First public open house regarding Mid-America Steel building site takes place
FARGO, N.D. (KVRR) – The first of two open houses regarding downtown Fargo’s Mid America Steel building took place at the Sky Commons Conference Center Thursday evening.
Following two arson cases in March and April, and a variety of contamination issues, the Mid America Steel building is expected to be torn down within the next few months.
“Part of what might be happening as soon as this summer is demolishing what — doing a demo of all the buildings that are currently there, and that’ll definitely help with any safety concerns that might be present,” said Scott Harmstad, the project manager with SRF Consulting Group.
Contaminants like TCE and arsenic have been found in the ground and will be addressed.
In an effort to gauge how the community would like to use the roughly 10 acres of land, the city is hosting two open houses for public comment; the first taking place Thursday evening.
“The outcome of this study is not to come up with just one development alternative. It’s to look at the range of alternatives; three to five different alternatives,” Harmstad explained.
Potential uses include a public parking ramp, high-density apartment building, new retailers and a performing arts center.
“I think what the Fargo-Moorhead area really needs is a performing arts center,” said Kay Schwarzwalter of Fargo.
As someone who lives in downtown Fargo, Schwarzwalter is invested in what happens with this site.
“Fargo and Moorhead are such art-driven communities now, it’s becoming better and better all the time, so I think now is the time to bring in the performing arts center,” she added.
She believes the city is making a good attempt at listening to the public’s opinions.
“Especially that’s a publicly owned piece of land. I mean, we need to know what the community, the downtown community, the downtown community, the business community, the community at large, what they want to see at this site,” Harmstad said.
The second open house will take place June 10th at Fargo City Hall.