Community Gives Input on Revitalizing Downtown Moorhead

The City of Moorhead, Downtown Moorhead Inc. and Moorhead Economic Development invited community members to the Hjemkomst Center to share ideas

MOORHEAD, Minn. — Exciting changes could be coming to downtown Moorhead.

The City of Moorhead, Downtown Moorhead Inc. and Moorhead Economic Development invited community members to come talk about what they think of some projects that could revitalize the area.

In creating a more vibrant and economically thriving downtown for Moorhead, it’ll mean putting it on the same playing field as the towns around it.

“We’re comparing ourself to the region, not just North Dakota or Fargo but West Fargo, Detroit Lakes, Barnesville, Dilworth,” said Derrick LaPoint, CEO & president of Downtown Moorhead Inc.

To get there, it’ll mean a mix of housing, businesses and entertainment. Some of the projects community leaders are thinking about adding even more apartments along Center Avenue, adding a plaza to the Moorhead Mall and adding some more art to downtown.

“The state of Minnesota certainly has a lot of funding for the arts so we’re looking into a lot of different options on what we can attract. We need that draw, we need that destination in downtown that’s going to bring people to our community,” LaPoint said.

In doing so, Moorhead community members expect it to help the entire region to become a top destination.

“No matter what the downtowns do to further develop their vitality, they’re all helping each other because we’re creating kind of a nexus of a high quality of life that is important to the region and all the folks that visit this region,” said Al Doeve, with the Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo Chamber of Commerce.

With so many campuses on both sides of the Red River, it also means providing a better quality of life for the more than 30,000 students who make Fargo–Moorhead their home for ten months out of the year.

“Having nearby access for students of all the things that make them love their life as students, the one opportunity for two, three, four years to enjoy that life should be nearby,” Doeve said.

Some believe providing a better quality of life for everyone in Moorhead includes filling in the blank spaces.

“There are a number of areas in that downtown corridor where there are buildings that have become dilapidated or disused over time. There are empty spaces that could be utilized better,” said Sue Koesterman, executive director at Churches United.

While everyone’s ideas are being considered, community leaders remind people things will take time.

“It’s baby steps. Everything’s going to take time. Downtown Fargo 20 years ago wasn’t the place that it is today. It took some risk, it took some big ideas, it took some failures. And that’s what we have, that opportunity, that pivotal moment for downtown Moorhead to say this is what we want to be, this is the risk and the chances that we’re willing to take,” LaPoint said.

One of the other things people frequently mentioned in tonight’s meeting is they would like to see downtown Moorhead become a more pedestrian–friendly area.

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