The city-owned building at 201 S. Fourth St. may be sold before the end of the year to its long-time occupant, Centre, Inc., which runs criminal transitional housing and drug treatment facilities throughout the state.
Meredith Richards, a Grand Forks community development official, said a purchase agreement with a price of $690,000 has been provided to the company. Provided that Centre accepts the agreement, the sale will likely be completed before the year’s end.
Richards said the building was acquired by the city in the aftermath of the Flood of 1997, and that the building was rehabilitated with funds that placed certain requirements on the building.
“The upshot is that the funding sources that went into rehab that building put in a requirement that for at least 15 years, (grantors wanted) to make sure that (their) funds provide these services that Centre is doing,” Richards said. “So those were the terms of the original lease.”
Richards said the sale helps recognize that the services offered by Centre don’t serve an explicitly economically generative purpose, like many other properties owned through the city’s development portfolio, but are nonetheless offer a valuable contribution to the community.
Centre currently pays $20,600 “base rent” each year, Richards said.
The sale also includes the “social detox” facility that is a joint venture of multiple local groups, including the city, that provides a place for people too inebriated to care for themselves to seek temporary shelter without clogging police or hospital resources. Richards said the facility will become a tenant of Centre, Inc., but that the terms of its lease are not expected to meaningfully change.
Richards also said the city’s Corporate Center complexes — which sit on either side of DeMers Avenue along Fourth Street — will also potentially be sold in coming years. Corporate Center 1, the building on the south side of the street, housing Alerus Financial, the Brady Martz & Associates accounting and wealth management firm, and the Camrud, Maddock, Olson & Larson law firm, will allow tenants to purchase their spaces between 2020 and 2022. Corporate Center 2, on the north side of the street, doesn’t include “buy options” for tenants, but might be sold “at the same time that we sell Corporate Center 1,” said Ryan Brooks, deputy city planner.
The city owns six buildings occupied by private businesses, according to Herald records. That includes the Herald building, which was sold to the city earlier this year.
City leaders clarify that those buildings are technically owned by the local Jobs Development Authority — technically a separate entity from the city — but that the JDA’s leadership mirrors city leadership, and thus the buildings are functionally owned by Grand Forks.