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The New Hotspot In Town

December 11, 2019

A new concept in live, work, and play is coming to West Fargo with the appropriately named The Lights at Sheyenne 32. With a combination of commercial space, apartments and entertainment, this ambitious project from EPIC Companies on the corner of 32nd Avenue and Sheyenne Street is going to be the next hotspot in town. Here’s why you should care about what’s being built. 

National Influence

With a true mixed-use space, The Lights will eventually have four buildings with commercial, residential, and active living space. When planning started on this space many years ago, EPIC Companies began to look for national inspiration to base this space on. 

“The inspiration came from Live Nation and all these live districts that they have created,” said McKenzy Olson, Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations at EPIC Companies. “The districts that they have are really unique because they have the living element, commercial element, and entertainment aspect.”

The three (with a fourth one planned) buildings are meant to create an enclosed plaza that will feature numerous events throughout the year. In fact, starting next summer, they will have concerts that can hold up to 4,000 people. However, this outdoor space won’t just be used during the summertime, it will also hold a full-size hockey rink and host winter events.

“When we were looking at different ideas for this, a lot of our developer backgrounds have an event aspect and they were like, ‘There’s not really anything like that in the area so what can we do to bring that to the area?’” said Olson.

Commercial Space

The east building (EPIC building) is going to be the first building completed in January/February 2020 while the south building will be finished in fall 2020. Each of these buildings will have 25,000 square feet of commercial space available and can accommodate a number of different types of businesses. In fact, in the east building, they already have several businesses lined up, including Bar Down (a 9,000-square feet bar and grill), a nutrition shop, a photography studio, a boutique, and a hair salon but there is still first and second-floor space available. 

“We’d like to get a few customer service-type businesses because the whole development is about customer service,” said Olson. “Having the plaza entertainment aspect of it, we’ll have locker rooms, bathrooms, everything that will cater to the plaza because it will hold a full-size hockey rink and it will hold multiple basketball courts, concerts, vendor shows, and more. The list is endless that the space will be able to adapt to.”

Along with the marketing that comes from having events in the plaza and the built-in customer base from the residential units on the upper floors, Lights at Sheyenne 32 might be a good spot to consider because the spaces are very flexible.

“Say a client comes in and says, ‘I only need 1,000-square feet. It’s just me and another person. We just want to have an office here,” said Olson. “We can gladly make a 1,000-square feet space and frame it up to how they’d like it. If somebody says they’d like to take the whole second floor, we can make that work.

“The unique thing about our commercial tenants is that we’re providing them a vanilla shell. What that means is that we have underground parking in all of our buildings so we’re providing a little bit more than the standard strip mall that would have a dirt floor.”

The hope is that the space will become almost like an interior mall when all the buildings are finished with all the buildings be connected by skyways that start at the parking ramp and go all the way around through the buildings.

At the end of the day, EPIC has a goal to do our best to ensure commercial tenants succeed as well

“What we really take into consideration is that we’re the call that the tenant makes,” said Olson. “I’m the person who picks up the phone when the tenant calls. We’re very personal with the commercial space occupants and the same goes with our residential spaces

Next Hotspot

The east building will have 49 residential units that range from studios, one-bedrooms, two-bedrooms, and two-story two-bedrooms while the south building will have 36 two-story units. An added perk to these apartments is that anybody living in these units will have a front-row seat to any of the events happening in the plaza. 

EPIC Companies is betting a lot of money, time, and resources that this location will be the next hotspot in town. In fact, the way the location came about has a unique story. 

“Five years ago now, the school district bought this lot and was going to build a hockey arena here,” said Olson. “After hearing about that, some developers were like, ‘That’s kind of a missed opportunity for such a prominent corner and something that’s going to take off even more with the housing that’s out there and the families living out here.’”

“They talked to the school district about swapping land. ‘You take that spot, we’ll take this spot and we’ll do something unique and cool that has the sports arena and coincides with it.’”

West Fargo School District has a shared agreement with The Lights at Sheyenne 32 to use the four-level, 400 spot parking ramp and any of the parking lots, which is very convenient since the West Fargo Sports Arena is right across the street from the development.

Once the space is completely finished, Olson hopes to see this space and plaza fully utilized. 

“We don’t want to be programming all the events,” said Olson. “We want community members to come forward with ideas that they want to see happen here. We want to work with commercial tenants and work with businesses and nonprofits in town that see different ideas that they have. This is really community-driven space, especially for the community of West Fargo where everyone can participate and enjoy the events taking place at The Lights.”

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