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Odyssey Theater project hits delay

A delay has stalled the construction of a new Odyssey Theaters complex. The eight-screen complex, to be located on Second Avenue, directly across from City Hall, is still expected to begin construction this fall for a summer 2019 opening, though,...

Construction of a new Odyssey Theater eight-screen complex, to be located on Second Avenue, was delayed due to negotiations with neighboring Dickinson Post Office, but is still expected to begin work in Fall 2018. (Brandon L. Summers / The Dickinson Press)
Construction of a new Odyssey Theater eight-screen complex, to be located on Second Avenue, was delayed due to negotiations with neighboring Dickinson Post Office, but is still expected to begin work in Fall 2018. (Brandon L. Summers / The Dickinson Press)

A delay has stalled the construction of a new Odyssey Theaters complex.

The eight-screen complex, to be located on Second Avenue, directly across from City Hall, is still expected to begin construction this fall for a summer 2019 opening, though, Bryan Sieve, Odyssey vice president, told The Dickinson Press.

A delay was caused over an alley being vacated behind Dickinson Post Office, which will be shared with the theater.

"The default of a vacation is that the property owners can split the alley, and the post office would have been the recipient of that," Jan Murtha, city attorney, told city commissioners at their Tuesday meeting.

Odyssey's original plans had incorporated the entire alley, including the land that would have gone to the post office.

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Odyssey then needed to replat the land.

"The replat is delayed because of the bureaucracy of dealing with the post office," Sieve said. "It's a very small sliver that we had designed to use as part of the alleyway. Basically, we're dealing with a bureaucracy out of Washington (D.C.) to get that done."

He added, "They've been very cooperative, but there's just a certain march they have to go to."

The plans for the structure were modified so Odyssey would not need to rely on that piece of land in order to proceed with the project.

A revised plat was submitted to the city on Aug. 24 that allows the structure to go in and the post office to still receive the land from the alley being vacated, Murtha said.

"It has been indicated to me there are still ongoing discussions with the post office that, in the event they're able to purchase that piece of land from the post office subsequent to the approval of the plat, they will do so and modify their structure appropriately," Murtha said. "However, they did not want to delay."

The new plat is being reviewed by City Planner Walter Hadley and City Engineer Craig Kubas.

If approved, if will go before City Commissioners for approval at their Sept. 11 meeting.

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"At this point," Sieve said, "we've had enough of a working relationship between the city and ourselves that there's really no other obstacles at this point."

The $3.5 million project is currently in the bidding stage, Sieve said.

Sieve described the new theater as "one of our better works of art."

"Our goal is to provide Dickinson with one of, if not the nicest cineplex in the state of North Dakota," he said. "This will be a very nice cineplex."

Sieve anticipates construction starting "at any time."

"As soon as we wrap up and go through the finalization of the permitting process, which won't take long," he said. "It usually takes 7 to 8 months for construction, maybe less. Who knows? Winter is winter."

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