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Second apartment project aimed at GF's Civic Auditorium

A second residential development at Grand Forks' Civic Auditorium is coming before the City Council's finance committee Wednesday. St. Paul-based MetroPlains is proposing a three-story, 40-unit apartment building on the parking lot across the str...

A second residential development at Grand Forks' Civic Auditorium is coming before the City Council's finance committee Wednesday.

St. Paul-based MetroPlains is proposing a three-story, 40-unit apartment building on the parking lot across the street from the long-vacant auditorium. Rent would be kept low because the firm would make use of federal low-income-housing tax credits.

MetroPlains is seeking $375,000 in no-interest loans, free land worth $165,000 and a property tax exemption of up to five years. The estimated total value of the project is $4.6 million.

City staff said the new building would be similar to The Current apartments on North Third Street downtown. That building is assessed at $2.7 million.

The project had been slated for the site of the auditorium itself, but because it was delayed, that land is going to Dakota Commercial and Development for a three-story, 45-unit apartment complex.

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The total value of the Dakota Commercial project was pegged at $5.5 million, including $1.2 million in federal neighborhood improvement funding and $166,500 in land. The federal funds would pay for demolition.

MetroPlains' project will be contingent on it receiving the low-income tax credits.

City leaders see the redevelopment of the Civic Auditorium area as the next phase of growth for downtown. Earlier, the city had offered incentives, including free land, that ultimately resulted in construction of The Current and the Elite Brownstone condos. New buildings means more property taxes going into city coffers, especially if they're on land the city previously owned, which didn't pay taxes.

Reach Tran at (701) 780-1248; (800) 477-6572, ext. 248; or send e-mail to ttran@gfherald.com .

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