main steet initiative

Fargo planner: Renaissance zone works for his city

Feb 17, 2018
City of Fargo

Fargo’s city planning director said the city’s Renaissance Zone project has been good for not only developing its downtown, but for the rest of the city taxpayers as well.

The city’s “RZ” program is designed to help develop downtown properties with a five year property tax exemption and a state income tax exemption.

A Legislative interim committee is studying the program.

Fargo city planning director Jim Gilmour said the program has helped Fargo in two ways. First, he says it has helped lower property taxes for all of Fargo.

Consultant: Retail moving back into historic downtowns

Feb 13, 2018
Governor's Office

One of the keynote speakers at the Main Street Summit – being held in Bismarck – said more and more retailers are abandoning shopping malls – and looking to relocate into downtowns.

Robert Gibbs is with the Gibbs Planning Group. He said malls across the country are either closing or trying to adapt to changing shopping patterns. Gibbs said in 10 years, the prediction is 25 to 30 percent of the nation's shopping malls will close.

Gibbs said as retail moves back to downtowns, cities do have some problems to overcome. One is parking.

'Main Street' Presenter: Big isn't necessarily better

Feb 13, 2018
Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

One of the keynote speakers at the Main Street Summit – being held in Bismarck – thinks cities need to rethink whether they want to keep chasing big projects, like big box stores.

Charles Marohn is with “Strong Towns.” He told reporters that – for the last 40 years or so, cities have been building “large things.”

"Our public investments have tended to be very large," Marohn said. "They're designed to be a catalyst for other things. We build it, and then they come."

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

More than 700 people are attending the Governor’s first-ever Main Street ND Summit, being held in Bismarck.

The conference is designed for community leaders, to give them tools to make their cities vibrant, so they can attract new people.

"We're competing against every other state for 21st century talent," Gov. Doug Burgum told reporters at the Summit. "It's not enough any more just to have jobs available."

Burgum said the state needs to have communities available that are attractive and livable.