The rulers of Grand Forks always have a long list of things they would like to do, build, or improve, whether it’s a denser downtown, a new bridge over the Red River, or even a tourist attraction in a vacant commercial space.
But at the top of that list is a new future for the Grand Forks Inn and Suites. It’s now a vacant building along North 43rd Street, near the intersection of Freeway 2 and Interstate 29 at the north end of town. Local leaders point out that this is one of the first things visitors see when entering the city from the west. Maybe it could do with a facelift – or a rethought future.
Built in 1966, the future of the hotel has wavered in recent years. County records show a long list of owners; but in late 2017, it closed for a $ 250,000 renovation project. The following spring it appeared on a commercial real estate auction flyer. Last fall, county records show a change in ownership from a Fargo-based LLC to a Dickinson-area bank.
Right now, the location is a prime candidate to host the Career and Technology Center that local leaders strive to bring to Grand Forks – a place where local students can learn and grow to. local employment opportunities. City and business leaders believe it could mean an explosion of activity in the region.
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City administrator Todd Feland said there were many possibilities for the future of the building, if the career and technology center was placed elsewhere. There is a strong similarity between this space and Columbia Mall; both are the product of an era that happened decades ago, and now the community is trying to reallocate ownership and move on.
“I think if you look at the Columbia Mall, the Grand Cities Mall… they were developed in the 1970s and 80s,” Feland said. “Those days are past us. Now is the time to redevelop these properties for the next 30 years.”
As the career and tech center runs the space, local executives say they would welcome the development of the old hotel site. Keith Lund, president and CEO of the Local Economic Development Corporation, said the location could play an important role in the future of Grand Forks.
“I think any number of businesses would be beneficial. I think retail to some extent and service to some extent I think would add vibrancy to the community. “