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St. Mark’s to be turned into event center

St. Mark’s to be turned into event center

The following article by  appeared on June 18, 2015 in The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead.

FARGO- This time next year, St. Mark’s Lutheran Church will be a wedding-centric event center.

Kilbourne Group, a local developer, plans to pump at least $4 million into a project that will turn the century-old church at 670 4th Ave N. into a wedding venue that would include a caterer, spa, photographer, ceremony and reception venue, all under the same roof.

The group bought the church in 2013 after hearing that some people wanted to tear it down. Company officials didn’t know definitively what they were going to do with the structure until a few months ago, said Cam Knutson, a business development manager for Kilbourne, though they had been in talks for over a year about the plan.

Knutson said he expects renovation of the building to start in August and finish in May 2016. He said the building might not house weddings until June 2016, but they’ll hopefully start booking for them this August.

Kilbourne Group representatives met with Fargo’s liquor control committee Wednesday to discuss a city ordinance that would require 50 percent of their to sales come from food if they obtain a certain liquor license. The project’s progress is largely contingent on updating that ordinance to include catering services, Knutson said.

Though the outside of the building won’t change much, he said, the inside will be completely redone.

The garden-level floor will consist of a catering kitchen and a reception hall where guests can eat dinner, according to floor plans from MBA Architects of Fargo.

The first floor would include an event center, where a wedding ceremony could hold about 300 guests and a standing concert could fit 600 to 700 people. Office and retail space, including a photographer’s unit, would fit on the other side of the building.

The group is in talks with a local spa, Knutson said, with the idea that a bride could get her hair and makeup done on the second floor before the ceremony.

Knutson said all of the businesses housed in the building’s retail space would be still be run independently, but could benefit from the events.

He estimated the building could serve as a venue for about 80 weddings and 40 concerts each year, adding that it could also be used other events such as corporate gatherings.

To read the article in The Forum, click here

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