Downtown development proposal includes 400-seat FMCT theater
FARGO (KVRR-KFGO) – The Fargo City Commission held an informational meeting Wednesday to discuss a proposal for a mixed-use development downtown.
The ownership group includes Kilbourne Group Apartments, Global Development, City of Fargo, and Fargo-Moorhead Community Theater (FMCT).
The current proposal would allow for a 400-seat theater, 145 apartments with 2,200 square feet of retail space, and 450-480 parking spots on 60 percent of the property. Global Development would build a 50,000 square foot development on the other 40 percent.
FMCT has been holding performances and rehearsals at Hjemkomst Center since the previous location in Island Park was deemed unsafe due to structural issues with the roof.
Executive Director Judy Lewis said the theater has engaged 40,000 people this season and is only limited by space.
“When we have our theater, and I hope that we will, it will bring people every single day,” Lewis said. “Right now, we have businesses, boutiques, bars, restaurants, all those things are so important to a downtown, but the families – the people who we bring who feel ownership there – are the balance the city needs.”
Lewis said FMCT would likely have to leave the downtown area if the proposal doesn’t pan out, but she said they want to stay. Under the current proposal, FMCT would own the space.
“Which sets us up for the next hundred years,” Lewis said. “It really puts us in a great position.”
The 145 apartments and retail space would be owned by Kilbourne group. They would include studio, 1-, 2-, and 3-bedroom apartments ranging in rental cost from $990 to $2,600 per unit.
The City of Fargo would own the parking garage. $4 million would come from the parking fund, $281,000 from parking fines and budget changes, $3.5 million in TIFs from an addition to the Civic ramp, $16 million bond, and a new TIF district.
Next, the City Commission will have to approve the public-private partnership, solidify agreements with the partners, and begin the planning and funding process. They hope to move toward these next steps yet this month.
“I think this really is a great partnership to enhance the arts in the community,” Mayor Tim Mahoney said.
The group hopes to break ground next year with a phased opening. The parking ramp would open in 2024, the apartments in mid to late 2025, and the theater would be ready by late 2025.