WEST FARGO — What will be the largest and most expensive house in Cass County — possibly the state of North Dakota — is being built here.
The property at 5048 Sheyenne St. will be a two-story, 14,368 square-foot house built on about nine acres for $4.1 million, according to West Fargo building permits.
But, who is moving in is a mystery.
On all public documents related to the building, the owner of the property is simply listed as Tevye, a limited liability corporation.
Jay Sandvig, building department administrator for West Fargo, said the $4.1 million listed on the building permit is what construction is expected to cost and does not include land or additional amenities. Once construction is finished, which he expects to happen in 2020, the total home value will be determined by an assessor.
According to building plans filed with the city, the home will have a large foyer opening to space that includes at least eight bedrooms, most of which will be connected to a bathroom. Space for a home theater is planned, as well as an indoor pool, large open gym, one-lane bowling alley and a five-stall garage.
Project architect Chris Hawley, who has represented the homeowner at public meetings, declined to comment, citing his client’s wish for anonymity. Tim Solberg, West Fargo director of planning and zoning, who often communicates directly with owners and developers, said he does not know the name of the Tevye property owner.
Largest, most expensive
When completed, the house going up just off Sheyenne Street will be a record breaker in several ways.
The $4.1 million cost for construction is close to double the price tag of the most expensive home in Cass County.
According to records from the county assessor’s office, based on 2018 valuations, that distinction currently belongs to a property at 533 Lizzie Place E. in West Fargo. Its total value of $2,462,300 includes the cost of the land.
With nearly 14,370 square feet of living space, the Sheyenne Street property will also likely be the largest home in the county.
Records from the city of Fargo list the old Fargo Laundry building at 1002 First Ave. S., which was converted into a private residence, as having 14,090 square feet.
City Assessor Ben Hushka said square footage for appraisals is calculated using all livable space above grade. Basements aren’t included, nor is an indoor swimming pool, which is in the plans for this home.
A check of several other counties in North Dakota, including Grand Forks and McKenzie, showed no other properties that come close to what’s being built in West Fargo.
The city of West Fargo is creating a special assessment district for the $60 million Sheyenne Street road project, of which about $26 million will be paid for by local funds. The project includes reconstruction of the Interstate 94 interchange and widening of Sheyenne Street from 13th Avenue to 40th Avenue South.
Because the high-value home will be a part of the assessment district, the city requested in July that Tevye LLC sign an agreement acknowledging that the property's special assessments could be upwards of $500,000.
The request was part of a plat approval condition, which said the LLC was notified the special assessments could be substantial but Tevye would still have the same rights as other property owners to dispute or discuss any future assessments.
“It’s simply an acknowledgement that they may get assessed $500,000 or more, which frankly, could be closer to a million dollars,” City Attorney Jon Shockley said.
Michael Raum, an attorney representing Tevye at a January City Commission meeting, said the owner was concerned why such a document was needed, but the owner does not foresee a problem covering the cost.
“It seems to me that to some degree it muddies the water in regards to special assessments in the future,” Raum said.
Shockley said another subdivision owner north of the Tevye property will be asked to sign a similar agreement.
Shockley said Friday, March 1, that the Tevye agreement was changed to not include a specific assessment amount, and it has been signed by the property owner.
Homes above $1 million
Realtor Shari Zimbelman with Beyond Realty in Fargo said not many homes listed in the Fargo-Moorhead area are priced at more than $1 million.
She examined high-end listings over the past three years and found few that come close to the Sheyenne Street property, although some multi-million homes could have been sold privately.
The most expensive home currently listed in West Fargo is asking $2.89 million. In Fargo, a 16th-floor condo in the Block 9 building under construction on Broadway is listed for sale at $3.74 million.
Zimbelman said multi-million dollar listings in North Dakota often include a sizable parcel of land, such as a listing for a hunting retreat near Fort Ransom, N.D., at $4 million.