As the Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo area continues to grow, more housing is needed for an increasingly diverse community.
For some, housing is more than just four walls and a roof overhead. Some are looking to establish a social sense of place in their living arrangement and property developers are adding amenities to attract such tenants.
“We’ve found that the generation moving into apartments yearns more for a sense of engagement and community and looking to connect with people,” said Brianna Thompson, marketing and public relations coordinator for Lux Communities and its sister company, Enclave Development. “They’re not necessarily looking for a place to rest their head, but a place they can make their home through amenity spaces. A whole lifestyle-driven community is what we’re going for.”
She points to the amenity-driven apartment building 300 Lime. The downtown Fargo property boasts a coffee bar on the main floor for residents, a gym, yoga studio and a club room available for rentals, with a shuffle board, pool table and TVs.
Outside there’s a rooftop patio with grilling station, mini-golf, lounging areas and fire pits.
Most notably, the place has gone to the dogs. As a matter of design.
“Lux Communities is very pet positive,” she said, adding that there are no breed or weight restriction on dogs allowed in the facility.
The building backs up its paws-itivity with an outdoor dog run that features green turf that waters itself every hour.
“Being that downtown there is limited green space, we wanted to give our residents a place they could bring their dogs out to go to the bathroom,” she said.
Inside there is a pet spa and grooming station so pooches can put their best paw forward.
Downtown Fargo is in the midst of a housing boom, but West Fargo and Moorhead are seeing an influx in creative dwelling designs as well.
McKenzy Olson, vice president of public relations and marketing at Epic Management says what were once luxuries, like rooftop patios, community rooms, fitness rooms, are becoming more commonplace.
“Some research we did this year, what was really important to some people was having that community room space, that workout room or patio,” she said. “Maybe their unit was a little smaller, but they liked what it offered.”
She represents Sheyenne Plaza, which features two-story apartments overlooking the heart of West Fargo.
“It has this unique vibe and atmosphere, plus, it has a fitness room and it’s pet friendly, which is a big deal these days,” she said.
The building is a mixed-use space, with Ohnstad Twichell law offices and Moore Engineering using office space on the first two levels.
More significantly, the structure also houses the West Fargo VFW and the POW/MIA Plaza is right next door, serving as a community space, hosting weekly summer concerts, exercise classes, screening films and the central point for West Fargo’s popular Cruise Nights.
“It’s an asset for Cruise Night, but an asset to the community in general,” Olson said. “With the sound system and lights out there, it’s really pretty at night.”
Across the Street, another Epic mixed used apartment building, Pioneer Plaza, featuring a community room, fitness room, indoor/outdoor patio as well as a commercial coffee shop and a nutrition shop opened this summer.
Tim Solberg, West Fargo’s planning and zoning director, said such a mixed use property isn’t just popular with residential tenants, but business tenants as well. It’s also a boon for the city.
“When you have people in a neighborhood, having a space like a neighborhood restaurant or a volleyball court or whatever recreation, they’re more apt to have things in common and meet people they don’t have things in common with and find connections,” he said. “Those are ancillary to a city’s first goal, to provide services for the citizens.”
Lisa Bode, governmental affairs director for the city of Moorhead, agrees.
“If it’s just your apartment unit and you just go in and out of your apartment, you don’t really have the opportunity to get to know your neighbors,” she said.
She points to Block E on the corner of Main Avenue and Eighth Street in Moorhead. On the floors below the 12 residential units are offices for Eventide Senior Living Communities and Choice Bank and also a new home for the popular restaurant, Usher’s House.
“It was always a prominent Moorhead business, so to be able to reopen at our location is really great because it has such a great following. That business has meant a lot to the city of Moorhead,” said Olson, whose Epic Management oversees that property.
More unique projects are on the horizon. Thompson said Enclave is building a project called Uptown and Main on Veterans Boulevard in South Fargo that will feature similar amenities to 300 Lime in a mixed use development that will also house a coffee shop, deli, jewelry store, and a restaurant with a potential grocery store and other shopping options nearby.
Olson said Epic Management is looking forward to the first phase of its largest project, the Lights at Sheyenne 32, opening in West Fargo in January, 2020.
The four mixed-use buildings will be connected by skyways and surround a plaza, rigged with hi-tech lighting and screens and big enough to hold a concert for 3,000 people or maybe host a Fargo Force hockey game.
“It’s pretty exciting because it’s such an entertainment spot,” Olson said. “It’s enhancing the tenant vision.”