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A recap on the metro’s regional and economic growth

November 7th, 2017 by Amanda Huggett

With noticeable growth in population, new businesses and schools, continued low unemployment, incentives and more, there’s no doubt that our metro is booming. So, what are our city leaders planning to keep up with this growth and how will it affect us in the coming years? Our November Eggs & Issues event looked at that very issue.

Jim Gilmour, Director of Planning and Development, City of Fargo; Cindy Graffeo, Executive Director, Moorhead Economic Development Authority; and Matt Marshall, Economic Development & Community Services Director, City of West Fargo; each sat down with our room full of 200 engaged attendees.

Gilmour provided an overview of the region’s population, housing and development stats, and what specific units and businesses are coming for the city of Fargo. The MSA has a projected population of 276,560 by the year 2025, which amounts to about 12 new people per day.

Another special note for Fargo’s downtown development: Property values have increased by $300 million since the revitalization effort there. That’s $4.8 million in property tax revenue. If we didn’t have the Renaissance Zone, the mills would be about 4% higher, Gilmour said.


In West Fargo, the city’s population is about 35,000, a median age of 33.9 and household income of $73,402 — the latter is 26% higher than the rest of the region. Marshall also noted that now, almost as many people travel in to the city to work and those that leave to work in nearby cities.

He also referenced West Fargo’s Main Street initiative and its own downtown development, as well as the new Hornbacher’s and Sheyenne road reconstruction, and the proposed West Fargo Convention Center.

New initiatives there will include replacing aging infrastructure, continued work on Sheyenne, new growth areas, workforce and decommissioning lagoons.

Over on the Moorhead side, they’ve added about 10,000 people since 2002, and expect to have over 47,000 residents by 2020. “As we grow, Moorhead is committed to providing for the needs of our residents, but we want to meet those needs well,” Graffeo said. “We are committed to staying the best small city in America, even as we grow larger. We know that this will take planning.”

Three areas of the city have been identified for future expansion in the Southwest, Southeast and East. They will be also focusing on a downtown revitalization, but also keeping infill development top of mind. Specific projects in the works include “The Grove,” housing on First Avenue and the new mixed-use building on Eighth and Main.

Things to watch out for in Moorhead include changes to twin-home sprinkler recommendations, the 20/21st Street grade separation, new businesses and M State’s new workforce development center.


Check out The Forum’s coverage of this event and topic: City leaders discuss rising population, emerging needs in FMWF

Check out these Tweets from the event!


1 Comment

  1. I truly enjoyed this update from FMWF planning committees. I was not able to make the “EGGS” meeting and am glad you sent the slides.
    Sharon Weber

    Comment by Sharon Weber — November 13, 2017 @ 1:49 pm

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