding, and Enclave's proposal varies from 22 to 35 percent, though Morris said Enclave's financing would be simpler than the city is contemplating. Timeline If the city picked Kilbourne, which has the most aggressive schedule, work on the parking ramp would start in May and be done by the end of the year. Allmendinger said the firm wanted to have replacement parking available on the north city-owned lot before starting work on the south city-owned lot. One of the mixed-use buildings would be done by July 2017 and the other April 2018. Roers plans to start construction on everything September 2016 and finish May 2018. Enclave plans to start October 2016 and be done May 2018. On the Web: Click here to see the proposals. Click here to see an animation of Kilbourne Group's proposal.FARGO – Contenders to provide yet another sizable jolt to the recent flurry of development downtown were unveiled Monday, plans that would all add new dimensions to the city's skyline. Three local developers are vying to win the city's go-ahead to allow them to develop two city-owned lots and possibly some adjacent private lots near the corner of Second Avenue North and Roberts Street just west of Broadway. Two of the projects would have price tags pushing near $50 million. Roers, Kilbourne Group and Enclave Development submitted to the city last week their proposals to build new parking ramps on the lots, as well as mixed-use buildings including both residential and retail space. [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"2282736","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"276","title":"","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"250"}}]]Planning Director Jim Gilmour said he expects city leaders will come to some agreement by the end of spring, with construction possibly starting as early as May for at least one of the proposals. The city's goal is not just to alleviate the parking shortage but also to make better economic use of scarce downtown land. All the lots targeted for development are now used only for parking. Mike Hahn, president of the Downtown Community Partnership, said having more people living and working there would be a very good thing for downtown. "If we start building that density back up within Roberts, it can become the next Broadway," he said, referring to downtown's busiest commercial corridor. The lots in question are also between downtown and North Dakota State University buildings to the west, presenting opportunities for further growth, he said. Three approaches The lots hadn't always been empty. Kilbourne Group said the city lot south of Second Avenue North between what's now King House Buffet and the Graver Inn Apartments had been home to the Kesler Block, a three-story building demolished in 1976. The city lot north of Second Avenue North had been home to the Carnegie library, demolished in 1970. Many downtowns of that era replaced historic buildings with surface parking lots in desperate, often failed, bids to compete with automobile-centric malls. Now, it's buildings and the bars and restaurants in them that bring people back. Each of the three competing firms bring slightly different emphasis to their proposals. Roers, a major regional construction and development firm, aims to maximize density on just the two city-owned lots and a third privately owned lot but in a way that wouldn't overwhelm the existing cityscape, Vice President Larry Nygard said. The firm's $48 million proposal calls for 478 parking stalls, 151 housing units and 32,640 square feet of commercial space.

2282754+Fargo-Roers.jpg
The city-owned parking lot behind the Black Building on Monday, Jan. 25, 2016, left, and the Kilbourne Group proposal, top right, the Enclave Development proposal, middle, and the Roers proposal, bottom. Photo by Michael Vosburg / The Forum

The two buildings, each seven to eight stories, would be connected by a skyway for both pedestrians and automobiles, which allows the two buildings to share one automobile entrance. Another pedestrian-only skyway would connect the south building to the Black Building, which is part of downtown's existing skyway system. That would leave two privately owned lots to the north for future development. Kilbourne Group, which owns dozens of downtown properties, including the nine-story Black Building, and is buying up more, aims for "human scale" buildings that feel comfortable to pedestrians, General Manager Mike Allmendinger said. [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"2282750","attributes":{"alt":"Kilbourne Group is proposing a $27.8 million project with at least 381 parking stalls and 143 housing units.","class":"media-image","height":"659","title":"Kilbourne Group is proposing a $27.8 million project with at least 381 parking stalls and 143 housing units.","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"1200"}}]] The firm's proposal is the only one that includes walkability studies and a focus on not just enhancing business on Second Avenue North and Roberts Street but also Roberts Alley, the alley between Roberts and Broadway. A video the firm produced shows pedestrians perusing boutiques and enjoying drinks in small alley shops. Kilbourne's $27.8 million proposal calls for 381 parking stalls, 143 housing units and 16,200 square feet of commercial space in two five-story structures. The firm plans to work on a $10 million project on privately owned land to the north. Enclave Development, which develops apartments statewide, aims for truly affordable housing to combat gentrification, said Austin Morris, Enclave's owner and managing director. All three proposals include a mix of large and small apartments at different rental rates, but he said only Enclave's would have income-based units. As downtown booms, he fears the people that make it unique - bartenders, artists, students - are finding it harder to afford rent, he said. "The culture creators, as rents go up, are slowly pushed out of downtown," Morris said. [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"2282749","attributes":{"alt":"Enclave Development is proposing three options ranging from $30.1 million to $46.8 million with as many as 696 parking stalls.","class":"media-image","height":"741","title":"Enclave Development is proposing three options ranging from $30.1 million to $46.8 million with as many as 696 parking stalls.","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"1200"}}]] Enclave's