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Fargo City Commission must choose developer for public health site; Hawley firm seeks help moving to city

ARGO — Efforts to net Fargo a twofer deal on redevelopment of the former public health building in the citys downtown have hit a wall which means the City Commission must decide who gets to develop the site. In other news the city is in line to be the new home of a Hawley Minn. company that wants to relocate its manufacturing operations to the former PRx Performance building on the north side. PharmaMed Automation Inc. of Hawley wants to move into 2402 8th Ave. N. but hopes to tap interest buydown funding from the state. It needs a recommendation from the city to do so. On the downtown dilemma two developers are vying to buy the public health building and parking lot at 401 3rd Ave. N.

However talks to make both of the projects happen — centered on finding an alternative parking option for American Federal Bank — failed to gain any traction according to Jim Gilmour the citys director of strategic planning and research. Gilmour told the citys Economic Development Incentive Committee on Tuesday April 26 that he will ask the City Commission to decide between the competing plans presented earlier this year by Fargos MBA Mutchler Bartram Architects Development and a partnership of Sioux Falls S.D. firms Green Acre Development and Lloyd Companies along with ESG Architecture and Design of Minneapolis.

We met with the bank and we just werent able to come up with a solution Gilmour said. American Federal didnt feel like the option presented was enough parking and they wanted to stay with surface parking. Gilmour said City Commissioners have seen the presentations and they will need to pick one or the other of the projects. The Green AcreLloydESG plan includes a hotel and to make it happen they proposed a land swap with the bank. In their multistep plan the partners would buy the TruGreen property and American Federal Banks surface parking lot at Fourth Avenue North and Fourth Street as well as the public health building.

They would raze the public health building turning it into surface parking for use by American Federal. Then at Fourth Avenue and Fourth Street they would build a $38.5 million AC by Marriott upscale hotel with 115 rooms 108 market rate apartments in a second building and 167 covered parking spots shared between them. That project would be completed by 2024. Heres a view of what the housing project proposed by MBA Development of Fargo might look like at 401 Third Avenue North. The building would feature enclosed parking on the first floor.

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