Public-Private Partnership Breaks Ground On Mixed-Use Parking Garage On Broadway

A ceremony was held this morning to celebrate the groundbreaking of a new mixed-use parking garage on the corner of Fourth Avenue North and Broadway in Downtown Fargo.

The Mercantile project represents a public-private partnership between the City of Fargo, Kilbourne Group, and Tom and Kari Smith, owners of the historic Great Northern Depot adjacent to the site. The first phase of the project is a City-owned six-story parking garage of 369 spaces to be added to the City’s public parking supply.

Fargo Mayor Tim Mahoney speaks at the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Mercantile building being built in downtown Fargo on Dec. 18, 2019. [Staff photo]
The garage will be wrapped on all sides with mixed-use and residential private development. Plans for the six-story, mixed-use portion of the project, to be built by Kilbourne Group, include space for a Fargo Police Department substation, a parking office, public restrooms, approximately 100 apartments for rent, and 16,922 square feet of ground-floor commercial space. Smith intends to add nine owner-occupied housing units, to be called The Great Northern Block, to the North side of the project.

“Downtown is the vibrant core of our community and it continues to grow and evolve.”
– Fargo Mayor Tim Mahoney.

“The Mercantile project will add to downtown Fargo’s parking supply AND create entirely new experiences downtown that are uniquely Fargo,” said Kilbourne Group President Mike Allmendinger. “This infill project replaces a surface parking lot of 85 stalls with a 369-stall garage to support residents, restaurants, retail customers and office workers. The 400 Block of Broadway is lined with strong, established retail and we are excited to contribute to this already vibrant area. Our goal of filling in this corner is to increase walkability and activate the area even more by injecting new residential and retail experiences on Broadway.”

The project has been dubbed Mercantile in homage to the four-story brick structure which was built in 1909 for Fargo Mercantile Co., a wholesale grocer. Designed by the Hancock Brothers and constructed by C.H. Johnson & Co., the building was demolished in 1966. The Goodyear Service Center was constructed in 1968 and served the downtown community for 48 years before closing in 2016.

Visit the NDSU Archives for more information about the history of Fargo Mercantile Co. 

The Mercantile building will include 369 parking spaces, 100 apartments and 16,922 sq. ft. of retail space. [Rendering by JLG Architects]
“Downtown is the vibrant core of our community and it continues to grow and evolve,” said Fargo Mayor Tim Mahoney. “It’s a regional epicenter for the arts, entertainment and commerce. We are creating an active city center built around thriving downtown businesses and beautiful, natural features. All of this is possible due to strong partnerships between the City, our businesses, and our community organizations.”

“As the caretakers of the historic Great Northern Depot, we are excited to be a part of this development and to create a building, a community, that will benefit from and enhance the area around the new parking garage,” said Tom Smith, developer of the owner-occupied residences. “We will honor the history and significance of the Depot and The Great Northern Block, and its homeowners will become a part of the fabric of downtown Fargo.”

Fargo City Commissioner Tony Grindberg operating a backhoe at the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Mercantile building being built in downtown Fargo. [Staff photo]
The ceremony included remarks from Fargo Mayor Tim Mahoney, Kilbourne Group President Mike Allmendinger, owner of the Great Northern Depot Tom Smith, and Fargo City Commissioner Tony Grindberg. The program was held at noon inside the Great Northern Depot, home of the Great Northern Bicycle Company, and was followed by a ceremonial breaking of the ground at the site of the Mercantile project on the corner of Fourth Avenue North and Broadway.