Menards may replace soccer complex
Moorhead plans to sell its soccer fields to make room for a Menards hardware store. The Wisconsin-based company has offered to pay about $6.3 million for the Moorview Soccer Complex and some adjacent land. It plans to start construction there nex...
Moorhead plans to sell its soccer fields to make room for a Menards hardware store.
The Wisconsin-based company has offered to pay about $6.3 million for the Moorview Soccer Complex and some adjacent land. It plans to start construction there next year.
The city stands to make about $5.1 million on the deal, some of which will pay for a new soccer complex carrying the Menards moniker.
Moorhead City Council members will consider the sale at a public hearing 7:30 p.m. Monday at City Hall.
Bill Beutler, president of the Moorhead Youth Soccer Club, said moving the complex won't be easy, but it will be nice to have a permanent home. The city bought the soccer fields in a tax forfeiture sale in 1991 with plans of eventually selling the land to a developer.
"Realistically, we knew this would happen someday," he said. "Moorview's a nice place, but we have to realize it's worth more than you can keep soccer fields on."
City officials Friday hailed the project as a sign Moorhead's newfound residential growth is drawing renewed commercial interest.
"It's a real confirmation we're on the right track," said Lauri Winterfeldt-Shanks, a councilwoman who sits on the city's economic development board. "Experts told us retail follows rooftops. Clearly, that is now happening."
Jack Chivers, a Detroit Lakes, Minn., real estate agent brokering the deal for Menards, said the retailer is confident that Moorhead -rapidly expanding on its south side - will continue to grow.
"It's a great location. Moorhead's on the move," he said.
Menards officials directed questions to Vice President Marv Prochaska, who was unavailable for comment Friday.
The 60 acres the city plans to sell is just west of the 1,000-unit housing complex R.D. Offutt Co. is building south of Horizon Middle School.
RDO plans to build a home improvement store, likely The Home Depot, on the south edge of that development.
"It's going to create a lot of synergy in that part of town," Chivers said.
Having a Menards near the store RDO is planning should help draw more customers, said Scott Neal of RDO.
"I think the trend is toward convenience and providing enough mass of retail that it attracts buyers," he said.
RDO has not publicly said what store it plans to build, but The Home Depot has long-standing ties with the Atlanta architectural firm jointly working on the project.
The deal up for approval Monday requires Menards build a store of at least 150,000 square feet within two years. If it does not, the city would refund all but $1 million Menards paid for the land.
That same deal also gives Menards naming rights for a new soccer complex, subject to city approval.
If the land sale is approved, city officials will begin eyeing spots for interim fields and start planning the new complex, said City Manager Bruce Messelt.
Menards plans to begin construction of the store next summer, after the soccer club's early June tournament.
After that, Moorhead soccer leagues may find temporary homes near parks or schools in Moorhead, or even on existing soccer fields in Fargo or West Fargo, Messelt said.
Though the city will take the recent metrowide park facilities study into consideration, the 100 acres of land bought last month for a park south of Interstate 94 is a prime potential spot for a new soccer complex, Messelt said.
That land is between 34th and 40th avenues south, east of 20th Street. Beutler said it would make an ideal spot for the new fields, as it is still close to the high school.
The complex could cost upwards of $3 million, depending on its size, Messelt said.
Though it will be up to the council, Messelt said he is leaning toward recommending any excess money from the sale be spent on other park improvements across the city.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Roepke at (701) 241-5535