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Published February 04, 2014, 11:22 AM

Plans for new Hugo’s, other development submitted to City of Grand Forks

Another Hugo’s in Grand Forks is closer to reality, according to plans for a new development.

By: John Hageman , Grand Forks Herald

Another Hugo’s in Grand Forks is closer to reality, according to plans for a new development.

The grocery chain is requesting several land use changes from the Planning and Zoning Commission this week in anticipation of adding another store along with other commercial buildings — including stores, restaurants and apartments — on south side of town, one of the fastest-growing areas of Grand Forks.

The future site is slated for a vacant piece of land on the east side of South Washington Street and the south side of 47th Avenue South.

Scott Van Camp, Hugo’s director of retail operations, said they are hoping to start construction on the grocery store in late summer or early fall.

“There are a lot of tentative things that are up in the air at this time,” he said. “Ideally, that’s what we’d like to see.”

The addition of a new Hugo’s isn’t necessarily a surprise. The land was purchased in 2011 with future development in mind.

There are four Hugo’s in Grand Forks and one in East Grand Forks. The new store would be Hugo’s first new construction since 1998, when it opened stores in East Grand Forks and Jamestown, N.D.

The plans will be the subject of a Planning and Zoning Commission meetingWednesday. Valley Markets Properties, the grocery chain’s limited liability company that owns the 28-acre property, is requesting that the largest piece of the land be annexed into the city. It’s also seeking preliminary approval of a rezoning request and a plat defining the parcels’ legal boundaries.

“All three of those are really wrapped into one,” said Ryan Brooks, a senior planner with the city. Ultimately, changes will have to be approved by the Grand Forks City Council.

Valley Markets purchased the property from Crary Properties in April 2011. At that time, a Hugo’s official said future development would be dependent on population growth, and hinted that the land could be home to more than just a grocery store.

A preliminary development concept included in the Planning and Zoning Commission agenda includes separate mixed-use buildings, two unnamed restaurants, a bank and multi-family dwellings on the land surrounding Hugo’s.

That would add several commercial amenities to a burgeoning area of Grand Forks that has added restaurants, medical facilities, housing and Choice Health and Fitness in recent years.

“The goal is to kind of make it a destination area,” Van Camp said.