proposal comes in three flavors, with the smallest option taking up just the two city-owned lots and the largest taking up the two lots plus three private lots to the north. That largest option is a $46.8 million project that calls for 696 parking stalls, 231 housing units and 20,400 square feet of commercial space in a seven-story and a six-story building. Public funds Gilmour characterized the project as a public-private partnership, which is a simple way of expressing the complex financial arrangement involved. In anticipation of the project, the city has issued $10 million in bonds, which it will use to buy the parking ramp from the developer it picks, Gilmour said. It'll repay the bond with income from renting out parking stalls and the additional property tax it collects from the developer's new housing and retail spaces, which would be worth more than the surface lots they'll replace. [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"2282755","attributes":{"alt":"City of Fargo graphic.","class":"media-image","height":"480","title":"City of Fargo graphic.","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"366"}}]]Gilmour said having a private group building the ramp for a fixed cost would be more efficient because the city wouldn't have to go through the trouble of interviewing architects and bidding the project out. The incentives for developers include having access to nearby parking and a five-year Renaissance Zone tax exemption. Gilmour said he doesn't anticipate any payments in lieu of taxes, which are 10-year tax exemptions. Financial data submitted by the three firms show that 30 percent of the Roers proposal would be public funding, including possible state transportation fund for the skyway. Kilbourne's proposal includes 27 percent public funding, and Enclave's proposal varies from 22 to 35 percent, though Morris said Enclave's financing would be simpler than the city is contemplating. Timeline If the city picked Kilbourne, which has the most aggressive schedule, work on the parking ramp would start in May and be done by the end of the year. Allmendinger said the firm wanted to have replacement parking available on the north city-owned lot before starting work on the south city-owned lot. One of the mixed-use buildings would be done by July 2017 and the other April 2018. Roers plans to start construction on everything September 2016 and finish May 2018. Enclave plans to start October 2016 and be done May 2018. On the Web: Click here to see the proposals. Click here to see an animation of Kilbourne Group's proposal.FARGO – Contenders to provide yet another sizable jolt to the recent flurry of development downtown were unveiled Monday, plans that would all add new dimensions to the city's skyline. Three local developers are vying to win the city's go-ahead to allow them to develop two city-owned lots and possibly some adjacent private lots near the corner of Second Avenue North and Roberts Street just west of Broadway. Two of the projects would have price tags pushing near $50 million. Roers, Kilbourne Group and Enclave Development submitted to the city last week their proposals to build new parking ramps on the lots, as well as mixed-use buildings including both residential and retail space. [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"2282736","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"276","title":"","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"250"}}]]Planning Director Jim Gilmour said he expects city leaders will come to some agreement by the end of spring, with construction possibly starting as early as May for at least one of the proposals. The city's goal is not just to alleviate the parking shortage but also to make better economic use of scarce downtown land. All the lots targeted for development are now used only for parking. Mike Hahn, president of the Downtown Community Partnership, said having more people living and working there would be a very good thing for downtown. "If we start building that density back up within Roberts, it can become the next Broadway," he said, referring to downtown's busiest commercial corridor. The lots in question are also between downtown and North Dakota State University buildings to the west, presenting opportunities for further growth, he said. Three approaches The lots hadn't always been empty. Kilbourne Group said the city lot south of Second Avenue North between what's now King House Buffet and the Graver Inn Apartments had been home to the Kesler Block, a three-story building demolished in 1976. The city lot north of Second Avenue North had been home to the Carnegie library, demolished in 1970. Many downtowns of that era replaced historic buildings with surface parking lots in desperate, often failed, bids to compete with automobile-centric malls. Now, it's buildings and the bars and restaurants in them that bring people back. Each of the three competing firms bring slightly different emphasis to their proposals. Roers, a major regional construction and development firm, aims to maximize density on just the two city-owned lots and a third privately owned lot but in a way that wouldn't overwhelm the existing cityscape, Vice President Larry Nygard said. The firm's $48 million proposal calls for 478 parking stalls, 151 housing units and 32,640 square feet of commercial space. [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"2282754","attributes":{"alt":"Roers is proposing a $48 million project that packs in 478 parking stalls and 151 housing units.","class":"media-image","height":"709","title":"Roers is proposing a $48 million project that packs in 478 parking stalls and 151 housing units.","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"1200"}}]] The two buildings, each seven to eight stories, would be connected by a skyway for both pedestrians and automobiles, which allows the two buildings to share one automobile entrance. Another pedestrian-only skyway would connect the south building to the Black Building, which is part of downtown's existing skyway system. That would leave two privately owned lots to the north for future development. Kilbourne Group, which owns dozens of downtown properties, including the nine-story Black Building, and is buying up more, aims for "human scale" buildings that feel comfortable to pedestrians, General Manager Mike Allmendinger said.

