Groups Calling for More Affordable Housing in Downtown Fargo
Some want downtown to be more accessible for people living and working in the area
FARGO, N.D. — When she first moved to Downtown Fargo more than a decade ago, Arlette Preston says the community feeling was much different.
“My husband used to say, and I think it’s pretty accurate, on a Saturday night, you could throw a rock down Broadway and you couldn’t hit a thing, and that was probably about 15 years ago, so compared to today, it’s tremendously different,” Preston said.
Even with an expanded list of activities and entertainment, Downtown inFocus says only two percent of nearly 18,000 who work downtown also live in the area.
Developers have certain groups in mind to pump life to the community.
“I think by offering an opportunity to folks who are earning $12–17 an hour, that workforce, and also, as folks are aging, Fargo’s aging population, to give them an opportunity to live in the downtown area would just be a positive benefit for growing the neighborhood of Downtown Fargo,” said Dan Madler, the CEO of Beyond Shelter.
Madler says one of his goals is to see 100 to 250 different apartments spring up around Downtown Fargo in the next five years.
“It’s growing, it’s expanding, it’s an opportunity to provide a great mix of diversity into the downtown area which will just make a stronger neighborhood,” Madler said.
Groups like Do It All Downtown and the Downtown Neighborhood Association say creating a diverse and energetic community will strengthen the area’s pulse and make it feel more like home.
“Downtown is a great place to live. It really has a feel of a neighborhood and that’s what I love about it,” said Preston.
The City of Fargo’s Downtown Master Plan says that if Downtown continues its rate of growth, it could be home to more than 700 additional households by 2025.