| By Mari Hall |
With 2023 in the rearview mirror, we can’t help but reflect on all the growth we experienced as a team as well as the incredible ways the downtown Fargo community evolved throughout the year. From new businesses to construction milestones to community involvement, it was an incredible year.
Our team at Kilbourne Commercial Real Estate had a record year working with businesses to pair them with the perfect space in downtown Fargo and set them up for success.
Downtown Fargo gained several new artistic small businesses, including Scribble Lady and Mooreoki, who became neighbors on the 400 block, widely considered a creative microneighborhood. The Black Building also welcomed Common North, a shared studio space for local photographers launched by Tomi Thompson of Tomi Dawn Photography.
New retail locations for 2023 included Bottle Barn Off Broadway and Block & Payer Provisions. Bottle Barn Off Broadway joined the Kesler building along 2nd Avenue North, providing a wide variety of carefully selected beverages as well as frozen pizzas, snacks, and more. Block & Payer Provisions opened in Roberts Commons (RoCo) along Roberts Alley, bringing their fan-favorite hot sauces from the Red River Market to a brick-and-mortar location, along with a curated selection of high-quality home goods and pantry items.
RoCo also gained The Psychic’s Eye in 2023. The Psychic’s Eye had previously been located elsewhere in downtown but moved to the 2nd Avenue side of RoCo for the central location and busy storefront, which sees thousands of passersby each year.
A new coffee shop also entered the fray in 2023. After purchasing the former Third Drop Coffee location along Broadway, the new owners transformed the space into Moonrise Café. Moonrise offers a premium selection of baked goods and deli items alongside its hand-crafted coffee menu. The coffee destination is also home to Heart Cakes, a locally beloved purveyor of retro-style cakes.
An array of new businesses also opened offices downtown throughout the year. Midwest Mental Health Clinic and Native, Inc. joined the Midtown Mall along University, while start-up supporter Gener8tor opened a local office in the Merchants Bank building above Chase Bank . Xcel Energy also opened the doors of its Innovation Hub in the Black Building, where it included office space for the Downtown Community Partnership and the Business Improvement District teams.
We broke ground on RiverHouse at the beginning of 2023 with the demolition of the former Fargo School District warehouse. By October, the new building had reached its full height, topping out at six stories. With river views, bike and kayak storage, and more, RiverHouse will be the perfect home for active adults looking for the convenience of urban living while maintaining close proximity to the outdoors. The apartments are set to open in the fall of this year.
While we work to bring new apartment living options to the neighborhood, we also brought missing middle housing to the downtown market by transitioning Bostad’s apartments to condos. While unpurchased units are still available for rent, leasing terms could now include built-in downpayments on a contract-for-deed purchase down the line, making homeownership more accessible in the heart of this growing community.
Another milestone long in the making was the removal of the overhead power lines in Roberts Alley. This collaborative effort between Kilbourne Group, the City of Fargo, and Xcel Energy required intensive coordination to bury power lines, retrofit the utilities infrastructure for some buildings along the alley, and close the alley to allow for safe removal of the old power lines and utility poles. With the project complete, the view in the alley has radically changed, opening up the space and making it more welcoming for the steady stream of pedestrian traffic.
Downtown Fargo didn’t just welcome new projects and new businesses in 2023. It also welcomed hundreds of new residents. Throughout the year, our team at Centric Management welcomed more than 400 new residents to our downtown properties, showcasing just how important a vibrant neighborhood is to choosing a home.
The Centric team didn’t stop at just pairing new residents with their dream apartments, though. They also went above and beyond to build community through resident-tailored events like game nights, resident appreciation events, and even photo shoots for residents and their pets. The team also got involved in neighborhood events like the Red River Market, where they hosted the “Red Rover Market” day, highlighting how pet-friendly both our apartment communities and the neighborhood at large are.
The success of 2023 has built momentum for our team heading into 2024. Already we’re looking forward to the opening of the Synclaire Events Venue in the historic Stone building, an event space that promises to bring back the building’s glory days.
We also continue to work toward breaking ground on The Avery. This mixed-use development will fill in the space along NP Avenue between Old Broadway and Renaissance Hall. Not only will The Avery feature 168 apartments and a parking garage with more that 470 parking spaces, it will also become the new home of the Fargo-Moorhead Community Theatre.