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Published January 14, 2014, 07:58 PM

Grand Forks City seeks formal agreement for role in arts corridor

The Grand Forks Finance/Development Committee asked Monday for a memorandum of understanding between the city and the Community Foundation to be drafted, regarding a proposed 42nd Street “Destination Corridor” project.

By: Charley Haley, Grand Forks Herald

The Grand Forks Finance/Development Committee asked Monday for a memorandum of understanding between the city and the Community Foundation to be drafted, regarding a proposed 42nd Street “Destination Corridor” project.

City staff and Destination Corridor supporters approached the committee asking for guidance on the city’s involvement of the project.

“We’re at a critical juncture,” said Greg Hoover, city Urban Development director.

The development of 42nd Street between DeMers Avenue and 32nd Avenue has been discussed for about 15 years, and it’s now in a place to move forward, supporters of the project told committee members.

The proposed Destination Corridor would feature more than 50 large, illuminated sculptures, meant to be visible from Interstate 29. It would also include businesses, restaurants and entertainment, possibly including a center combining a library, performing arts space and an art museum.

Supporters say with Grand Forks’ growing community, an arts and entertainment hub like the Destination Corridor would help draw in more people and business.

Kristi Mishler, executive director of the Community Foundation, said the foundation has potential donors, but that more donors would likely come forward with the city confirming its involvement in the project. The foundation also has a $50,000 match grant secured.

The city already has $150,000 in beautification funds set aside for the project, Hoover said.

“What I’m hearing is, if we put up the mere $150,000, there could be millions coming in,” said council member Bret Weber. “That’s a wonderful gift to the city.”

One form of funding discussed was naming the corridor for $1 million, of which half would go toward development and half toward the project’s monetary reserve.

Council member Doug Christensen said the city has a responsibility to assist the Destination Corridor project with planning and zoning of the land, but said he wanted more details on the project before deciding how and when to spend money on it.

The memorandum of understanding would provide more details on the relationship between the Community Foundation and the city in this project, he said.

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