A Fargo Apartment Complex is Being Torn Down, Displacing 60 Tenants

A Manufactured Gas Plant operated at the site of the apartment complex from approximately 1885 through 1960

FARGO, N.D. — If you live at Heartland Apartment Homes in Fargo, you most likely woke up to a heartbroken letter this morning.

“I’m kind of disappointed,” tenant Tracy Shaw said. “When I moved here a year ago I thought that this would be a forever home for me.”

Tracy’s “forever home” will now only be a place to live until May 15th, 2018. The apartment complex located on the corner of NP Avenue and 12th Street North is being purchased by Xcel Energy. The company wants demolish it to finish removing underground piping and material left over from a gas plant.

“Historically there was a manufactured gas plant located there that manufactured coal gas from coal,” Curt Erickson, the Manager of the Hazardous Waste Program at the North Dakota Department of Health said.

The plant operated there from approximately 1885 through 1960. During the spring and summer of 2016, an investigation testing the soil was done due to concern for public exposure.

“The residuals contain like naphthalene and benzene,” Erickson said. “The main concern would be is through any vapors that’s given off from that material.”

Although the data collected from the investigation says there is no public health concerns, Xcel is following the better safe than sorry method.

“Xcel, just to do a good job and remove as much as they can had proposed purchasing that building, tearing it down that way they can go underneath where the building was located and remove that contamination also,” Erickson said.

So now with two and a half months left before the complex is torn down, those living there are worried they won’t be able to find a new home in time.

“I’m just kind of sad because now I have to figure out a place to live and that’s kinda hard,” Shaw said. “There is nothing in my affordable range at this point.”

Tracy is one of sixty tenants being displaced. The tearing down and cleaning of the apartment complex site is said to be completed by next year.

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