Developer Jon Youness of EagleRidge Development believes an outdoor gathering place for families in southwest Fargo, right next to West Fargo, is needed — and he's planning to fill the bill.

The city's Planning and Zoning Commission on Tuesday, Feb. 4, gave preliminary approval to his plan that will involve a 1.5-acre or 66,000-square-foot plaza in the midst of mixed-use buildings in what is now an open field just south of Scheels Arena and the Family Wellness Fargo facility.

"We figured families in this area need something like this," said Youness, who is the acquisition and development manager for the company. "This is some of the last infill property in this area and a last chance to do this."

The "family-friendly" plaza, he said, will be a mixture of pavers, stamped concrete, green space and planter beds. He said extras like a stage could be part of the plan that hasn't yet been finalized.

This rendering shows the proposed plaza for a mixed-use building in southwestern Fargo near Veterans Boulevard and 33rd Avenue South. Special to The Forum
This rendering shows the proposed plaza for a mixed-use building in southwestern Fargo near Veterans Boulevard and 33rd Avenue South. Special to The Forum

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Youness and Abbey Benson, the development company's marketing director, said businesses on the main floor could use the space, but the public would also be invited to use the plaza for events that could include farmers markets, barbecues, shows or food trucks.

The plaza would tie in with a courtyard that will be constructed this year behind the EagleRidge Development office building, 3280 Veterans Blvd. The courtyard will also feature pavers, a fountain and patio space for a restaurant in one of the office buildings.

The courtyard would also be behind and available to a second office building that is under construction next door. Next year, the courtyard would then connect with the plaza, Youness said.

Construction is expected to start in August on the five-story mixed-use buildings and the plaza, which would be called EagleRidge Plaza. Youness said the plan is to have the complex open by the fall of 2021.

This preliminary rendering shows what the plaza planned for a housing development in southwest Fargo would look like at night. The project could be completed as soon as the fall of 2021. Special to The Forum
This preliminary rendering shows what the plaza planned for a housing development in southwest Fargo would look like at night. The project could be completed as soon as the fall of 2021. Special to The Forum

The 90-unit mixed-use structures would have commercial and residential units on the main floor and represent the first phase of the complex. He said the apartments would have many amenities, including either underground or main floor covered parking, a gym, a rooftop patio, bike storage, Wi-Fi lounges and pet washing stations.

Youness said the entire EagleRidge project would eventually consist of 10 buildings, with the two office buildings and eight mixed-use buildings.

The plaza would also be built in two phases, with the third and fourth mixed-use buildings following the first two. They would be constructed to the east. The plaza would also extend to the other two mixed-use buildings.

The Fargo City Commission still has to approve the plan, and the city's Planning and Zoning Commission will revisit the project when the final plan is completed.