Construction of a new multi-use building containing a Hugo’s Family Marketplace, Alerus bank branch and 68 apartments, located on the corner of North Fifth Street and DeMers Avenue, is set to begin in downtown Grand Forks, with the groundbreaking likely in early August.

“It’s a game-changer for our community here,” said developer Kevin Ritterman, of Dakota Commercial. “This is something that Hugo’s wants to do for the community.”

The construction plan, called Pure Development, is a five-story building featuring a ground floor Hugo’s supermarket, an interior space for a branch of Alerus Bank, and customer parking. The bank will have a three-lane drive-thru. Floors 2 through 5 will be apartments totaling 68 units with most having underground parking.

“It’s a really big thing for Grand Forks,” Ritterman said.

Thirty-four units will be priced at market value, with 34 units being available for people with low to moderate income. This was made possible by the use of incentive funds from the North Dakota Housing Finance Agency.

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“It’s going to be good for everybody down here, employees, employers, it’s going to bring in more housing,” Ritterman said. “A grocery store and affordable living adds momentum we see today downtown, with additional housing that will bring additional people to engage with our retail, restaurants, town square and other businesses in the downtown area."

The project, two years in the planning, is expected to take 16 to 18 months with a conservative completion date of late fall 2020 and will be built by PCL Construction.

Northern Valley Market President of Alerus Bank, Chris Wolf said that he also expects the bank to be open in fall of 2020, assuming the winter weather cooperates with the construction schedule.

“We are very excited about this project, our community and the opportunity we have to invest in our downtown -- we’re committed to downtown and are thrilled about the opportunity to improve one of our busiest offices here in Grand Forks," Wolf said.

Lisa Swanson, communication director for Hugo’s Family Marketplace told the Herald: “We are excited to be coming downtown and to open an urban store with the best in new and innovative grocery trends.”