Construction in Grand Forks, including several large developments, has continued throughout the pandemic and several new businesses are expected to open in 2021.
The developments range from new medical facilities, a retirement home, new apartment and office buildings to restaurants. The developments are concentrated in and around downtown and on the south end of Grand Forks, and represent what former long-serving Mayor Mike Brown called a “billion-dollar boom” for the city.
Construction on the $6 million development Argyle, on DeMers Avenue downtown, is projected to be complete by August, though there is a chance that could happen earlier. The building will be a five-story mixed-use facility; JLG Architects will occupy a portion of the first floor’s office space and all of the second floor. The remainder of the building will have 23 apartments, and there is retail space available on the first floor.
“We are getting ready to close up the building and install the exterior materials,” Amanda Kosior, JLG’s director of marketing, told the Herald through email. “Right now, we are cautiously optimistic that – if the weather holds – we will have the opportunity to finish ahead of schedule.”
But set to be completed before that is the $14 million Pure Development project, which will bring Hugo's Family Marketplace, apartments and an Alerus bank branch downtown. On Jan. 11, Kevin Ritterman, of Dakota Commercial, told members of the Grand Forks School Board the building would “be operational in the next two months.” Ritterman was advocating to the board to accept tax increment financing proposals for several other big-ticket developments, like Pure Development. “TIF” proposals let developers pay property tax on the original value of the building for a set number of years. After that, they pay the full amount of the improved property.
Those developments include Fargo-based Epic Companies' nearly $49 million plan to turn the former Townhouse Hotel into apartments, retail space and a plaza. Also included are Burian & Associates’ $25 million plan to replace UND's Memorial Stadium with office and living space; a group of developers’ $7 million plan to renovate St. John’s Block; and Northridge Construction’s $27.3 million plan to transform the current Lyons Auto site near City Hall into apartments, office and retail space. The city, county, school and park district will decide to accept or reject those TIF proposals in the coming weeks.
Other developments happening in Grand Forks:
-A manager in Bismarck for Mexican restaurant chain Charras and Tequila confirmed construction will soon begin in Grand Forks. The restaurant will be located in the former Ruby Tuesday building.
-Construction is proceeding for upscale steakhouse Harry’s on DeMers, owned by Hal Gershman, president of Happy Harry’s bottle shops. Gershman told the Herald he is hoping for a midsummer open, but not until “a significant portion of the population is vaccinated” for coronavirus, he said.
-A new installation for senior living company Edgewood Health Care is set to be completed in late 2021 or early 2022, according to a worker at the site. The facility, called Edgewood Village, will have 118 assisted living and basic care beds, 24 memory care beds and 32 single-family rental units. A Sanford Health clinic with a 22,000-square-foot space for 15 primary care and specialty care providers, will be attached to the retirement home.
-Grand Forks Clinic, a primary care facility that offers other medical services, broke ground in September 2020 and is set for completion in the summer.
-Notably absent from development is Altru Health System’s new hospital. The project was paused in April, 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. According to a spokesperson, there is no timeline set for construction to resume on the $250 million dollar addition.
-A branch of Koda Bank is also coming to south Grand Forks, and the project should be completed by late summer.
-Apartment buildings are being constructed on the south end of Grand Forks, including one at 42 Avenue South. Two twenty-plex buildings are planned at 40th Avenue South, one of which is already under construction. Crary Real Estate also has development in the area for commercial property. One, at 47th Avenue South is going through the planning and zoning committee, and customers are showing interest in another location to the north.
-Pro Transport and Leasing is opening a new corporate office in the spring, in the city industrial park on 48th Street. The office building will be 100 feet by 60 feet and the shop will be 60 feet by 90 feet. The office will be the company's headquarters and will oversee other terminals, among other company business office work. The project will allow Pro Transport to expand.