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West Fargo Technology Center to open soon

The West Fargo Technology Center under construction in the Pioneer Center shopping plaza should have its first tenant before July 1, said George Gaukler of Valley Realty in Valley City, N.D.

Gaukler is the project's developer/contractor.

The top floor of the two-story, 26,000-square-foot building is being developed for technology businesses and will be equipped with sound proofing and all of the wiring and services tech companies need, Gaukler said.

It will also have a conference room with video conferencing abilities. Gaukler is working with West Fargo to allow the city to use the room, he said.

Technology companies or restaurants and retailers could occupy the first floor, Gaukler said.

"We want as many technology companies as we can, but at some point we will rent out the space," he said.

Gaukler said he is in the process of signing leases but cannot release any names of companies that plan to locate in the center yet.

BNG Technologies and its parent company, Fargo-based BNG Holdings, plan to locate in the center, said Larry Coltom, BNG Technologies president.

The company focuses on point-of-sale equipment, but can handle any type of technology a business needs, Coltom said.

Coltom said the center is in a good location and being near other tech companies may help BNG build its businesses.

Dorinda Anderson, West Fargo business development director, said the project will be good for the city.

"We don't have a lot of technology-based companies," she said. "This will be something that will change kind of the face of West Fargo. We continue to look at ways to diversify our economy."

West Fargo is considering allowing a property tax exemption for the project. Companies would get that back as rent reduction, Anderson said. The issue is expected to go before the City Commission later this month.

The Dakota Real Estate Investment Trust (Dakota REIT), which owns and manages commercial and residential rental properties primarily in eastern North Dakota, is a majority owner of the Pioneer Center. Gaukler, who is president of Dakota REIT, said he hopes Dakota REIT will eventually own the technology center building.

Construction started in October.

Marcil Technologies - a team of software development, consulting and support specialists with headquarters in Fargo - was initially behind the center. The company is a spin-off of The Marcil Group, a Fargo-based operating company focused on real estate and other related businesses.

The Marcil Group is helping lease the space, Gaukler said.

The Marcil Group is not associated with businesses run by William C. Marcil, chairman and CEO of Forum Communications Co.