Mar 31 Downtown Bismarck News

Downtown Housing

Through the efforts of many both public and private, Downtown Bismarck has made great strides to revitalize.  Progress has been made in restoring buildings, infilling former building sites, increasing property values and creating new jobs and businesses.  Downtown Bismarck housing however hasn’t gained much steam due to a variety of factors, even though demand for urban walkable housing is very high.  Construction cost: A multi-story mixed-use building in an urban environment simply costs more.  Material storage and tight space for contractors to work can increase prices and extend timelines.  Land:  Land prices in Downtown Bismarck can be quite high (limited amount), making housing projects harder to cash flow.  Coupled with increased construction costs, the numbers really add up.  Lastly,adaptive reuse projects are hard to come by.  For instance, converting an old warehouse to housing.  During the 1970s in particular, Federal Urban Renewal policies encouraged a lot of demolitions in Downtowns.  Bismarck lost many of its former hotels and warehouses due to demolition, buildings which could have been adapted for housing today.
The Good News– Downtown housing is in high demand. Projects like Five South and MetroPlains proposed project on Main Ave, show that the developers are trying to make housing work and fill that under-served urban housing market.  The tax efficiencies of building housing in an area where infrastructure already exists and can be recycled shows a long term savings for the city.  Incentives can off-set some of these hurdles, but often it takes all the right factors to align.  The next five years will be critical for Downtown Bismarck to create a decent stock of urban housing, setting up the Bismarck community to continue to attract and retain talent. 

Association News

Welcome to our Newest Members!
lula b. boutique 

lula b. is located at 301 E Broadway Avenue and is a fun and fashion forward women’s boutique, offering styles for ages 15-115.  It is a locally owned where mothers and daughters can shop together. Featuring the latest trends in clothing and accessories.  Opening soon!

Agency MABU
Agency MABU is a full service marketing firm offering advertising, public relations, multimedia production, event planning and website development services. 

More Association/Member News…
Member Bismarck Art & Galleries Associationwill host the 6th Annual ‘To Be Hung Over Art Sale’ April 26-30. This sale is an opportunity for those with original art to re-market those pieces. To be eligible for the ‘To Be Hung Over Art Sale’, art must be in good condition, clean and without chips, cracks or breaks. Art owners are limited to two pieces of art. Participants must register pieces with BAGA by April 15, 2016. For more information contact Linda or Sherry at 223-5986. To register please click here:  Hung Over Art Show Registration Form.

Member Townsquare Media has partnered with Plant Perfect and the NDSU Extension Service to bring you the 4th Annual Dakota Garden Expo April 15 & 16 at the Bismarck Event Center. This year’s vendors will include home accessories, gourmet food items, gardening, custom décor and more. A large number of seminars will be taking place throughout the two-day event. There will also be a Kids Zone full of activities like face painting and a sandbox. Admission each day is $4 for adults or $2 with the donation of a nonperishable food item. Those 17 and under are free. For more information please visit

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Downtown News

Bismarck City Commissioners moved forward a state application for a 5 year extension to the Bismarck Renaissance Zone Program.  State law allows an additional 5 year extension to any city’s program.  To date, the Bismarck Renaissance Zone has had 118 projects approved, produced over $40 Million dollars in increased property value, 465 full time equivalent jobs, and added 50 new businesses within the zone.  The Renaissance Zone Program is a state-wide tax incentive program for economic revitalization used in many ND cities.  The average incentive payback length is between 5-7 years for Bismarck projects, after which the city collects higher taxable value on the improved property.  The extension has not yet been approved by the state until other required documentation is filed.  Bismarck City Commissioners approved the motion 4-1, with Commissioner Marquart the dissenting vote.