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MORE ROOM FOR GROWTH: Industrial Park expands, adds 129 acres of available land

The largest remaining piece of land in Grand Forks' Industrial Park was claimed this summer as the possible future home of a glycerin production facility.

Industrial park expansion

The largest remaining piece of land in Grand Forks' Industrial Park was claimed this summer as the possible future home of a glycerin production facility.

But a recently completed construction project has added another 129 acres of available land, and officials say the move puts the park's new southern border close to another 77 acres of city-owned land that could be developed.

Greg Hoover, the city's urban development director, said a new stretch of South 48th Street opened last week that now extends the road from 17th Avenue South to 32nd Avenue South.

Workers finished installing a sanitary sewer system and other infrastructure last year and built the new stretch of 48th Street this summer.

Hoover said the city has so far secured 129 acres between Interstate 29 and 48th Street that run from 17th Avenue to about 1,000 feet north of 32nd Avenue. About $2.5 million came out of the Jobs Development Authority's budget to purchase the land, while the bulk of the $5.3 million road construction costs were paid for with federal funds.


He said there are no plans for development in the new land yet. But urban development plans for the site project the city will need additional space in the Industrial Park in about five years.

"With the strong North Dakota economy, we hope it fills up quickly," he said. "Then we're able to use some of the money and go and acquire additional land in that area."

Future growth

Economic Development Corp. Vice President Keith Lund said the expansion was an "important" project because the Industrial Park was nearly out of land.

"There needs to be an area in which industrial development can occur and there needs to be some land that can be turned around quickly for projects that require a quick timeframe," he said.

Before the expansion, the Industrial Park consisted of about 380 acres and has become nearly full in the past two decades. It serves as the home to Amazon, LM Windpower and several other companies.

The largest remaining piece of the park was secured this summer when Indiana-based Benchmark Energy Corp. signed a six month purchase option for 8 acres that could be the site of a new glycerin production facility.

But the recent road construction and new land purchases have expanded the Industrial Park by more than one-third and made room for future growth.


Lund said the project was important to complete now because it extended 48th Street. He said that provides a second entrance and exit for the Industrial Park and adds easier access to I-29 for existing companies that transport large products, such as LM Windpower's turbine blades.

It also allows the city to plan for future industrial growth, he said.

"The bottom line is further industrial development will occur," Lund said. "We'll be supporting that and when it does happen, we need a place for the logical expansion of activity in a place that is zoned and considered in that use."

Hoover said the recently completed expansion puts the Industrial Park's new southern border near 77 acres of land south of 32nd Avenue that the city bought in 1999 as a potential site for an Amazon distribution center.

That deal fell through in 2000. But Hoover said the site could now provide room for a future Industrial Park expansion or its own development down the road.

"We would definitely hope so," he said. "Of course, it could also be developed as a standalone."

Johnson reports on local business. Reach him at (701) 780-1105; (800) 477-6572, ext. 105; or send email to rjohnson@gfherald.com .

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