Grand Forks City Council discusses Memorial Village Development Project on UND
The scope of the project would entail a five-story building housing UND's Athletic Department along with 99 residential units and underground parking.
GRAND FORKS – Discussion on the Memorial Village Development Project, which will replace UND’s existing Memorial Stadium, was held during Monday’s Committee of the Whole Meeting.
Plans for the development project have been in talks since 2020, when council members approved the Memorial Village tax incentive pre-application. While the property isn't currently taxable — since it is UND, or public, property — the public-private partnership between UND, the city/Park District, Grand Forks School District and Grand Forks County means the development would become taxable.
The construction cost of the project in 2020 was initially estimated to be $31.5 million, though the total construction cost is now estimated at $40 million. Steve Burian, one of the private development partners, said the higher rate is due to inflation.
At the end of 2020, the Memorial Village project received a general consensus to move forward by the Local Government Advisory Committee. In February 2021, the City Council approved a 90%, 20-year property tax exemption as a PILOT, or payment in lieu of taxes.
The concept of the project is to increase the enrollment at UND; support the athletic, academic and business roles of the university and the Athletic Department; and strengthen the community partnership between UND and the city.
The scope of the project entails a five-story building with underground parking. The first floor will house UND's Athletic Department with a Hawkway connection to the existing and future expanded UND Pollard High Performance Center. Part of the second floor will house coaches offices, film rooms and meeting rooms. Floors two through five will consist of 99 residential market rent apartments with 25 one-bedroom units, 58 two-bedroom units and 16 four-bedroom units.
Council member Bret Weber voiced his concerns over the loss of the campus swimming pool during Monday's meeting and how that will affect the community.
The Grand Forks Parks District has recently hired the firm BerryDunn/GreenPlay to assess the possibility of an indoor turf facility along with an aquatics center that would have a competitive swimming and diving pool, lap pool and other features.
Despite his concerns about the loss of the swimming pool, Weber still feels the Memorial Village development is a “fantastically wonderful project.”
Council members will further discuss the development agreement at the next council meeting.
In other council news Monday:
- Council members approved a study with UND in the amount of $271,137 to continue researching the concentrate line scaling, potential plugging and methods of prevention study with the Grand Forks Wastewater Treatment Plant. Phase One of the study, which cost $76,000, was completed last year. The total cost would be split over a two-year period.
- The committee approved the proposed Construction Manager at-Risk Selection Committee and to advertise for CMAR proposals for improvements on the wastewater treatment facility. The selection committee will consist of City Administrator Todd Feland; Dennis Trupka, an architect with Black & Veatch; Wayne Gerszewski, a PE senior project manager with AE2S; and either Dave Kvidt or Adam Sinks, who are mechanical contractors with Lunseth Plumbing & Heating. The use of CMAR project delivery for the improvements project was approved by the council in March.