Moorhead Looking to Sell City Hall Building, Renovate Downtown Area
The city is partnering with Fargo-based development company Roers
MOORHEAD, Minn. — Moorhead Center Mall has been around since the 1970’s, and some are saying it’s time to hit refresh.
“The downtown location is ready for redevelopment. As you see what happens in the Fargo side and what has been happening, all that could be true for Moorhead,” said Roers CEO Jim Roers.
City councilmembers are beginning to work toward that process by agreeing to a pre–development arrangement with Roers.
Their first decision may be to sell the City Hall building and relocate.
“We’ve known for a long time that we would be interested in selling if the right developer came along. We weren’t looking for anybody,” said Moorhead councilmember Heidi Durand.
She says when Roers approached them, they were bound to confidentiality agreements.
“We weren’t able to say anything. And as soon as we could say something, we did. Because this is very exciting. This is probably the most exciting project that I have experienced in my 10 years on the council.”
It’s too early to tell what the project would entail exactly, but there are some ideas.
Roers says the current City Hall would make an excellent office building, the surrounding parking areas are underutilized, and the current mall retailers need to be more visible.
But none of these changes will come easily.
“I would say the biggest challenge by far is the multiple ownership,” said Roers.
The mall is part of a condominium association, meaning some businesses own their space and others rent them.
One shop owner who’s rented in the mall for 33 years says Moorhead is ready to be renewed.
“I think most of us shop owners feel positive. We feel like the owners of the mall, and then possibly with Roers, I don’t know if it’ll be in conjunction at all, that they only want to see revitalization,” said Mary Fabre, owner of Merle Norman.
The mall owner could not be reached for comment.
Councilmember Durand says this would be a community driven project, combining the opinions of neighbors, Downtown Moorhead Inc. and the Moorhead Business Association.