2282750+Fargo-Kilbourne-Group.jpg
The city-owned parking lot behind the Black Building on Monday, Jan. 25, 2016, left, and the Kilbourne Group proposal, top right, the Enclave Development proposal, middle, and the Roers proposal, bottom. Photo by Michael Vosburg / The Forum

The firm's proposal is the only one that includes walkability studies and a focus on not just enhancing business on Second Avenue North and Roberts Street but also Roberts Alley, the alley between Roberts and Broadway. A video the firm produced shows pedestrians perusing boutiques and enjoying drinks in small alley shops. Kilbourne's $27.8 million proposal calls for 381 parking stalls, 143 housing units and 16,200 square feet of commercial space in two five-story structures. The firm plans to work on a $10 million project on privately owned land to the north. Enclave Development, which develops apartments statewide, aims for truly affordable housing to combat gentrification, said Austin Morris, Enclave's owner and managing director. All three proposals include a mix of large and small apartments at different rental rates, but he said only Enclave's would have income-based units. As downtown booms, he fears the people that make it unique - bartenders, artists, students - are finding it harder to afford rent, he said. "The culture creators, as rents go up, are slowly pushed out of downtown," Morris said. [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"2282749","attributes":{"alt":"Enclave Development is proposing three options ranging from $30.1 million to $46.8 million with as many as 696 parking stalls.","class":"media-image","height":"741","title":"Enclave Development is proposing three options ranging from $30.1 million to $46.8 million with as many as 696 parking stalls.","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"1200"}}]] Enclave's proposal comes in three flavors, with the smallest option taking up just the two city-owned lots and the largest taking up the two lots plus three private lots to the north. That largest option is a $46.8 million project that calls for 696 parking stalls, 231 housing units and 20,400 square feet of commercial space in a seven-story and a six-story building. Public funds Gilmour characterized the project as a public-private partnership, which is a simple way of expressing the complex financial arrangement involved. In anticipation of the project, the city has issued $10 million in bonds, which it will use to buy the parking ramp from the developer it picks, Gilmour said. It'll repay the bond with income from renting out parking stalls and the additional property tax it collects from the developer's new housing and retail spaces, which would be worth more than the surface lots they'll replace. [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"2282755","attributes":{"alt":"City of Fargo graphic.","class":"media-image","height":"480","title":"City of Fargo graphic.","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"366"}}]]Gilmour said having a private group building the ramp for a fixed cost would be more efficient because the city wouldn't have to go through the trouble of interviewing architects and bidding the project out. The incentives for developers include having access to nearby parking and a five-year Renaissance Zone tax exemption. Gilmour said he doesn't anticipate any payments in lieu of taxes, which are 10-year tax exemptions. Financial data submitted by the three firms show that 30 percent of the Roers proposal would be public funding, including possible state transportation fund for the skyway. Kilbourne's proposal includes 27 percent public funding, and Enclave's proposal varies from 22 to 35 percent, though Morris said Enclave's financing would be simpler than the city is contemplating. Timeline If the city picked Kilbourne, which has the most aggressive schedule, work on the parking ramp would start in May and be done by the end of the year. Allmendinger said the firm wanted to have replacement parking available on the north city-owned lot before starting work on the south city-owned lot. One of the mixed-use buildings would be done by July 2017 and the other April 2018. Roers plans to start construction on everything September 2016 and finish May 2018. Enclave plans to start October 2016 and be done May 2018. On the Web: Click here to see the proposals. Click here to see an animation of Kilbourne Group's proposal.FARGO – Contenders to provide yet another sizable jolt to the recent flurry of development downtown were unveiled Monday, plans that would all add new dimensions to the city's skyline. Three local developers are vying to win the city's go-ahead to allow them to develop two city-owned lots and possibly some adjacent private lots near the corner of Second Avenue North and Roberts Street just west of Broadway. Two of the projects would have price tags pushing near $50 million. Roers, Kilbourne Group and Enclave Development submitted to the city last week their proposals to build new parking ramps on the lots, as well as mixed-use buildings including both residential and retail space. [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"2282736","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"276","title":"","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"250"}}]]Planning Director Jim Gilmour said he expects city leaders will come to some agreement by the end of spring, with construction possibly starting as early as May for at least one of the proposals. The city's goal is not just to alleviate the parking shortage but also to make better economic use of scarce downtown land. All the lots targeted for development are now used only for parking. Mike Hahn, president of the Downtown Community Partnership, said having more people living and working there would be a very good thing for downtown. "If we start building that density back up within Roberts, it can become the next Broadway," he said, referring to downtown's busiest commercial corridor. The lots in question are also between downtown and North Dakota State University buildings to the west, presenting opportunities for further growth, he said. Three approaches The lots hadn't always been empty. Kilbourne Group said the city lot south of Second Avenue North between what's now King House Buffet and the Graver Inn Apartments had been home to the Kesler Block, a three-story building demolished in 1976. The city lot north of Second Avenue North had been home to the Carnegie library, demolished in 1970. Many downtowns of that era replaced historic buildings with surface parking lots in desperate, often failed, bids to compete with automobile-centric malls. Now, it's buildings and the bars and restaurants in them that bring people back. Each of the three competing firms bring slightly different emphasis to their proposals. Roers, a major regional construction and development firm, aims to maximize density on just the two city-owned lots and a third privately owned lot but in a way that wouldn't overwhelm the existing cityscape, Vice President Larry Nygard said. The firm's $48 million proposal calls for 478 parking stalls, 151 housing units and 32,640 square feet of commercial space. [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"2282754","attributes":{"alt":"Roers is proposing a $48 million project that packs in 478 parking stalls and 151 housing units.","class":"media-image","height":"709","title":"Roers is proposing a $48 million project that packs in 478 parking stalls and 151 housing units.","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"1200"}}]] The two buildings, each seven to eight stories, would be connected by a skyway for both pedestrians and automobiles, which allows the two buildings to share one automobile entrance. Another pedestrian-only skyway would connect the south building to the Black Building, which is part of downtown's existing skyway system. That would leave two privately owned lots to the north for future development. Kilbourne Group, which owns dozens of downtown properties, including the nine-story Black Building, and is buying up more, aims for "human scale" buildings that feel comfortable to pedestrians, General Manager Mike Allmendinger said. [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"2282750","attributes":{"alt":"Kilbourne Group is proposing a $27.8 million project with at least 381 parking stalls and 143 housing units.","class":"media-image","height":"659","title":"Kilbourne Group is proposing a $27.8 million project with at least 381 parking stalls and 143 housing units.","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"1200"}}]] The firm's proposal is the only one that includes walkability studies and a focus on not just enhancing business on Second Avenue North and Roberts Street but also Roberts Alley, the alley between Roberts and Broadway. A video the firm produced shows pedestrians perusing boutiques and enjoying drinks in small alley shops. Kilbourne's $27.8 million proposal calls for 381 parking stalls, 143 housing units and 16,200 square feet of commercial space in two five-story structures. The firm plans to work on a $10 million project on privately owned land to the north. Enclave Development, which develops apartments statewide, aims for truly affordable housing to combat gentrification, said Austin Morris, Enclave's owner and managing director. All three proposals include a mix of large and small apartments at different rental rates, but he said only Enclave's would have income-based units. As downtown booms, he fears the people that make it unique - bartenders, artists, students - are finding it harder to afford rent, he said. "The culture creators, as rents go up, are slowly pushed out of downtown," Morris said.

