WDAY: The News Leader

Published June 11, 2012, 08:49 PM

Plans for a new apartment complex in Moorhead creates mixed reactions

Moorhead, MN (WDAY TV) -- Moorhead continues to work at attracting developers to its first avenue North corridor.

Moorhead, MN (WDAY TV) -- Moorhead continues to work at attracting developers to its first avenue North corridor.

A Montana company is interested in building an apartment complex on a vacant lot, but area businesses and neighbors are not sure they like the plan.

This empty lot on on the north side of the 1500 block of first avenue north is being looked at by a Montana company to put up a 48 unit apartment complex specifically for low income residents.

Sonja Homegren/Moorhead Resident: "I think it would be a great idea, there isn't enough low income housing in Moorhead."

Homgren lives one block away from the proposed apartment site. Here positive view was in the minority....

Other people in the neighborhood and surrounding businesses did express some concern about the size of the project and the fact that it would be one more low income housing project in the area.

Just up the street from the street from the proposed apartment is the churches united homeless shelter and another building for low income residents.

Across the street at Kovash marine, the apartment plan would not be there first choice.

Pat Kovash/Owner of Kovash Marine: "You know I stood there in an empty building and parked 5 boats out here and saw the potential for the retail business and I still think it has that potential and I just think that we really need to be cautious about turning it into a complete low income housing. We need to really try to get more businesses in here. I think it's going to be better for Moorhead."

Whether the apartment complex gets built will depend on the ability of the developer to get state grants

And city officials say that while the competition for is stiff for scarce state dollars, Moorhead is ranked 4th in greater Minnesota for housing demand.

Lisa Vatnsdal/Moorhead Neighborhood Services: "Moorhead is considered a high growth community and there are extra points. We rank in the top 20 for both in household growth and job growth in greater Minnesota."

Back on first avenue north they hope that leads to more business demand.

The state should have a decision on whether the project gets funding by the fall.