InForum: The Firm Opens

February 2, 2021

The fourth building on Sheyenne opened Monday
Written By: Wendy Reuer | Feb 2nd 2021 – 12am.

WEST FARGO — A third complex developed by EPIC Properties with the intent to create a “downtown” for West Fargo on northern Sheyenne Street has opened.

Vice President of Marketing for EPIC McKenzy Olson said The Firm officially began welcoming residents to their new homes on Feb. 1.

The four-story building offers just over 9,000 square feet of commercial space on the first floor, with residential space on the top floors, similar to the layout of Sheyenne Plaza and Pioneer Place, which were also built by EPIC.

Of the 26 total one-bedroom units available, 12 have been leased, she said Monday, Feb. 1. Tenants for the commercial space have yet to be secured.

“We don’t have a tenant yet, but we’re looking very actively, and we are offering a couple of great incentives,” Olson said. “It would be great if we could get a restaurant/bar.”

The Firm will also add public space with restrooms located on the south side that can be used by the public when attending events at the adjacent POW/MIA Plaza or on Sheyenne Street.

“That will be really great for people who are attending an event or if they are going ice skating they can change,” Olson said.

EPIC Events leader Todd Berning said at the start of the project that The Firm’s apartments would have entry-level price points for the area. Olson said all of the residential units have just one bedroom and start at $700 per month, but the rent amounts include water, sewer, garbage and internet, a perk EPIC Companies has been adding to all of its new buildings.

“We’ve been really pushing that,” she said. “All of our new buildings now have internet. It seems like it’s a perk and a lot of people don’t have it. Our buildings are also pet-friendly.”

Residents also have access to a community space, kitchen and fitness area and can lease storage space in the building.

Like Sheyenne Plaza and Pioneer Place, The Firm’s name is also a nod to West Fargo history, at least in terms of development.

While Sheyenne Plaza and Pioneer Place moved forward, some West Fargo business owners in the area stood firm in their belief development would not take off in the area, making the sale of the land at 344 Sheyenne Street a little tougher, Olson said.

“They hadn’t really bought into the idea of buying and redeveloping there, so it took awhile for people to buy into the idea of a downtown West Fargo,” Olson said. ” They were pretty firm on their decision that this wasn’t going to happen. In the end, it was great to work with he previous tenants; it just took awhile for them to change their mindset.”

Olson said they hope that the new developments along Sheyenne will bring back some of the smaller businesses that were along Sheyenne Street in the past, such as an upholstery shop, a salon or even a bowling alley.

“The goal and the long-term is to bring those type of businesses back — upholstery, barber there but add a salon and a bowling alley,” she said.

Now that the three multi-use buildings are finished, EPIC is continuing its development on northern Sheyenne with a plan to partner with Bell Bank to raze the current building and build an eight-story building with parking in its place.

At the same time, EPIC continues work on the third building on south Sheyenne Street at the Lights on Sheyenne 32. The ENVY building, which will be seven stories high and sit between the West Fargo Sports Arena and the Essentia Health Plaza, will begin construction soon.

“We are still looking for a very active tenant there, like a bar and grill or brewery, something that can cater to the area,” she said.

Another change that will come with the Envy building is an opportunity for residents to buy in with not just apartments but condos that will be built in the residential floors of the building.

The building will also be connected to the plaza via a skyway with underground parking.

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