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Cratter

Downtown Grand Forks

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Getting rid of the seating area that enclosed the "town square." IMO, looks and feels like any other "park" now. 

Trying to get away from having paid concerts there? I think city should try and concentrate more on turning it into a cool outdoor concert area.

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The concerts are something they are taking into account, however one of the biggest complaints has been lack of access/safety that is caused by the large cement planters that surround almost the whole park. They are trying to come up with a way to open it up more. Depending on what the final design looks like, something like temporary fencing or removable bollards will be incorporated to continue to allow concerts. Making sure the farmer's market continues without issue is another big issue they are taking into account.

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Great plan, but I find so much irony in the article about the project. They talk about the price tag being in a couple million and not sure how to fund it, but yet also mention the thousands of dollars in tax breaks given to downtown developers.

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1 hour ago, jdub27 said:

 biggest complaints has been lack of access/safety that is caused by the large cement planters that surround almost the whole park. 

Is this code for we think too many homeless people hang out there during the day and are trying to find a way to discourage them?

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27 minutes ago, northernraider said:

Great plan, but I find so much irony in the article about the project. They talk about the price tag being in a couple million and not sure how to fund it, but yet also mention the thousands of dollars in tax breaks given to downtown developers.

I get where you're coming from, but incentives to develop aren't the same as giving away money the city already has to spend elsewhere. The Town Square re-development has been in the pipeline and was going to happen. The tax incentives do no harm the city's tax revenues over the short term and improve them over the long-term, as developer still pays original tax value of the land before it was developed. Would any of the projects that have been done or are in process moved forward without the tax incentives? Maybe? I'd guess on a different scale and timeline. In the long run, it's usually better for the city's tax roll rather than holding out hope and waiting that a development happens without any incentive. How long have some of those lots sat open already?

 

4 minutes ago, Cratter said:

Is this code for we think too many homeless people hang out there during the day and are trying to find a way to discourage them?

Encouraging more use during both the day and evening is one of the stated goals. The ability to leave the restrooms more available was another, which they are unable to currently do because of the poor placement of them was another. 

I see the benefits of both setups but creating a more open, inviting space makes sense in general. If the main argument against it is because of a handful of paid events, I think there are solutions to solve that.

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little confused...weren't all these pocket parks supposed to temporary?  isn't a building supposed to eventually go on up on the "town square" park site?

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1 hour ago, SIOUXFAN97 said:

little confused...weren't all these pocket parks supposed to temporary?  isn't a building supposed to eventually go on up on the "town square" park site?

Not sure the plans.  But it shouldn't, IMO.  That park (and only that park) is a vital gathering space.  

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any updates on the st johns block renovation? sounds like some the plans have changed.

 

and when is hugo's breaking ground?

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Not sure why they are trying to build so much downtown where roads can’t handle the traffic

be better off building up by where alerus is, where you can access interstate and the infrastructure is there and then south and west from there

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5 minutes ago, Kab said:

Not sure why they are trying to build so much downtown where roads can’t handle the traffic

be better off building up by where alerus is, where you can access interstate and the infrastructure is there and then south and west from there

Not much for tax incentives out there.

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i know it's not downtown but what is blackpoint gonna build on the old tire store site on highway 2?

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7 hours ago, Cratter said:

Is the widly successful 3rd Street Dance (Hairball last year) already dead?

https://www.grandforksherald.com/community/events/4591629-shows-will-go-despite-summer-construction-dda-events-will-encourage

Haven't heard any news about it and last year it was May 5th.

If so that sucks. It was one of the cooler events Grand Forks has ever held (especially outside).

Hairball is May 11th.  There’s a concert series hosted by Hugo’s.  Hairball is the first concert in the series.

http://brickandbarleygf.com/upcoming-events/hugos-concert-series

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15 hours ago, Cratter said:

Wonder what the location will be.

Not sure but I would guess it would be similar to the Prince/Purple Rain experience concert they had last summer. They set up at the intersection one block north of Demers.  Allowed for more space as people spread out over the three streets  instead of just 3rd st.

I did see that the Johnny Holm show will be on the top level of one of the downtown parking ramps.

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On 3/24/2018 at 4:41 AM, Cratter said:

A year ago, the City Council talked about increasing property taxes. Because the city didn't have enough money to spend on things it wanted and money was too tight in the general fund...fast forward a year and....

Now they want to spend millions renovating the perfectly fine "town square" and are going to spend millions to purchase the Herald building.

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A banker telling a city, who won't default on the loan, that this investment is a great idea is classic.

Everyone knows that Forum communications won't be renting in the Herald building much longer after they sell it.

https://www.grandforksherald.com/news/government-and-politics/4599544-city-tables-herald-building-vote

Quote

Banker Jon Ramsey with Assurity Finance and Development said on Monday that if the city was to buy the Herald building for $3.2 million it would ultimately generate $1.7 million over 10 years in rent from tenants like Forum Communications, who would rent space for Herald staff on the second floor.

The story keeps changing. First it was going to be ownership agreement from amongst the three of them, but only if they could convince the "public entities" to lease space there so they could make easy money together:

Quote

If the city agrees to sign a lease for the Herald building, then Kuntz, founder of Community Contractors Inc., Craig Tweten and the Marcils would enter into an ownership group where each owns the building. The partnership of the three groups of investors will be called the Herald Communications Center.

Now there is no such mention of the three, just a agreement to sell to Kuntz and Tweten if they can continue to convince the public entities to spend money on the building...

Quote

Developer Mike Kuntz said he and contractor Craig Tweten have spent the same amount of time discussing a purchase with the Herald's parent company, the Fargo-based Forum Communications Co. The two men formed Communication Central Building, LLC, before signing a purchase agreement for the building last May. 

Wonder why that changed so fast? 

How to make Easy Money 101: 

Buy a building for under $3 Million. Thats already leased and guaranteed to make you over three million in ten short years....($25,0000 a month)

Quote

According to Kuntz, the city would've spent $1.3 million dollars renting space from him over a 10-year period.

Quote

$1.7 million over 10 years in rent from tenants who would rent space for Herald staff on the second floor.

 

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On 3/30/2019 at 7:43 AM, Cratter said:

If so that sucks. It was one of the cooler events Grand Forks has ever held (especially outside).

It appears after many years being unsuccessful (late 90s, early 2000s) the latest people behind the idea have started to become amazingly successful: downtown outdoor summer concerts. 

They started small and slowly and strategically grew the crowd. 

From cover bands performing other bands hits to the actual band performing their own hits tonight outdoor under the night sky in the Grand Cities.

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Is there really a shortage of event space in Grand Forks? Also when is the saturation point for $400k condos in downtown? 

I'm not anti-downtown development, but seems there is a lot happening at once before evaluating if there's really a demand. 

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40 minutes ago, forksandspoons said:

Signs point to an increase in aviation business, as even the article says its related to aviation/UND.

Edgewood, the senior housing local corporation, is known for making good financial decisions and recently bought the old Alerus building for HQ on the top floor.  Trust them for making business decisions more than the city.

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14 minutes ago, northernraider said:

Is there really a shortage of event space in Grand Forks? Also when is the saturation point for $400k condos in downtown? 

I'm not anti-downtown development, but seems there is a lot happening at once before evaluating if there's really a demand. 

Not sure, but I think another downtown hotel has been needed for a long time. I think the event space down there will do well, too. 

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