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Local impact of EPIC bankruptcy uncertain

Minot and Ward County officials remain hopeful for the downtown Big M building renovation and the development of the new The Tracks project in southwest Minot despite the developer’s bankruptcy filing Monday.

EPIC Companies Midwest, LLC of Minot filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The company submitted two filings involving EPIC Companies Midwest, EC West Fargo, EOLA Landholding and EPIC Employees.

Minot City Manager Harold Stewart and Ward County Commission Chairman John Fjeldahl said it is yet to be seen how the bankruptcy might impact the local projects and taxpayers.

“Right now, we’re hoping impacts will be fairly minimal,” Stewart said. “It will depend on if other people step in to fill in on the projects they were doing.”

He said it is believed investors are still moving forward on The Maverick building, which is part of The Tracks, and other developers are showing interest in taking on some of the other assets and projects within Minot.

“So, I think it’s positive other entities are willing to step in and take that role. That’s positive for Minot. But until that really solidifies and comes to fruition, it’s hard to say what the impacts are,” Stewart said.

Fjeldahl said it is not clear whether the downtown Big M building and The Tracks are included in the bankruptcy or what impacts lie ahead.

“Time will tell,” he said. “We will just have to see how this all plays out.”

Both Minot projects were granted Tax Increment Financing through the city, which allows a portion of taxes paid on improvements to go toward the projects’ costs. The TIF affects other local taxing entities in addition to the city, although Ward County voted to participate in the TIF for the Big M building for a shorter period.

Both bankruptcy cases claim assets in the range of $10 million to $50 million and liabilities of the same. One filing listed between 50-99 creditors and the other listed between 100-199. Creditors include a number of investors from around the state.

Lighthouse Management Group has been named chief restructuring officer for EPIC Companies Midwest.

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