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First Post-Flood Project Free of Flood Recovery Money

Sat July 08, 2000 - Midwest Edition
Dorinda Anderson

Located in the vicinity of the Grand Fork’s ND’s, major shopping district, 32nd Street and Interstate 29, construction began May 1 on a shopping center project that will include several buildings.

The project, which will encompass about 70 acres, includes seven out-lots, on which there will be one building on each lot, explained Paul Tucci of OppiDan Investment Company of Minnetonka, MN. OppiDan is handling the construction for the tenants, who are the owners of the project. Kraus-Anderson Construction Company, Minneapolis, MN, is handling the construction.

Tucci explained that the seven buildings will be built as tenants are secured for them. Work is currently starting on a SuperTarget store, which is scheduled for completion in the spring. A few other tenants will open with it and others will open a year or so later, he said.

Two other definite tenants are Best Buy and Gordman’s Department Store, Tucci added.

Costs to OppiDan total about $20 million, but other entities, like SuperTarget, own their building, thus increasing the cost of the total project.

Construction Manager Dave Hanson, Kraus-Anderson Construction Company, said that the project has the potential to include 540,000 square feet (48,600 sq. m) of retail space. Most of the construction will be single story, steel frame structures with masonry precast exteriors, except for a hotel that will be built as part of the project.

As of the middle of June, foundations were being poured on the SuperTarget and work has been started on parking lot pavement.

This is the first major construction project funded by only private sector capital after the flood of 1997. Grand Forks City Planner Dennis Potter said this project will include no flood recovery dollars. To this point, most of the work in the city has been funded with private sector money, equity from existing businesses and flood recovery money.

Working with the city of Grand Forks has been a relatively smooth process. “We’ve worked well with them and have gotten things to a point where we can construct and where things are under way,” Tucci said.

Potter added that the project was moderately easy, primarily because the city hasn’t put together a project of this size since nearby Columbia Mall was built about 25 years ago. “So we had to make some changes to accommodate a project of this size,” he said. “It was a judgment call on this with the belief it will be good for the city. [The council] liked the plan and needed to fine tune the regulations to make it happen.”

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