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City seats committee to review redevelopment proposals for Arbor Park in downtown Grand Forks

A five-member committee has been assembled to review proposals that pitch redevelopment ideas for a downtown Grand Forks park. City Council member Crystal Schneider will serve as chairwoman of the committee, which is tasked with vetting three pro...

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A pocket park between Sledsters and Norby's Work Perks downtown on fourth street South. (Jesse Trelstad/ Grand Forks Herald)

A five-member committee has been assembled to review proposals that pitch redevelopment ideas for a downtown Grand Forks park.

City Council member Crystal Schneider will serve as chairwoman of the committee, which is tasked with vetting three proposals for Arbor Park at 15 S. Third St. and returning a recommendation to the full council.

Schneider will be joined by council member Bret Weber; Jamie Lunski, owner of HB Sound & Light; Jon Ramsey, owner of Assurity Finance & Development; and Klaus Thiessen, president of the Grand Forks Region Economic Development Corporation.

The City Council approved the committee's roster at its Monday meeting.

Dates and times haven't been set for the committee to convene but Meredith Richard, deputy director of the city's Planning and Community Development Department, said the meeting would be opened to the public and advertised on the city website.

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The committee will have much flexibility with the structure of the process, she added, including setting how much time they want for proposal presentations and deliberation.

"They can make a recommendation to accept a proposal or reject them all, but assuming there is a recommendation to move forward with a proposal, that recommendation would submitted to council," Richards said Monday.

The city started advertising a request for proposals to potentially redevelop the park in May and received three by the July 25 deadline.

Submitting proposals were Icon Architectural Group, JLG Architects and Grand Forks resident Mary Weaver.

Icon's proposal looks to work around the existing park with creating a new building around it, while JLG's proposal recommends constructing a five-story building on the park site.

Weaver's proposal suggests keeping the park untouched and has endorsement from the Grand Forks Park District.

Those submitting proposals were asked to include examples of similar projects, site plans and renderings, a project description and a financing plan.

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