2282749+Fargo-ECTW-Alliance-copy.jpg
The city-owned parking lot behind the Black Building on Monday, Jan. 25, 2016, left, and the Kilbourne Group proposal, top right, the Enclave Development proposal, middle, and the Roers proposal, bottom. Photo by Michael Vosburg / The Forum

Enclave's proposal comes in three flavors, with the smallest option taking up just the two city-owned lots and the largest taking up the two lots plus three private lots to the north. That largest option is a $46.8 million project that calls for 696 parking stalls, 231 housing units and 20,400 square feet of commercial space in a seven-story and a six-story building. Public funds Gilmour characterized the project as a public-private partnership, which is a simple way of expressing the complex financial arrangement involved. In anticipation of the project, the city has issued $10 million in bonds, which it will use to buy the parking ramp from the developer it picks, Gilmour said. It'll repay the bond with income from renting out parking stalls and the additional property tax it collects from the developer's new housing and retail spaces, which would be worth more than the surface lots they'll replace. [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"2282755","attributes":{"alt":"City of Fargo graphic.","class":"media-image","height":"480","title":"City of Fargo graphic.","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"366"}}]]Gilmour said having a private group building the ramp for a fixed cost would be more efficient because the city wouldn't have to go through the trouble of interviewing architects and bidding the project out. The incentives for developers include having access to nearby parking and a five-year Renaissance Zone tax exemption. Gilmour said he doesn't anticipate any payments in lieu of taxes, which are 10-year tax exemptions. Financial data submitted by the three firms show that 30 percent of the Roers proposal would be public funding, including possible state transportation fund for the skyway. Kilbourne's proposal includes 27 percent public funding, and Enclave's proposal varies from 22 to 35 percent, though Morris said Enclave's financing would be simpler than the city is contemplating. Timeline If the city picked Kilbourne, which has the most aggressive schedule, work on the parking ramp would start in May and be done by the end of the year. Allmendinger said the firm wanted to have replacement parking available on the north city-owned lot before starting work on the south city-owned lot. One of the mixed-use buildings would be done by July 2017 and the other April 2018. Roers plans to start construction on everything September 2016 and finish May 2018. Enclave plans to start October 2016 and be done May 2018. On the Web: Click here to see the proposals. Click here to see an animation of Kilbourne Group's proposal.FARGO – Contenders to provide yet another sizable jolt to the recent flurry of development downtown were unveiled Monday, plans that would all add new dimensions to the city's skyline. Three local developers are vying to win the city's go-ahead to allow them to develop two city-owned lots and possibly some adjacent private lots near the corner of Second Avenue North and Roberts Street just west of Broadway. Two of the projects would have price tags pushing near $50 million. Roers, Kilbourne Group and Enclave Development submitted to the city last week their proposals to build new parking ramps on the lots, as well as mixed-use buildings including both residential and retail space. [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"2282736","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"276","title":"","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"250"}}]]Planning Director Jim Gilmour said he expects city leaders will come to some agreement by the end of spring, with construction possibly starting as early as May for at least one of the proposals. The city's goal is not just to alleviate the parking shortage but also to make better economic use of scarce downtown land. All the lots targeted for development are now used only for parking. Mike Hahn, president of the Downtown Community Partnership, said having more people living and working there would be a very good thing for downtown. "If we start building that density back up within Roberts, it can become the next Broadway," he said, referring to downtown's busiest commercial corridor. The lots in question are also between downtown and North Dakota State University buildings to the west, presenting opportunities for further growth, he said. Three approaches The lots hadn't always been empty. Kilbourne Group said the city lot south of Second Avenue North between what's now King House Buffet and the Graver Inn Apartments had been home to the Kesler Block, a three-story building demolished in 1976. The city lot north of Second Avenue North had been home to the Carnegie library, demolished in 1970. Many downtowns of that era replaced historic buildings with surface parking lots in desperate, often failed, bids to compete with automobile-centric malls. Now, it's buildings and the bars and restaurants in them that bring people back. Each of the three competing firms bring slightly different emphasis to their proposals. Roers, a major regional construction and development firm, aims to maximize density on just the two city-owned lots and a third privately owned lot but in a way that wouldn't overwhelm the existing cityscape, Vice President Larry Nygard said. The firm's $48 million proposal calls for 478 parking stalls, 151 housing units and 32,640 square feet of commercial space. [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"2282754","attributes":{"alt":"Roers is proposing a $48 million project that packs in 478 parking stalls and 151 housing units.","class":"media-image","height":"709","title":"Roers is proposing a $48 million project that packs in 478 parking stalls and 151 housing units.","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"1200"}}]] The two buildings, each seven to eight stories, would be connected by a skyway for both pedestrians and automobiles, which allows the two buildings to share one automobile entrance. Another pedestrian-only skyway would connect the south building to the Black Building, which is part of downtown's existing skyway system. That would leave two privately owned lots to the north for future development. Kilbourne Group, which owns dozens of downtown properties, including the nine-story Black Building, and is buying up more, aims for "human scale" buildings that feel comfortable to pedestrians, General Manager Mike Allmendinger said. [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"2282750","attributes":{"alt":"Kilbourne Group is proposing a $27.8 million project with at least 381 parking stalls and 143 housing units.","class":"media-image","height":"659","title":"Kilbourne Group is proposing a $27.8 million project with at least 381 parking stalls and 143 housing units.","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"1200"}}]] The firm's proposal is the only one that includes walkability studies and a focus on not just enhancing business on Second Avenue North and Roberts Street but also Roberts Alley, the alley between Roberts and Broadway. A video the firm produced shows pedestrians perusing boutiques and enjoying drinks in small alley shops. Kilbourne's $27.8 million proposal calls for 381 parking stalls, 143 housing units and 16,200 square feet of commercial space in two five-story structures. The firm plans to work on a $10 million project on privately owned land to the north. Enclave Development, which develops apartments statewide, aims for truly affordable housing to combat gentrification, said Austin Morris, Enclave's owner and managing director. All three proposals include a mix of large and small apartments at different rental rates, but he said only Enclave's would have income-based units. As downtown booms, he fears the people that make it unique - bartenders, artists, students - are finding it harder to afford rent, he said. "The culture creators, as rents go up, are slowly pushed out of downtown," Morris said. [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"2282749","attributes":{"alt":"Enclave Development is proposing three options ranging from $30.1 million to $46.8 million with as many as 696 parking stalls.","class":"media-image","height":"741","title":"Enclave Development is proposing three options ranging from $30.1 million to $46.8 million with as many as 696 parking stalls.","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"1200"}}]] Enclave's proposal comes in three flavors, with the smallest option taking up just the two city-owned lots and the largest taking up the two lots plus three private lots to the north. That largest option is a $46.8 million project that calls for 696 parking stalls, 231 housing units and 20,400 square feet of commercial space in a seven-story and a six-story building. Public funds Gilmour characterized the project as a public-private partnership, which is a simple way of expressing the complex financial arrangement involved. In anticipation of the project, the city has issued $10 million in bonds, which it will use to buy the parking ramp from the developer it picks, Gilmour said. It'll repay the bond with income from renting out parking stalls and the additional property tax it collects from the developer's new housing and retail spaces, which would be worth more than the surface lots they'll replace.
Gilmour said having a private group building the ramp for a fixed cost would be more efficient because the city wouldn't have to go through the trouble of interviewing architects and bidding the project out. The incentives for developers include having access to nearby parking and a five-year Renaissance Zone tax exemption. Gilmour said he doesn't anticipate any payments in lieu of taxes, which are 10-year tax exemptions. Financial data submitted by the three firms show that 30 percent of the Roers proposal would be public funding, including possible state transportation fund for the skyway. Kilbourne's proposal includes 27 percent public funding, and Enclave's proposal varies from 22 to 35 percent, though Morris said Enclave's financing would be simpler than the city is contemplating. Timeline If the city picked Kilbourne, which has the most aggressive schedule, work on the parking ramp would start in May and be done by the end of the year. Allmendinger said the firm wanted to have replacement parking available on the north city-owned lot before starting work on the south city-owned lot. One of the mixed-use buildings would be done by July 2017 and the other April 2018. Roers plans to start construction on everything September 2016 and finish May 2018. Enclave plans to start October 2016 and be done May 2018. On the Web: Click here to see the proposals. Click here to see an animation of Kilbourne Group's proposal.FARGO – Contenders to provide yet another sizable jolt to the recent flurry of development downtown were unveiled Monday, plans that would all add new dimensions to the city's skyline.Three local developers are vying to win the city's go-ahead to allow them to develop two city-owned lots and possibly some adjacent private lots near the corner of Second Avenue North and Roberts Street just west of Broadway. Two of the projects would have price tags pushing near $50 million.Roers, Kilbourne Group and Enclave Development submitted to the city last week their proposals to build new parking ramps on the lots, as well as mixed-use buildings including both residential and retail space.

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2282736+0126-Parking-ramps.jpg
The city-owned parking lot behind the Black Building on Monday, Jan. 25, 2016, left, and the Kilbourne Group proposal, top right, the Enclave Development proposal, middle, and the Roers proposal, bottom. Photo by Michael Vosburg / The Forum

