(Moorhead, MN) -- Several city officials presented their first drafts of Moorhead's plans to change their downtown area once the Center Mall is no longer standing.
Moorhead city staff and project planners visited with dozens of community members and city residents in two open-house meetings on Tuesday about the current reconstruction plans in the downtown area. City staff say the main goal of the first meeting is to introduce the first drafts to the public, and allow them to ask questions.
"The vision that we are looking at right now would be imagining if the Center Mall is no longer there, and that it's a mixed-use downtown sorta neighborhood, "said Rob Remark, a lead architect on the downtown reconstruction project.
According to current designs, 11 different buildings would be constructed in the space left in the footprint of the soon-to-be demolished Center Mall. The existing 300 space parking ramp, the 100 space parking deck over 1st Avenue, and the current city hall structure will remain. The designs also show potential additions to the 300 space parking ramp and a grass plaza surrounding the city hall structure, with a focus on placing several services on a first floor of the structure instead of their current second floor location.
Outside of the existing parking structures that will stay, an additional 400 parking spaces are planned to be constructed in a public parking ramp. The new buildings are also expected to hold several businesses like coffee shops, pharmacies, and other high-traffic establishments. The construction will also coincide with the Moorhead Community Center Public Library.
"What this whole new build is going to do for our community, its huge, "said Brett Oertli
All of the designs shown at the Tuesday meeting are currently schematics, and not final. Site preparation and construction is expected to begin in early spring of 2024, with a tentative public opening taking place in the Fall of 2025.