Nancy Edmonds Hanson
Southmoor Plaza, the 1970s-era strip mall at the corner of Interstate 94 and Eighth Street, will take on a whole new look in coming days, as work begins on remodeling and reconstruction of the aging, half-empty structure. Brian Bochman of Enclave told the Moorhead City Council Monday that construction will begin immediately after bids are opened this week. Completion is expected by next spring.
Two current tenants will remain, occupying their spaces on the north end of the mall – Murphy’s Pub, which opened recently in the former O’Leary’s space, and CVS Pharmacy.
Plans call for demolishing the southernmost 20,000 square feet of the large space once occupied by Sunmart Foods to increase the available parking. A new south-facing entrance will be installed there. The entire building will be refaced with The rest of the parking lot will be resurfaced. The entire building will be refaced with stucco, stone, and fresh paint. New parapets will be set off the entries and tenant spaces. The developer also plans to replace HVAC, relocated and update electrical components, and repair or replace the roof.
The council approved a five-year property tax exemption for the property, whose finished value is estimated at $2.2 million; including the land, the total value will exceed $5 million. The exemption is expected to total $178,832.
Bochman pointed out that the future merchants who occupy the plaza will have 150 to 200 residents within easy walking distance from the Emery Apartments now under construction on the east flank of the mall. Answering a query from council member Deb White, he noted that ample bicycle parking will also be provided.
Council member Chuck Hendrickson added a word of thanks for the development: “This will be a beautiful entrance to our city.”