Grand Forks’ 42nd Street being transformedThere’s a small construction boom on the Grand Forks’ South 42nd Street that promises to transform the area significantly by next year. Ten projects are underway, at least one is about to get underway and two others have recently been completed.
By: Tu-Uyen Tran, Grand Forks Herald
There’s a small construction boom on the Grand Forks’ South 42nd Street that promises to transform the area significantly by next year.
Ten projects are underway, at least one is about to get underway and two others have recently been completed. Most are apartments or hotels.
Ryan Brooks, senior planner in the city’s Planning Department, said the Canadian traffic and conventions at the Alerus Center, appears to be what’s driving the hotel development. He said he expects this will drive the development of more shops and restaurants. “I think we’re at a point now where people are starting to look at it.”
The western end of the 32nd Avenue South corridor, the city’s main commercial corridor, is all but filled up, he said.
City planners have been saying that South 42nd Street will be the city’s next big commercial corridor for year, he said. “We’ve been saying that for a while. It took a while to come after the Alerus opened. But now you’re starting to see that. It’s going to fill up in a hurry.”
The Alerus Center, the city-owned events center, opened in 2001.
Not much retail
So far, a strip mall called 42nd Street Square, is nearing completion near the south side of Ray Richards Golf Course. According to its city building permit, the project is worth $1.2 million development and is divided into eight retail spaces with at least one drive-through.
But that’s all the retail for now, according to records from the city’s inspections and planning departments.
Brooks said retailers looking for space will have some challenges looking for lots with the right amount of space and easy access by vehicles.
Behind the strip mall on the same lot is a development under construction called 42nd Street Commons. Valued at $5 million, it has a floor of office space and three floors of apartments with 36 units.
Down the street is the $2 million headquarters for True North Equipment Co. next doors to Black Gold Farms headquarters, as part of a business park developed by the farm.
Construction has also begun on the $4 million, 71-room Expressway Suites across the street from the Alerus Center.
Just down the road and next to the newly opened 100-room Staybridge Suites, the 64-room My Place Hotel is seeking a construction permit.
Farther south, near the 93-room Spring Hill Suites by Marriott, the 97-room Hampton Inn & Suites is within weeks of opening.
Steve Johnson, a city building inspector, says he keeps hearing rumors of yet more hotels coming.
Also under construction on 42nd is the Grove, a $19 million apartment complex with 224 units in 12 buildings.
Brooks said the project takes advantage of a declining vacancy rate in Grand Forks that shows no signs of abating. The city saw 333 units built last year, he said, but the vacancy rate in February, the latest numbers available, dropped to 2.28 percent compared to 3 percent the same month a year ago.
Besides the Grove and 42nd Street Commons, there are nine other multi-family residential projects that the Planning Department has approved, totaling 715 units, including 125 senior-housing units. Two projects with a total of 171 units are still seeking approval.