WDAZ: Your Home Team

Published November 23, 2009, 05:46 PM

City Making Plans For Downtown Lots

City leaders in Grand Forks have until the end of December to finalize plans for a $4.6 million dollar neighborhood stabilization project.

By: Joel Porter, WDAZ

Grand Forks City council members are finalizing plans to improve the downtown area.

And they hope to build more affordable housing in the area.

Between stimulus dollars, loans and money from the private sector, the city has about four point six million dollars to spend on neighborhood stabilization projects.

But they only have until December 31st to submit their paperwork to the state.

City council members have a little over a month to decide how to spend close to four point six million dollars. They're currently eyeing two apartment complexes that would be constructed near the site of the Civic Auditorium.

"One of the things that is a requirement is housing, part of it is for distressed housing or foreclosed housing, the other is for low to moderate income housing," city council member Curt Kreun said.

Tonight, council members are considering three potential projects including two that would involve building low-income housing.

"We'd like to define our plans just a little bit tighter, be able to bring a little bit more than just a conceptual plan to to the state because they're the ones who actually make the decision if these funds are viable or not," Kreun said.

Council members have left the door open for other projects as well including commercial space or a grocery store. They also haven't yet decided whether to demolish the Civic.

"As council members, we all have ideas of how to utilize these funds, but it boils down to the situation, which projects meet the qualifications for the funds," Kreun said.

The city has until December 31st to submit a project list to the North Dakota state housing department.

If approved, construction would begin next year.