Moorhead businesses move to Fargo due to underpass project, lack of urban support Mighty 790 KFGO

Moorhead businesses move to Fargo due to underpass project, lack of urban support Mighty 790 KFGO

Rendering of the Proposed 11th St. Underpass (MNDOT)

Moorhead, Minn. (KFGO) – More than a dozen Moorhead businesses are being displaced by MNDOT’s 11th Street underpass project, which is set to open next year. The new underpass will run under two busy railroad tracks with the goal of improving safety and mobility in Moorhead.

Mayor Shelly Carlson says the city is doing everything it can to help the affected businesses and she and other members of the city council want to see them all find a new location in Moorhead.

But many business owners say they have moved or are in the process of moving to Fargo, and the city of Moorhead has made little or no effort to help them stay.

Jen DeMaio is the owner of Two Turtles Acupuncture Center. She says she felt bound and determined to stay in Moorhead, where she has been in business for about 18 years, but said she didn’t find a viable alternative. She said her only contact with anyone connected with the city was when she emailed Downtown Moorhead Inc., the city’s economic development contractor, to try and get help. She says he emailed her a few options that failed and she never heard back.

“They are making these changes to bring business to downtown and revitalize our area, but I feel that in the process, as a small business owner, my business is not really considered important to the city used to go. It was disappointing, to say the least,” Demayo said.

Sarah Liljestrand, co-owner of Holland’s Landscaping and Garden Store, says she worked for three years to find a new location in Moorhead, where the company did business for 50 years, but came up empty. He said he had never heard from the city council or anyone otherwise involved with the city except for the first meeting three years ago, when he was informed that they could make a deal with MnDOT for a buy-out or preemption. domain will be used. to adjust the project.

“After that they did not reach out to us or help us in any way to stay in Moorhead. It was extremely disappointing and very sad,” Liljestrand said.

On the other hand, Liljestrand said, the city of Fargo has been very supportive of the company’s relocation efforts to the old taco shop plot on North University Drive.

Britta Trygstad has a photography business called Britta the Photographer, which she plans to move to Fargo in March. He has operated his business out of Moorhead since 2015.

“I was so looking forward to living in Moorhead. It’s my home, it’s where my kids go to school, it’s really cool that I can drive two miles to work every day. When I moved to the new place When I started looking, there was nothing for a small business like mine. There were no options at all,” Trygstad said.

She said she was hoping the city of Moorhead would help her relocate, but no one ever did.

“For most cities the size of Moorhead, small businesses are the heart of the city, and the fact that they were like ‘yeah, you can just go,’ was really disappointing,” Trygstad said.

DeMaio, Liljestrand, and Trygstad all say the buy-out process with MnDOT’s advisor is working smoothly so far.

Another business affected by the 11th St. underpass project is FRS Works, formerly known as Fargo Rubber Stamps, which has done business in the FM area since 1885. Attempts to contact owner Andrew Ponto were unsuccessful, but an auto-response to an email says the business is now closed.

Derrick LaPointe Downtown Moorhead Inc. which has contracted with the city to help affected businesses navigate relocation.

“It is a difficult situation whenever we lose our business to Fargo – we certainly want to help all of them find homes in Moorhead. I think it’s up to us to learn and continue to have an open dialogue with these businesses to better serve their needs and see how we can best accommodate them in a new space ,” They said.

LaPoint says other businesses have managed to find new homes in Moorhead, like Glass Doctor Auto, which recently found a new location in the city’s industrial park.

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