Planning Director Jim Gilmour said he expects city leaders will come to some agreement by the end of spring, with construction possibly starting as early as May for at least one of the proposals.The city's goal is not just to alleviate the parking shortage but also to make better economic use of scarce downtown land. All the lots targeted for development are now used only for parking.Mike Hahn, president of the Downtown Community Partnership, said having more people living and working there would be a very good thing for downtown."If we start building that density back up within Roberts, it can become the next Broadway," he said, referring to downtown's busiest commercial corridor.The lots in question are also between downtown and North Dakota State University buildings to the west, presenting opportunities for further growth, he said.Three approachesThe lots hadn't always been empty.Kilbourne Group said the city lot south of Second Avenue North between what's now King House Buffet and the Graver Inn Apartments had been home to the Kesler Block, a three-story building demolished in 1976. The city lot north of Second Avenue North had been home to the Carnegie library, demolished in 1970.Many downtowns of that era replaced historic buildings with surface parking lots in desperate, often failed, bids to compete with automobile-centric malls. Now, it's buildings and the bars and restaurants in them that bring people back.Each of the three competing firms bring slightly different emphasis to their proposals.Roers, a major regional construction and development firm, aims to maximize density on just the two city-owned lots and a third privately owned lot but in a way that wouldn't overwhelm the existing cityscape, Vice President Larry Nygard said. The firm's $48 million proposal calls for 478 parking stalls, 151 housing units and 32,640 square feet of commercial space.[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"2282754","attributes":{"alt":"Roers is proposing a $48 million project that packs in 478 parking stalls and 151 housing units.","class":"media-image","height":"709","title":"Roers is proposing a $48 million project that packs in 478 parking stalls and 151 housing units.","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"1200"}}]]The two buildings, each seven to eight stories, would be connected by a skyway for both pedestrians and automobiles, which allows the two buildings to share one automobile entrance. Another pedestrian-only skyway would connect the south building to the Black Building, which is part of downtown's existing skyway system.That would leave two privately owned lots to the north for future development.Kilbourne Group, which owns dozens of downtown properties, including the nine-story Black Building, and is buying up more, aims for "human scale" buildings that feel comfortable to pedestrians, General Manager Mike Allmendinger said.[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"2282750","attributes":{"alt":"Kilbourne Group is proposing a $27.8 million project with at least 381 parking stalls and 143 housing units.","class":"media-image","height":"659","title":"Kilbourne Group is proposing a $27.8 million project with at least 381 parking stalls and 143 housing units.","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"1200"}}]]The firm's proposal is the only one that includes walkability studies and a focus on not just enhancing business on Second Avenue North and Roberts Street but also Roberts Alley, the alley between Roberts and Broadway. A video the firm produced shows pedestrians perusing boutiques and enjoying drinks in small alley shops.Kilbourne's $27.8 million proposal calls for 381 parking stalls, 143 housing units and 16,200 square feet of commercial space in two five-story structures. The firm plans to work on a $10 million project on privately owned land to the north.Enclave Development, which develops apartments statewide, aims for truly affordable housing to combat gentrification, said Austin Morris, Enclave's owner and managing director. All three proposals include a mix of large and small apartments at different rental rates, but he said only Enclave's would have income-based units. As downtown booms, he fears the people that make it unique - bartenders, artists, students - are finding it harder to afford rent, he said."The culture creators, as rents go up, are slowly pushed out of downtown," Morris said.[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"2282749","attributes":{"alt":"Enclave Development is proposing three options ranging from $30.1 million to $46.8 million with as many as 696 parking stalls.","class":"media-image","height":"741","title":"Enclave Development is proposing three options ranging from $30.1 million to $46.8 million with as many as 696 parking stalls.","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"1200"}}]]Enclave's proposal comes in three flavors, with the smallest option taking up just the two city-owned lots and the largest taking up the two lots plus three private lots to the north. That largest option is a $46.8 million project that calls for 696 parking stalls, 231 housing units and 20,400 square feet of commercial space in a seven-story and a six-story building.Public fundsGilmour characterized the project as a public-private partnership, which is a simple way of expressing the complex financial arrangement involved.In anticipation of the project, the city has issued $10 million in bonds, which it will use to buy the parking ramp from the developer it picks, Gilmour said. It'll repay the bond with income from renting out parking stalls and the additional property tax it collects from the developer's new housing and retail spaces, which would be worth more than the surface lots they'll replace.[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"2282755","attributes":{"alt":"City of Fargo graphic.","class":"media-image","height":"480","title":"City of Fargo graphic.","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"366"}}]]Gilmour said having a private group building the ramp for a fixed cost would be more efficient because the city wouldn't have to go through the trouble of interviewing architects and bidding the project out.The incentives for developers include having access to nearby parking and a five-year Renaissance Zone tax exemption. Gilmour said he doesn't anticipate any payments in lieu of taxes, which are 10-year tax exemptions.Financial data submitted by the three firms show that 30 percent of the Roers proposal would be public funding, including possible state transportation fund for the skyway. Kilbourne's proposal includes 27 percent public funding, and Enclave's proposal varies from 22 to 35 percent, though Morris said Enclave's financing would be simpler than the city is contemplating.TimelineIf the city picked Kilbourne, which has the most aggressive schedule, work on the parking ramp would start in May and be done by the end of the year. Allmendinger said the firm wanted to have replacement parking available on the north city-owned lot before starting work on the south city-owned lot. One of the mixed-use buildings would be done by July 2017 and the other April 2018.Roers plans to start construction on everything September 2016 and finish May 2018. Enclave plans to start October 2016 and be done May 2018.On the Web: Click here to see the proposals. Click here to see an animation of Kilbourne Group's proposal.FARGO – Contenders to provide yet another sizable jolt to the recent flurry of development downtown were unveiled Monday, plans that would all add new dimensions to the city's skyline.Three local developers are vying to win the city's go-ahead to allow them to develop two city-owned lots and possibly some adjacent private lots near the corner of Second Avenue North and Roberts Street just west of Broadway. Two of the projects would have price tags pushing near $50 million.Roers, Kilbourne Group and Enclave Development submitted to the city last week their proposals to build new parking ramps on the lots, as well as mixed-use buildings including both residential and retail space.[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"2282736","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"276","title":"","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"250"}}]]Planning Director Jim Gilmour said he expects city leaders will come to some agreement by the end of spring, with construction possibly starting as early as May for at least one of the proposals.The city's goal is not just to alleviate the parking shortage but also to make better economic use of scarce downtown land. All the lots targeted for development are now used only for parking.Mike Hahn, president of the Downtown Community Partnership, said having more people living and working there would be a very good thing for downtown."If we start building that density back up within Roberts, it can become the next Broadway," he said, referring to downtown's busiest commercial corridor.The lots in question are also between downtown and North Dakota State University buildings to the west, presenting opportunities for further growth, he said.Three approachesThe lots hadn't always been empty.Kilbourne Group said the city lot south of Second Avenue North between what's now King House Buffet and the Graver Inn Apartments had been home to the Kesler Block, a three-story building demolished in 1976. The city lot north of Second Avenue North had been home to the Carnegie library, demolished in 1970.Many downtowns of that era replaced historic buildings with surface parking lots in desperate, often failed, bids to compete with automobile-centric malls. Now, it's buildings and the bars and restaurants in them that bring people back.Each of the three competing firms bring slightly different emphasis to their proposals.Roers, a major regional construction and development firm, aims to maximize density on just the two city-owned lots and a third privately owned lot but in a way that wouldn't overwhelm the existing cityscape, Vice President Larry Nygard said. The firm's $48 million proposal calls for 478 parking stalls, 151 housing units and 32,640 square feet of commercial space.

2282754+Fargo-Roers.jpg
The city-owned parking lot behind the Black Building on Monday, Jan. 25, 2016, left, and the Kilbourne Group proposal, top right, the Enclave Development proposal, middle, and the Roers proposal, bottom. Photo by Michael Vosburg / The Forum

