Tenants Leaving To Make Way For A New NDSU Student Apartment


A developer has been selected for an off–campus NDSU housing and retail complex.

If the city approves the plans, they will begin tearing down 21 of the 22 houses on the 1600 Block of North University Drive this spring.

We spoke with city officials and former tenants to find out what’s happening.

Proffutt Limited Partnership is getting ready to turn the block space into an apartment complex with 103 units.

But one of the former houses will remain.

“They don’t really have power of eminent domain. Most of the development will be on the west side of the block crossing the alley a little bit,” Fargo city planner Jim Gilmour explained.

According to renderings, the lone house will be surrounded by the building’s parking lot.

The NDSU Foundation and Alumni Association has spent the last 30 years buying these properties and leasing them out to tenants.

Those living in the other 21 homes must leave by December 31st.

Some tenants are upset by being forced out.

“They gave us a 60 day notice. It was hard to find something within that time to save up the money to move and find a place that allowed dogs or pets. It was not easy. Why now? What construction could they do?” asked Lisa Paper, a now former tenant of the 1600 block.

“Why are they forcing us out in the middle of winter?” current tenant Chuck Swiggum said.

CEO of the NDSU Foundation tells me starting this process in the winter was necessary.

“A lot of it had to do with the timeline that we had: Make a decision by the end of this year with the goal that the new project would be ready for occupancy in the Fall of ’18,” NDSU Foundation CEO John Glover explained.

Glover said this project will technically not be a part of the NDSU campus.

“The land is owned by the NDSU Foundation which is a separate non–profit legal entity from the University. And so it’ll be a priavte project, NDSU does not have any financial involvement with it,” Glover said.

Chuck Swiggum says he hasn’t found a place yet for him and his service dog Jennie.

“I have a little bit more than a week to get out. Wish I could move this house to a different place and stay in it,” Swiggum said.

Glover tells us once it’s all finished, the complex will become a great asset to the university.

“Students are looking for a space where they can sleep and chill out, but they also want a community environment,” Glover said.

Gilmour says the next public hearing about the project takes place on January 4th at 3pm at the Fargo City Hall.

The developer wants to have it done by 2018, but city officials say it will likely be finished in 2019.

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