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City moves forward with revitalization plan

Downtown Dickinson is one step closer to getting a much-needed facelift.

The Dickinson City Commission gave city staff permission to begin contract negotiations with Dickinson Development Group, a partnership between Seattle-based V3 Studios, Minot-based Construct North Dakota, LLC and Minnesota-based Meyer Real Estate Group, which already has developments in Dickinson.

The same group worked with the city of Minot on a similar project in its downtown.

The commission unanimously approved the decision to move forward with downtown revitalization at its regular meeting at City Hall on Monday.

"Their process took our existing plan -- the comp plan and any other housing documents that are in existence today -- and utilized those to craft the plan for the downtown and begin the construction of housing and/or mixed-use developments," City Administrator Shawn Kessel said.

"The opposing group took a much different approach. They wanted to conduct additional downtown planning and then took more of a build-it-and-they-will-come approach, meaning they would like to take the streetscaping in the downtown area and construct that and, because of the beauty and such, that would attract people to our downtown, which would therefore then bring housing and other mixed-use developments."

Commissioner Gene Jackson was concerned about the outcomes of the contract, what the city would actually receive from Dickinson Development Group.

The city has not entered into a contract with Dickinson Development Group.

"We should get a concept of the downtown revitalization project and they also are going to be tasked with the eventual construction, potentially, of buildings to the downtown area," Kessel said.

It would not be the exclusive contractor in the area, but it would make recommendations about construction, he said.

"We felt -- a lot of the weight that we gave on (Dickinson Development Group) was what they're doing up in Minot now," said Commissioner Carson Steiner, who was on the committee that reviewed the requests for qualifications. "We're able to tie a lot in between what they're doing up there and what we want down here."

One of the things Steiner found impressive was the creation of underground parking and multi-use buildings in Minot, something he feels could benefit downtown Dickinson.

"It presented an option to bring more businesses downtown, it will also present a solution for bringing people to live downtown," Steiner said.

Overall, the committee was impressed with what Dickinson Development group was presenting.

"I just want to make sure that our expectations are in place as to what we get from this particular contractor and that the contractor knows what we expect," Jackson said.

Katherine Grandstrand
I graduated from Bemidji State University in 2007 with a bachelor's degree in mass communcations, from Columbia College Chicago in 2009 with a master's degree in journalism.  
(701) 456-1206