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New developer interested in building apartments on polluted Moorhead site

MOORHEAD-A contaminated First Avenue North property on the east edge of downtown here has the attention of a real estate developer who wants to build an $11 million apartment complex on the land.

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MOORHEAD-A contaminated First Avenue North property on the east edge of downtown here has the attention of a real estate developer who wants to build an $11 million apartment complex on the land.

The developer, Mark Buchholz of Fargo-based Dale Buchholz Construction, wants the city's permission to access the property on the south side of First Avenue North between 15th and 18th avenues in order to collect information that would be needed to apply for an environmental cleanup grant.

Buchholz wants to build two or three 42-unit apartment buildings and possibly a mixed-use building with 20 residential units and 10,000 square feet of commercial space.

One hurdle for the developer is that the land, the former the of Aggregate Industries, is polluted and is expected to cost $1.7 million to clean up.

Buchholz will need a special grant and tax incentives to make the project work, said City Manager Michael Redlinger, who noted that competition is stiff for grants.

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Redlinger is pleased to see renewed interest in the site. Another developer, Paul Hyde, announced plans three years ago similar to those of Buchholz.

Hyde failed because he did not get the grant money he needed for the cleanup, Redlinger said.

Development of the site would be a boon to the city because it would likely be a "catalyst" for other development along First Avenue North, Redlinger said.

"We've done a lot of work to date and it would take some additional work to get the site developable, but we're just appreciative of the interest," Redlinger said. "We're excited."

Related Topics: MOORHEAD
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