Moorhead’s Fairmont Creamery to be sold and converted into apartments
Fargo architect and developer Kevin Bartram told the Moorhead Planning Commission this week that he plans to renovate the dairy building, demolish the 1987 addition and rebuild it to provide a total of 99 multi-family dwellings.
He said the purchase of Eventide Senior Living Communities, which has moved its tenants from assisted living facilities to other facilities after more than 25 years in the historic building, is expected to be completed this fall.
Bartram has not yet communicated a purchase price or an estimate of the cost of the new complex.
In 1994, Eventide purchased the housing complex that was previously the Fairmont Creamery Co., opened in 1924 and closed in 1980. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The addition to the old building was built in 1987.
Bartram, who has developed several other historic buildings in downtown Moorhead in recent years, said one wing of the new addition did not have a kitchen, so they determined it would be more cost effective to demolish it. He said they also wanted to add gated parking on the first floor of the new addition for residents of the complex.
Eventide announced in July that it was shutting down operations there, which was in its long-term plan. However, they rushed the decision when a pipe leak this year caused extensive damage to the building at 801 Second Ave. NOT.
In a zoning change request, which was unanimously approved by town planning commissioners and is now forwarded to city council for final approval, Bartram said he was planning 36 two- and three-bedroom apartments. in the historic building and 63 one- and two-bedroom apartments in the new addition.
Planning Commissioner Steve Moore said he believed the project would be a “great addition to the downtown area” as the city strives to increase the available housing units downtown to provide a more compact, more pedestrian and mixed-use environment with several other major projects in the works or under study.
Bartram told planning commissioners he was not planning any commercial aspect of the structure.
Its design team has extensive experience in the adaptive reuse of historic properties. He said they had not decided on the exterior appearance of the new addition.
One of the property’s main attractions, Bartram said, is the nearby Riverfront Park.
Other downtown Bartram projects include 9Thirteen Lofts and the Simon Warehouse rehabilitation of an abandoned potato warehouse into apartments.
He and his Sterling companies completed the May 1 purchase of the United Sugars Corp. building. at the east end of Center Mall and the adjacent parking lot at the corner of Center Avenue and 7th Street North.
It will be a few years before it is finished, but Bartram plans to develop the parking lot into a mixed-use structure with commercial space on the first floor and apartments above. There could be condominiums on the top floor. The United Sugars building will remain an office space.