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Posted on: November 7, 2017

City studies options for downtown gathering space

The City of Minot has expanded its list of potential sites for a downtown gathering space.

Robert Davis, planning director and chief resilience officer for the City of Minot, said that after a lengthy study of 40 blocks in the downtown area, two new sites have been added to the previous site near Broadway.

Davis said the three sites that will receive further consideration include:

-The Trinity lot located adjacent to Broadway, between Second Avenue SW and Third Avenue SW.

-Property in the block north of First Avenue SE and south of Central Avenue, with First Street SE on the west and railroad tracks on the east side.

-Property north of the Canadian Pacific railroad tracks on the east side of Third Street SE, located just south of the Renaissance Center.

Each lot identified as a potential site will be studied further. There have been concerns that the Trinity property is too close to Broadway, and that turning that lot into a gathering space would eliminate parking spots. There are concerns that the property east of Third Street would have less connectivity to downtown, since it’s bordered by the railroad tracks and the busy Third Street. The lot between Central Avenue currently contains multiple buildings, including apartments, that would need to be demolished.

The Minot City Council approved holding public meetings on Dec. 5 and Dec. 14 on the issue, and officials also plan to meet with the Downtown Business & Professional Association and Minot Park Board. The City Council will ultimately make the final decision on which site will be chosen.

The City previously gathered public opinion as to what amenities should be included within the gathering space. Suggestions included a covered stage, open space for special events, a playground, covered shelters, picnic tables and space for food vendors and sidewalk sales.

When the City received $74.3 million from Housing and Urban Development’s National Disaster Resilience contest, one of the projects Minot promised to do is create a two-acre gathering space in downtown. The funding included $6 million for the downtown gathering space, which must be completed in the next five years.

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