July 21 Downtown E-News

The Downtowners’

City Center Newsletter

July 21, 2011

What You Will Find…

□Downtown is Building

□Let’s Talk Parking

□Downtown Updates

□Upcoming Events

□Association News

Downtown is Building

New structures going up in the city center…

The July 7 E-newsletter recapped all the new and expanding businesses in Downtown.  Currently there are also a number of building projects happening.

American Bank Center

Located on 4th and Rosser, formerly the Dakota Twin, American Bank Center is building a new structure and constructing a Downtown Campus.  Three levels with a mostly glass exterior.  Geothermal wells were also dug for the $4.1 million edition.

Broadway Centre

Formerly Wilhelm car lot, this $23-$27 million structure will be mostly brick, two levels, with condos on the upper floor and restaurant/retail/office on the main floor.  This is the biggest project the Renaissance Zone has seen and will double the amount privately invested thus far into the entire Bismarck RZ.

Dr. Rick Becker’s Proposed Project

Dr. Becker has plans to build on his property on the 500 block of Main Ave.  The $3.1 million structure would be three levels with a roof top restaurant and skywalk access to the public parking ramp to the north.  Look for office and retail on the lower levels and a well blended downtown storefront. 

All of these projects have applied for Renaissance Zone.  After their completion these properties will not only contribute to the livelihood, sustainability and culture of Downtown Bismarck, but the city as well.  Each project will be contributing an exponential amount of taxes (4000% more in one case) compared to what they were generating prior to construction. Not to mention the almost $35 million total investment in construction, new jobs and new businesses in Downtown Bismarck.

Let’s Talk Parking

Recap of the 1st International Parking Conference…

Dawn Kopp, Executive Director

of the Downtowners Association

On July 13-14 I attended the 1st International Conference of the Great Northern Parking Association.  Topics covered included: management of public parking in downtowns, positive parking enforcement, security, and parking meter usage.  The conference reinforced the importance of creating safe and secure public parking facilities through new technology and upkeep.  The topic most thoroughly discussed was parking demand and ways to meet the needs of the public.

To get the public acclimated to using public parking ramps, topics like affordability, ease of use and sufficient staff are key.  Easily understood and well-placed signage in parking structures and leading to parking structures are essential.

All cities referenced during the conference rent spaces to monthly users during business hours, or when demand is high and income is collected from meters (if used), while providing certain free periods in the public structures.  Most free periods happen after regular business hours or on holidays.  Some cities even provide incentives such as first hour free.

Beyond free parking, customer service is crucial.   Most cities have fully staffed structures, which roam the parking structures to ensure safety and ease of use while others provide interaction upon exiting at pay stations.  Representatives fromWinnipegandKalamazoo,MIsuggest increasing interaction with customers makes the largest difference in how public parking structures are perceived.  OnceKalamazooadopted a new customer-oriented program, revenue and ticket collection skyrocketed due to patrons’ perception that the system was fairer and added value to their parking purchase.

It is illegal in North Dakota to implement parking meters on public property, forcing cities to provide other means of public parking in downtown and highly concentrated areas.  Most of North Dakota’s large cities use parking ramps to meet such needs.  

Downtown Updates

-At the July Renaissance Zone Authority meeting two projects were discussed.  Daymarck, a medical coding business, is moving into the last vacant spot in theCivic Squarebuilding.  Their RZ Application was approved and now goes to the city.

Also Steve Pine’s large scale project on the former Wilhelm car lot was approved by the city with an unusual stipulation.  A motion was made to deviate away from the Development Plan that structuresBismarck’s Renaissance Zone.  The development plan was written by the city and is used to approve or reject the projects at a state level as well.  The Renaissance Zone members voiced their disapproval over this irregularity saying it didn’t match with the guidelines the city has set for the Renaissance Zone Board, developers and previously approved developers.  They also thought the irregularity could set a negative precedent.  They contend making an “arbitrary” irregularity at the City Commission level leaves too much up to chance for the developer and the state could reject them based on the deviation from the approved development plan.

-Anyone interested in spaces for purchase or lease downtown can check out our website’s Real Estate Section. www.downtownbismarck.com

-The Bismarck Parking Authority board has announced a summer parking ramp special from now through August 31. Print out a voucher from their website and use it as you exit the ramp to park for free.  The voucher is valid for the 3rd and Main ramp from 4pm to 4am to promote using the ramps in off peak hours. Follow this link to print a voucher to save in your vehicle for later!


Upcoming events

July 21

Urban Harvest

4th and Broadway


July 20-24

Capitol Shakespeare Presents:

“Romeo & Juliet”


July 28

Urban Harvest

4th and Broadway


Shade Tree Players

Summer Performance Schedule


Aug 4

1st Thursdays: Alive After 5!


Aug 4

Urban Harvest

4th and Broadway


Aug 6-7

Capital A’Fair

BismarckCapitol Grounds


Downtowners’ Association News

Organization and member news …


The Downtowners would like to welcome our newest Member:

JLG Architects- 416 E Main  Welcome to the Downtowners! You can find out more about JLG Architects at: www.jlgarchitects.com.

A FIESTA FUNDRAISER!  Tuesday, Aug 2, 4-7 pm!  “Salsa” your way into Lillians and join us, along with Power Financial, Fiesta Villa, and Peacock Alley, for a special event to benefit our local Red Cross Flood Relief Fund!  Retail therapy, pampering, socializing and maybe even some “dancing” for all!

Dacotah Speedway has named memberBismarck

CancerCenter’s Foundation as the beneficiary of their Drive to Survive Cancer benefit. Purchase a Drive to Survive T-Shirt and get in to the races FREE on Aug 19!  There are also other fun activities that will support the BCC Foundation. Contact the BCC at 222-6100 or Ken Hoff at 391-6211.

Street Fair Applications are still being accepted. Most acceptance packets have been mailed. Visit the Street Fair page of our website to download your application! www.downtownbismarck.com.

The 38th Annual Downtowners Street Fair is Sept 16-17.

Please contact the Downtowners’ if you haven’t received your renewal notice or if you have run out of spaces on your membership plaque for your 2011 tag.

The Bismarck-Mandan Chamber of Commerce will be having another informational session for businesses with flooding issues July 27.  Representatives from FEMA and the SBA will also be there. www.bismarckmandan.com

The Downtown Walking Maps have been finished; we will be making our way around to all the businesses that participated and delivering the new maps!  Special thanks to Luke Graner for his beautiful work. You can also view it on our website. www.downtownbismarck.com

 Please send all member business news and events to: kate@downtownbismarck.com.  Check the Downtown Business Association’s websites for updated news and events www.downtownbismarck.com or www.bismarckribfest.com

Please forward this on to people interested in Downtown news!



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