The two buildings, each seven to eight stories, would be connected by a skyway for both pedestrians and automobiles, which allows the two buildings to share one automobile entrance. Another pedestrian-only skyway would connect the south building to the Black Building, which is part of downtown's existing skyway system.That would leave two privately owned lots to the north for future development.Kilbourne Group, which owns dozens of downtown properties, including the nine-story Black Building, and is buying up more, aims for "human scale" buildings that feel comfortable to pedestrians, General Manager Mike Allmendinger said.[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"2282750","attributes":{"alt":"Kilbourne Group is proposing a $27.8 million project with at least 381 parking stalls and 143 housing units.","class":"media-image","height":"659","title":"Kilbourne Group is proposing a $27.8 million project with at least 381 parking stalls and 143 housing units.","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"1200"}}]]The firm's proposal is the only one that includes walkability studies and a focus on not just enhancing business on Second Avenue North and Roberts Street but also Roberts Alley, the alley between Roberts and Broadway. A video the firm produced shows pedestrians perusing boutiques and enjoying drinks in small alley shops.Kilbourne's $27.8 million proposal calls for 381 parking stalls, 143 housing units and 16,200 square feet of commercial space in two five-story structures. The firm plans to work on a $10 million project on privately owned land to the north.Enclave Development, which develops apartments statewide, aims for truly affordable housing to combat gentrification, said Austin Morris, Enclave's owner and managing director. All three proposals include a mix of large and small apartments at different rental rates, but he said only Enclave's would have income-based units. As downtown booms, he fears the people that make it unique - bartenders, artists, students - are finding it harder to afford rent, he said."The culture creators, as rents go up, are slowly pushed out of downtown," Morris said.[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"2282749","attributes":{"alt":"Enclave Development is proposing three options ranging from $30.1 million to $46.8 million with as many as 696 parking stalls.","class":"media-image","height":"741","title":"Enclave Development is proposing three options ranging from $30.1 million to $46.8 million with as many as 696 parking stalls.","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"1200"}}]]Enclave's proposal comes in three flavors, with the smallest option taking up just the two city-owned lots and the largest taking up the two lots plus three private lots to the north. That largest option is a $46.8 million project that calls for 696 parking stalls, 231 housing units and 20,400 square feet of commercial space in a seven-story and a six-story building.Public fundsGilmour characterized the project as a public-private partnership, which is a simple way of expressing the complex financial arrangement involved.In anticipation of the project, the city has issued $10 million in bonds, which it will use to buy the parking ramp from the developer it picks, Gilmour said. It'll repay the bond with income from renting out parking stalls and the additional property tax it collects from the developer's new housing and retail spaces, which would be worth more than the surface lots they'll replace.[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"2282755","attributes":{"alt":"City of Fargo graphic.","class":"media-image","height":"480","title":"City of Fargo graphic.","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"366"}}]]Gilmour said having a private group building the ramp for a fixed cost would be more efficient because the city wouldn't have to go through the trouble of interviewing architects and bidding the project out.The incentives for developers include having access to nearby parking and a five-year Renaissance Zone tax exemption. Gilmour said he doesn't anticipate any payments in lieu of taxes, which are 10-year tax exemptions.Financial data submitted by the three firms show that 30 percent of the Roers proposal would be public funding, including possible state transportation fund for the skyway. Kilbourne's proposal includes 27 percent public funding, and Enclave's proposal varies from 22 to 35 percent, though Morris said Enclave's financing would be simpler than the city is contemplating.TimelineIf the city picked Kilbourne, which has the most aggressive schedule, work on the parking ramp would start in May and be done by the end of the year. Allmendinger said the firm wanted to have replacement parking available on the north city-owned lot before starting work on the south city-owned lot. One of the mixed-use buildings would be done by July 2017 and the other April 2018.Roers plans to start construction on everything September 2016 and finish May 2018. Enclave plans to start October 2016 and be done May 2018.On the Web: Click here to see the proposals. Click here to see an animation of Kilbourne Group's proposal.FARGO – Contenders to provide yet another sizable jolt to the recent flurry of development downtown were unveiled Monday, plans that would all add new dimensions to the city's skyline.Three local developers are vying to win the city's go-ahead to allow them to develop two city-owned lots and possibly some adjacent private lots near the corner of Second Avenue North and Roberts Street just west of Broadway. Two of the projects would have price tags pushing near $50 million.Roers, Kilbourne Group and Enclave Development submitted to the city last week their proposals to build new parking ramps on the lots, as well as mixed-use buildings including both residential and retail space.[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"2282736","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"276","title":"","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"250"}}]]Planning Director Jim Gilmour said he expects city leaders will come to some agreement by the end of spring, with construction possibly starting as early as May for at least one of the proposals.The city's goal is not just to alleviate the parking shortage but also to make better economic use of scarce downtown land. All the lots targeted for development are now used only for parking.Mike Hahn, president of the Downtown Community Partnership, said having more people living and working there would be a very good thing for downtown."If we start building that density back up within Roberts, it can become the next Broadway," he said, referring to downtown's busiest commercial corridor.The lots in question are also between downtown and North Dakota State University buildings to the west, presenting opportunities for further growth, he said.Three approachesThe lots hadn't always been empty.Kilbourne Group said the city lot south of Second Avenue North between what's now King House Buffet and the Graver Inn Apartments had been home to the Kesler Block, a three-story building demolished in 1976. The city lot north of Second Avenue North had been home to the Carnegie library, demolished in 1970.Many downtowns of that era replaced historic buildings with surface parking lots in desperate, often failed, bids to compete with automobile-centric malls. Now, it's buildings and the bars and restaurants in them that bring people back.Each of the three competing firms bring slightly different emphasis to their proposals.Roers, a major regional construction and development firm, aims to maximize density on just the two city-owned lots and a third privately owned lot but in a way that wouldn't overwhelm the existing cityscape, Vice President Larry Nygard said. The firm's $48 million proposal calls for 478 parking stalls, 151 housing units and 32,640 square feet of commercial space.[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"2282754","attributes":{"alt":"Roers is proposing a $48 million project that packs in 478 parking stalls and 151 housing units.","class":"media-image","height":"709","title":"Roers is proposing a $48 million project that packs in 478 parking stalls and 151 housing units.","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"1200"}}]]The two buildings, each seven to eight stories, would be connected by a skyway for both pedestrians and automobiles, which allows the two buildings to share one automobile entrance. Another pedestrian-only skyway would connect the south building to the Black Building, which is part of downtown's existing skyway system.That would leave two privately owned lots to the north for future development.Kilbourne Group, which owns dozens of downtown properties, including the nine-story Black Building, and is buying up more, aims for "human scale" buildings that feel comfortable to pedestrians, General Manager Mike Allmendinger said.

2282750+Fargo-Kilbourne-Group.jpg
The city-owned parking lot behind the Black Building on Monday, Jan. 25, 2016, left, and the Kilbourne Group proposal, top right, the Enclave Development proposal, middle, and the Roers proposal, bottom. Photo by Michael Vosburg / The Forum

