Council mulls new Renaissance ZoneSome Grand Forks City Council members are leaning toward creating a new Renaissance Zone in the area around the Grand Cities Mall.
By: Tu-Uyen Tran, Grand Forks Herald
Some Grand Forks City Council members are leaning toward creating a new Renaissance Zone in the area around the Grand Cities Mall.
Under state law passed in 2009, the city now can add three blocks to the zone that’s not attached to the existing zone downtown. This means any area of the city could benefit from the property tax and income tax abatements available in such a zone.
City staff had studied several options including Columbia Mall, a section of Gateway Drive, the old Leevers supermarket, an area on North Fifth Street and the North 42nd Street complex that includes Campus Liquors.
Several of these have portions that are vacant.
Members of the council’s finance committee discussed the options and, Council President Hal Gershman in particular, found the Grand Cities Mall the most promising. It would include empty properties such as the old Hollywood Video and the old Ponderosa Steakhouse. The Town and Country strip mall across the street has vacancies and nearby is the city library, which wants to move to a new location.
In addition, the city could add another six blocks to the downtown zone, which some council members said should go in the area to the northwest that includes North Third and Fourth streets.
Urban Development Director Greg Hoover said he’d like to do more research on the detached Renaissance Zone before tackling expansion of the downtown zone. The research, he said, would include asking the state how big three blocks is — If it’s an area between streets, a mall can be a pretty big block — and asking property owners if they’re interested in redevelopment.
Reach Tran at (701) 780-1248; (800) 477-6572, ext. 248; or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.