A plan to invest $3 million in public parking ramps in downtown Minot will go to the Minot City Council Nov. 5 with the blessing of the Minot MAGIC Fund Screening Committee.
The committee voted Friday to approve funding two ramps, which would be built as part of the "Imagine Minot" project; the ramps to be owned by the city. Total cost is $9 million. The city also has committed $5.3 million in Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery money, and Cypress Development will contribute $700,000. The company behind Imagine Minot, Cypress Development of Portland, Ore., is headed by Minot native Steve Larson, who brought his company, Eid Passport, to downtown Minot last year.
Full build-out of the project over about five years would bring 1,200 housing units and an array of restaurants, shops and offices to downtown.
Jill Schramm/MDN • Contractors tear down a building north of Minot High School’s Central Campus Sept. 25 to make room for a new apartment and commercial complex to be erected next year as part of Imagine Minot. The building had served as a former ear, nose and throat clinic and later St. Leo’s Child Care.
The MAGIC Fund money for parking would go toward two ramps to be built during Phase One in connection with apartment/commercial buildings north of US Bank and also west of the Wells Fargo building.
Each ramp would consist of a three-level parking structure that would provide parking for residents and replace and add to currently available public parking at those locations. The proposed development plan would increase parking on the two city-owned lots from about 260 spaces to 588 spaces.
Phase One, which also includes apartment/commercial construction north of Central Campus, will include about 254 units of market-rate, work-force, and affordable housing, with rents ranging from about $550 to $1,500 per month. The city's CDBG investment in parking and infrastructure is to guarantee affordable rents on 54 housing units for up to three years.
Committee OKs grant for Parshall telepharmacy
A project in Parshall to fill a former nursing home with senior apartments and needed businessess got a boost with support from Minot's MAGIC Fund Screening Committee Friday.
The committee voted to recommend the Minot City Council approve a $10,000 matching grant to open a telepharmacy in the building.
The Good Samaritan Society donated the building to Parshall 2000 last year after closing the Rockview nursing home in 2010. Kenton Onstad with Parshall 2000 said the group has been able to establish a restaurant in the former dining area, a child-care facility in the former activity area and a hair salon and massage business.
"So we look at this as being a home run, trying to bring community services back to the community of Parshall, and like other communities, we are growing. We have to create services and amenities that people need, and this is one of the services that people look for," Onstad said of the pharmacy.
Parshall's drug store closed in 2006. The nearest pharmacy is 17 miles away in New Town. Parshall 2000 has a Turtle Lake pharmacist willing to come a couple a couple of days a week to Parshall and assist the remaining days through a telemedicine format that would enable him to monitor operations long-distance. A pharmacy technician would be available on site.
The cost of building renovations is $140,000 and equipment and supplies for the telepharmacy add another $42,000. Financing is available locally, Onstad said. The project has received $40,000 in grants or commitments plus $10,000 from the City of Parshall that would match the MAGIC Fund grant.
In addition, there will be about 20,000 square feet of street-level commercial space in the three separate sites.
Imagine Minot consists of 11 separate projects throughout the downtown plus a multi-purpose park.
"You get a sense of it truly being a game-changer in our town, and it will separate us from other communities in the Bakken," said Jerry Chavez, president of Minot Area Development Corp. "It's important to recognize the need for MAGIC Fund dollars in terms of seeding this project."
Phase One is about a $144 million project overall. Chavez said the economic benefit to the community is estimated at $600 million over 10 years.
Chavez said the project also supports MADC's core principles in that it would expand the tax base, add jobs and aid in recruiting technology businesses that are suited to downtown.
Asked by committee chairman Jay Hight about any further request of the MAGIC Fund if costs should rise, Chavez said getting construction started this spring is important because construction costs will go up by waiting. He also responded to committee member Randy Bartsch's concern that local contractors get a chance at the work to note that the participation with the federal CDBG grant requires competitive bidding.
"The opportunity for area businesses to be involved in that is high, but once again, it's a performance issue," he said, referring to bidding.
City finance director Cindy Hemphill reported the MAGIC Fund has just over $7 million available from which the $3 million for the parking ramps would come if approved by the city council.