The firm's proposal is the only one that includes walkability studies and a focus on not just enhancing business on Second Avenue North and Roberts Street but also Roberts Alley, the alley between Roberts and Broadway. A video the firm produced shows pedestrians perusing boutiques and enjoying drinks in small alley shops.Kilbourne's $27.8 million proposal calls for 381 parking stalls, 143 housing units and 16,200 square feet of commercial space in two five-story structures. The firm plans to work on a $10 million project on privately owned land to the north.Enclave Development, which develops apartments statewide, aims for truly affordable housing to combat gentrification, said Austin Morris, Enclave's owner and managing director. All three proposals include a mix of large and small apartments at different rental rates, but he said only Enclave's would have income-based units. As downtown booms, he fears the people that make it unique - bartenders, artists, students - are finding it harder to afford rent, he said."The culture creators, as rents go up, are slowly pushed out of downtown," Morris said.[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"2282749","attributes":{"alt":"Enclave Development is proposing three options ranging from $30.1 million to $46.8 million with as many as 696 parking stalls.","class":"media-image","height":"741","title":"Enclave Development is proposing three options ranging from $30.1 million to $46.8 million with as many as 696 parking stalls.","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"1200"}}]]Enclave's proposal comes in three flavors, with the smallest option taking up just the two city-owned lots and the largest taking up the two lots plus three private lots to the north. That largest option is a $46.8 million project that calls for 696 parking stalls, 231 housing units and 20,400 square feet of commercial space in a seven-story and a six-story building.Public fundsGilmour characterized the project as a public-private partnership, which is a simple way of expressing the complex financial arrangement involved.In anticipation of the project, the city has issued $10 million in bonds, which it will use to buy the parking ramp from the developer it picks, Gilmour said. It'll repay the bond with income from renting out parking stalls and the additional property tax it collects from the developer's new housing and retail spaces, which would be worth more than the surface lots they'll replace.[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"2282755","attributes":{"alt":"City of Fargo graphic.","class":"media-image","height":"480","title":"City of Fargo graphic.","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"366"}}]]Gilmour said having a private group building the ramp for a fixed cost would be more efficient because the city wouldn't have to go through the trouble of interviewing architects and bidding the project out.The incentives for developers include having access to nearby parking and a five-year Renaissance Zone tax exemption. Gilmour said he doesn't anticipate any payments in lieu of taxes, which are 10-year tax exemptions.Financial data submitted by the three firms show that 30 percent of the Roers proposal would be public funding, including possible state transportation fund for the skyway. Kilbourne's proposal includes 27 percent public funding, and Enclave's proposal varies from 22 to 35 percent, though Morris said Enclave's financing would be simpler than the city is contemplating.TimelineIf the city picked Kilbourne, which has the most aggressive schedule, work on the parking ramp would start in May and be done by the end of the year. Allmendinger said the firm wanted to have replacement parking available on the north city-owned lot before starting work on the south city-owned lot. One of the mixed-use buildings would be done by July 2017 and the other April 2018.Roers plans to start construction on everything September 2016 and finish May 2018. Enclave plans to start October 2016 and be done May 2018.On the Web: Click here to see the proposals. Click here to see an animation of Kilbourne Group's proposal.FARGO – Contenders to provide yet another sizable jolt to the recent flurry of development downtown were unveiled Monday, plans that would all add new dimensions to the city's skyline.Three local developers are vying to win the city's go-ahead to allow them to develop two city-owned lots and possibly some adjacent private lots near the corner of Second Avenue North and Roberts Street just west of Broadway. Two of the projects would have price tags pushing near $50 million.Roers, Kilbourne Group and Enclave Development submitted to the city last week their proposals to build new parking ramps on the lots, as well as mixed-use buildings including both residential and retail space.[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"2282736","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"276","title":"","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"250"}}]]Planning Director Jim Gilmour said he expects city leaders will come to some agreement by the end of spring, with construction possibly starting as early as May for at least one of the proposals.The city's goal is not just to alleviate the parking shortage but also to make better economic use of scarce downtown land. All the lots targeted for development are now used only for parking.Mike Hahn, president of the Downtown Community Partnership, said having more people living and working there would be a very good thing for downtown."If we start building that density back up within Roberts, it can become the next Broadway," he said, referring to downtown's busiest commercial corridor.The lots in question are also between downtown and North Dakota State University buildings to the west, presenting opportunities for further growth, he said.Three approachesThe lots hadn't always been empty.Kilbourne Group said the city lot south of Second Avenue North between what's now King House Buffet and the Graver Inn Apartments had been home to the Kesler Block, a three-story building demolished in 1976. The city lot north of Second Avenue North had been home to the Carnegie library, demolished in 1970.Many downtowns of that era replaced historic buildings with surface parking lots in desperate, often failed, bids to compete with automobile-centric malls. Now, it's buildings and the bars and restaurants in them that bring people back.Each of the three competing firms bring slightly different emphasis to their proposals.Roers, a major regional construction and development firm, aims to maximize density on just the two city-owned lots and a third privately owned lot but in a way that wouldn't overwhelm the existing cityscape, Vice President Larry Nygard said. The firm's $48 million proposal calls for 478 parking stalls, 151 housing units and 32,640 square feet of commercial space.[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"2282754","attributes":{"alt":"Roers is proposing a $48 million project that packs in 478 parking stalls and 151 housing units.","class":"media-image","height":"709","title":"Roers is proposing a $48 million project that packs in 478 parking stalls and 151 housing units.","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"1200"}}]]The two buildings, each seven to eight stories, would be connected by a skyway for both pedestrians and automobiles, which allows the two buildings to share one automobile entrance. Another pedestrian-only skyway would connect the south building to the Black Building, which is part of downtown's existing skyway system.That would leave two privately owned lots to the north for future development.Kilbourne Group, which owns dozens of downtown properties, including the nine-story Black Building, and is buying up more, aims for "human scale" buildings that feel comfortable to pedestrians, General Manager Mike Allmendinger said.[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"2282750","attributes":{"alt":"Kilbourne Group is proposing a $27.8 million project with at least 381 parking stalls and 143 housing units.","class":"media-image","height":"659","title":"Kilbourne Group is proposing a $27.8 million project with at least 381 parking stalls and 143 housing units.","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"1200"}}]]The firm's proposal is the only one that includes walkability studies and a focus on not just enhancing business on Second Avenue North and Roberts Street but also Roberts Alley, the alley between Roberts and Broadway. A video the firm produced shows pedestrians perusing boutiques and enjoying drinks in small alley shops.Kilbourne's $27.8 million proposal calls for 381 parking stalls, 143 housing units and 16,200 square feet of commercial space in two five-story structures. The firm plans to work on a $10 million project on privately owned land to the north.Enclave Development, which develops apartments statewide, aims for truly affordable housing to combat gentrification, said Austin Morris, Enclave's owner and managing director. All three proposals include a mix of large and small apartments at different rental rates, but he said only Enclave's would have income-based units. As downtown booms, he fears the people that make it unique - bartenders, artists, students - are finding it harder to afford rent, he said."The culture creators, as rents go up, are slowly pushed out of downtown," Morris said.

2282749+Fargo-ECTW-Alliance-copy.jpg
The city-owned parking lot behind the Black Building on Monday, Jan. 25, 2016, left, and the Kilbourne Group proposal, top right, the Enclave Development proposal, middle, and the Roers proposal, bottom. Photo by Michael Vosburg / The Forum

