This article was originally published in the January issue of Fargo Monthly Magazine.
By Mike Allmendinger, President, Kilbourne Group
Downtown Fargo is on the rise and the momentum grows with each new business announcement, each national headline, and each grand opening celebration. We’ve come a long way from our downtown of a decade ago and Kilbourne Group is grateful to work alongside so many who put their heart and soul into making downtown a vibrant, 18-hour neighborhood. It’s the people who give downtown that Fargo factor you just can’t find anywhere else.
In 2017, we welcomed dozens of businesses to their new homes in downtown Fargo. We’d love to introduce you to the ones that landed in our projects.
Roberts Commons (RoCo), just half-block off Broadway, is coming alive with local businesses with unique experiences in store for you! For a decade, ecce gallery has brought fine art to Fargo through it’s space on Broadway. The next ecce chapter has begun in the Loudon building at 64 4th St. N., and in the spring, ecce gallery will relocate to Roberts Alley. Joining ecce in the alley is the brand-new Scoop N Dough Candy Co., specializing in huge hard serve ice cream cones, edible cookie dough, popcorn, sundaes, shakes, and more!
Along 2nd Ave. N. in RoCo, Power Plate Meals will bring its healthy, ready to eat meals to a hungry downtown crowd. Based in West Fargo, this is Power Plates’ fifth location. Also new to downtown Fargo: a 455-stall parking garage in the center of RoCo, and 72 residential apartment units on the top four floors set to open in the Spring of 2018.
There are people all around you working to strengthen the beating heart of Fargo.
The 400 Block of Broadway continues to cement its niche as a local shopping and art destination. In 2017, Insomnia Cookies joined the block, and Drunken Noodle will soon begin renovation work on their new home at 414 Broadway, set to open in the spring. Plans include a rooftop patio to add to downtown’s skyline!
Kindred People, based in Alexandria, MN, opened its second location at 300 Broadway, featuring women’s clothing, accessories, shoes, beauty and artisan-made gifts that showcase the area’s talent and our Northern roots. Some of these lines include clothing items for men and little ones, jewelry, prints, greeting cards, and woodwork.
Further down Broadway in the lovely Loretta, Rosey’s Bistro & Bar features gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches as its hallmark. It’s quickly become a vital part of downtown Fargo’s live music scene and is a showplace of local artists. The space itself is a work of art that invites you to relax and spend some time downtown
The Crystal Corset has set up shop in the Black Building, and Everest Café, a second location for Moorhead’s Everest Tikka House, serves Nepali/Indian lunch daily in the lower level. Stop in for momos and see the transformation occurring inside the 1931 art deco tower. State of the art infrastructure upgrades, along with respectful renewal of unique historic designs and materials, are restoring the Black Building to its rightful place in Fargo’s history as a destination unto itself.
Across the street, Wasabi is working hard on its new home in 123 Broadway. A series of historic buildings on the east side of the 100 Block of Broadway are currently under renovation. After decades without major improvements, these mixed-use buildings are receiving necessary mechanical and structural improvements to give the buildings life for the next century.
Also new in 2017, The Woodrow Apartments are a historic renovation and adaptive reuse project which transformed a vacant 100-year-old school building on University into 34 character apartments and added a brand new 63-unit apartment building on the parking lot of the school. This fall, Kilbourne Group broke ground on a two-room schoolhouse on the property, which will be a third location for Children’s Montessori School.
Prairie Roots Food Cooperative opened its doors last summer at the corner of NP and University, filling a need downtown for fresh locally grown food. It also offers a new community space for meetings and classes on cooking and local and organic eating. Wild Terra Cider and Brewing turned the 100-year-old wooden horse stable to the east of Prairie Roots into a work of art that will be a Fargo treasure for years to come. You can feel downtown Fargo history while you enjoy a local cider in their taproom.
Just north of Prairie Roots, Saffron Bistro opened its doors at 1201 1st Ave N in mid-December. Saffron has a great food truck offering Persian cuisine in the Downtown Fargo Food Truck Park this past summer, and we are excited to welcome them to a year-round location.
In January, an incredible group of local artists led by The Arts Partnership lunched APT, a creative incubator at 225 4th Ave. N. They’ve transformed a drab former military office into a community art space that is alive and thriving. If you would like to be part of making Phase II of APT an even greater success, The Arts Partnership would love to hear from you!
At the northern edge of downtown, Protosthetics, a medical device engineering and manufacturing company, moved its manufacturing facility into 617 4th St. N. where they create 3-D printed prosthetics and orthotics.
This success is made possible by a forward-thinking City that consistently reaffirms its commitment to redeveloping underutilized areas in the heart of our city. Since the City implemented economic development programs targeted at revitalizing downtown Fargo, the neighborhood’s property tax values have increased to more than $500 million, meaning $4.87 million more in property taxes paid by downtown businesses and residents. That’s good news for all of us.
Investing in downtown Fargo is not the path of least resistance. Whether it’s revitalizing a structure that is a piece of our shared culture, or building something new on a spot that has been surface parking since its structure was bulldozed during urban renewal, or putting your heart and soul into your dream of a shop, restaurant, or office in downtown Fargo, there are people all around you working to strengthen the beating heart of Fargo.