Inforum: EPIC wins bid for Fargo Park District land, plans major development

September 10, 2020

Written By: Barry Amundson | Sep 8th 2020 – 8pm.

This preliminary drawings shows how the 17 acres of the Anderson Park area in southwest Fargo could be developed in the coming years by EPIC Companies of West Fargo. The company said they are planning multiple mixed-use building of six to seven stories in the development. Submitted drawing. 

FARGO — EPIC Companies of West Fargo has won the bid for 17 acres of Park District land in south Fargo to start constructing a major new housing, business and park-like development.

EPIC’s bid of $6 million for the land along 45th Street South just south of Interstate 94 was one of three.

Despite being lower than another two-part bid of $6.2 million and $6.75 million, a study by numerous park and city officials found EPIC’s to be “the best value to the Park District and the community.”

The higher bids were by Stonewood Development/Buchholz Construction, but the highest one would have been paid over five years based on commercial lots being sold. Property Resources of Fargo was the third bidder at $3.65 million.

The Park Board voted 5-0 Tuesday night, Sept. 8, to accept EPIC’s bid.

EPIC’s plan calls for numerous multi-use buildings on the land, with a requirement for at least 4 acres for a park or green space. EPIC would work with the park district on determining what would be in those acres of park land. Some of the proposals are walking paths, a baseball diamond with a grandstand, fountains and space for youth activities.

The development would be called EOLA Park by EPIC, with EOLA standing for violet and plans to light all of the buildings with unique lighting and colors.

It’s expected the land sale will be finalized by December following legal review, with plans beginning on drawings over the winter and construction starting in the spring.

The project would be done in phases over years, said McKenzy Olson, vice president of marketing for the company.

She said plans call for multiple mixed-use buildings that would each be six to seven stories.

Although nothing is finalized, the options being considered are affordable housing units, condos, apartments, a parking ramp, underground parking, a bus stop, skyways connecting buildings and business and office space.

She said the project would be similar to The Lights multi-use project in southwestern West Fargo. However, while that development centers around a huge outdoor concert venue, this new development would focus on the park-like or green space environment that Olson said would be family-friendly.

“We look forward to building relationships and developing EOLA by EPIC into a community space for all to enjoy,” Olson said.

The land became available after the Park District developed softball and baseball diamonds in other parts of the city. Four small and four large fields used for baseball, softball and flag football, as well as the hockey arena, will remain in Anderson Park and be operated by the Park District.

In discussing the project, Park Board Commissioner Jerry Rostad said it was a “hard decision” between the bidders, but he was comfortable with the choice.

EPIC, besides The Lights, has worked on numerous projects in the metro, including Block E in downtown Moorhead, Sheyenne Plaza in downtown West Fargo and Gateway that is just under construction on Main Avenue near the Red River in downtown Fargo.

It also has projects statewide and in Detroit Lakes, Minn.

As for the EOLA project, the company said Zerr Berg Architects and Gehrtz Construction Services will work on the development, with EPIC managing the commercial spaces and residential units.

EPIC Companies is planning to work with the Fargo Park District in developing a park-like atmosphere in a new development planned for southwest Fargo in unused space in Anderson Park. Some of the preliminary proposals are for a baseball diamond with a grandstand, fountains and walking paths. Submitted drawing. 

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