Enclave's proposal comes in three flavors, with the smallest option taking up just the two city-owned lots and the largest taking up the two lots plus three private lots to the north. That largest option is a $46.8 million project that calls for 696 parking stalls, 231 housing units and 20,400 square feet of commercial space in a seven-story and a six-story building.Public fundsGilmour characterized the project as a public-private partnership, which is a simple way of expressing the complex financial arrangement involved.In anticipation of the project, the city has issued $10 million in bonds, which it will use to buy the parking ramp from the developer it picks, Gilmour said. It'll repay the bond with income from renting out parking stalls and the additional property tax it collects from the developer's new housing and retail spaces, which would be worth more than the surface lots they'll replace.[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"2282755","attributes":{"alt":"City of Fargo graphic.","class":"media-image","height":"480","title":"City of Fargo graphic.","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"366"}}]]Gilmour said having a private group building the ramp for a fixed cost would be more efficient because the city wouldn't have to go through the trouble of interviewing architects and bidding the project out.The incentives for developers include having access to nearby parking and a five-year Renaissance Zone tax exemption. Gilmour said he doesn't anticipate any payments in lieu of taxes, which are 10-year tax exemptions.Financial data submitted by the three firms show that 30 percent of the Roers proposal would be public funding, including possible state transportation fund for the skyway. Kilbourne's proposal includes 27 percent public funding, and Enclave's proposal varies from 22 to 35 percent, though Morris said Enclave's financing would be simpler than the city is contemplating.TimelineIf the city picked Kilbourne, which has the most aggressive schedule, work on the parking ramp would start in May and be done by the end of the year. Allmendinger said the firm wanted to have replacement parking available on the north city-owned lot before starting work on the south city-owned lot. One of the mixed-use buildings would be done by July 2017 and the other April 2018.Roers plans to start construction on everything September 2016 and finish May 2018. Enclave plans to start October 2016 and be done May 2018.On the Web: Click here to see the proposals. Click here to see an animation of Kilbourne Group's proposal.FARGO – Contenders to provide yet another sizable jolt to the recent flurry of development downtown were unveiled Monday, plans that would all add new dimensions to the city's skyline.Three local developers are vying to win the city's go-ahead to allow them to develop two city-owned lots and possibly some adjacent private lots near the corner of Second Avenue North and Roberts Street just west of Broadway. Two of the projects would have price tags pushing near $50 million.Roers, Kilbourne Group and Enclave Development submitted to the city last week their proposals to build new parking ramps on the lots, as well as mixed-use buildings including both residential and retail space.[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"2282736","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image","height":"276","title":"","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"250"}}]]Planning Director Jim Gilmour said he expects city leaders will come to some agreement by the end of spring, with construction possibly starting as early as May for at least one of the proposals.The city's goal is not just to alleviate the parking shortage but also to make better economic use of scarce downtown land. All the lots targeted for development are now used only for parking.Mike Hahn, president of the Downtown Community Partnership, said having more people living and working there would be a very good thing for downtown."If we start building that density back up within Roberts, it can become the next Broadway," he said, referring to downtown's busiest commercial corridor.The lots in question are also between downtown and North Dakota State University buildings to the west, presenting opportunities for further growth, he said.Three approachesThe lots hadn't always been empty.Kilbourne Group said the city lot south of Second Avenue North between what's now King House Buffet and the Graver Inn Apartments had been home to the Kesler Block, a three-story building demolished in 1976. The city lot north of Second Avenue North had been home to the Carnegie library, demolished in 1970.Many downtowns of that era replaced historic buildings with surface parking lots in desperate, often failed, bids to compete with automobile-centric malls. Now, it's buildings and the bars and restaurants in them that bring people back.Each of the three competing firms bring slightly different emphasis to their proposals.Roers, a major regional construction and development firm, aims to maximize density on just the two city-owned lots and a third privately owned lot but in a way that wouldn't overwhelm the existing cityscape, Vice President Larry Nygard said. The firm's $48 million proposal calls for 478 parking stalls, 151 housing units and 32,640 square feet of commercial space.[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"2282754","attributes":{"alt":"Roers is proposing a $48 million project that packs in 478 parking stalls and 151 housing units.","class":"media-image","height":"709","title":"Roers is proposing a $48 million project that packs in 478 parking stalls and 151 housing units.","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"1200"}}]]The two buildings, each seven to eight stories, would be connected by a skyway for both pedestrians and automobiles, which allows the two buildings to share one automobile entrance. Another pedestrian-only skyway would connect the south building to the Black Building, which is part of downtown's existing skyway system.That would leave two privately owned lots to the north for future development.Kilbourne Group, which owns dozens of downtown properties, including the nine-story Black Building, and is buying up more, aims for "human scale" buildings that feel comfortable to pedestrians, General Manager Mike Allmendinger said.[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"2282750","attributes":{"alt":"Kilbourne Group is proposing a $27.8 million project with at least 381 parking stalls and 143 housing units.","class":"media-image","height":"659","title":"Kilbourne Group is proposing a $27.8 million project with at least 381 parking stalls and 143 housing units.","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"1200"}}]]The firm's proposal is the only one that includes walkability studies and a focus on not just enhancing business on Second Avenue North and Roberts Street but also Roberts Alley, the alley between Roberts and Broadway. A video the firm produced shows pedestrians perusing boutiques and enjoying drinks in small alley shops.Kilbourne's $27.8 million proposal calls for 381 parking stalls, 143 housing units and 16,200 square feet of commercial space in two five-story structures. The firm plans to work on a $10 million project on privately owned land to the north.Enclave Development, which develops apartments statewide, aims for truly affordable housing to combat gentrification, said Austin Morris, Enclave's owner and managing director. All three proposals include a mix of large and small apartments at different rental rates, but he said only Enclave's would have income-based units. As downtown booms, he fears the people that make it unique - bartenders, artists, students - are finding it harder to afford rent, he said."The culture creators, as rents go up, are slowly pushed out of downtown," Morris said.[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"2282749","attributes":{"alt":"Enclave Development is proposing three options ranging from $30.1 million to $46.8 million with as many as 696 parking stalls.","class":"media-image","height":"741","title":"Enclave Development is proposing three options ranging from $30.1 million to $46.8 million with as many as 696 parking stalls.","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"1200"}}]]Enclave's proposal comes in three flavors, with the smallest option taking up just the two city-owned lots and the largest taking up the two lots plus three private lots to the north. That largest option is a $46.8 million project that calls for 696 parking stalls, 231 housing units and 20,400 square feet of commercial space in a seven-story and a six-story building.Public fundsGilmour characterized the project as a public-private partnership, which is a simple way of expressing the complex financial arrangement involved.In anticipation of the project, the city has issued $10 million in bonds, which it will use to buy the parking ramp from the developer it picks, Gilmour said. It'll repay the bond with income from renting out parking stalls and the additional property tax it collects from the developer's new housing and retail spaces, which would be worth more than the surface lots they'll replace.
Gilmour said having a private group building the ramp for a fixed cost would be more efficient because the city wouldn't have to go through the trouble of interviewing architects and bidding the project out.The incentives for developers include having access to nearby parking and a five-year Renaissance Zone tax exemption. Gilmour said he doesn't anticipate any payments in lieu of taxes, which are 10-year tax exemptions.Financial data submitted by the three firms show that 30 percent of the Roers proposal would be public funding, including possible state transportation fund for the skyway. Kilbourne's proposal includes 27 percent public funding, and Enclave's proposal varies from 22 to 35 percent, though Morris said Enclave's financing would be simpler than the city is contemplating.TimelineIf the city picked Kilbourne, which has the most aggressive schedule, work on the parking ramp would start in May and be done by the end of the year. Allmendinger said the firm wanted to have replacement parking available on the north city-owned lot before starting work on the south city-owned lot. One of the mixed-use buildings would be done by July 2017 and the other April 2018.Roers plans to start construction on everything September 2016 and finish May 2018. Enclave plans to start October 2016 and be done May 2018.On the Web: Click here to see the proposals. Click here to see an animation of Kilbourne Group's proposal.

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