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Published October 03, 2012, 09:35 AM

Pyramid structure proposed for North Dakota oil patch

WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) — An Atlanta-based company wants to build a pyramid-shaped concrete structure in North Dakota's oil patch that would house 500 apartments, indoor parking for 1,200 vehicles, a mall and an entertainment center.

WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) — An Atlanta-based company wants to build a pyramid-shaped concrete structure in North Dakota's oil patch that would house 500 apartments, indoor parking for 1,200 vehicles, a mall and an entertainment center.

New Cimarron City, a project proposed by an investment group led by Camp and Associates, would be 371 feet tall and would wrest the title of North Dakota's tallest building from the state Capitol, which rises just under 242 feet in Bismarck.

Developers are working to buy 80 acres of land about half an hour east of Williston, Gil Geiger, a builder and vice president for Camp and Associates, told The Forum.

The complex, which would cost at least $130 million and take up to two years to build, would have apartments built into four sides and an interior filled with retail stores, a movie theater, bowling alley and restaurants. The pyramid would have exterior patios for the apartments and an outside walkway surrounded by solar panels. The complex also would include a hockey rink, gaming center, baseball field and ponds. A restaurant and observation deck would be at the very top.

Geiger said he and his partner, architect Bill Camp, came up with the concept after hearing about the need for housing in North Dakota, where the booming western oil fields are drawing people from around the country in search of jobs.

"I'm thinking with all the money that's being spent in that area, why not make something that's permanent and actually going to attract people to the area?" Geiger said.

Architect John Biggs, who manages the Williston office for Lightowler Johnson Associates, said New Cimarron City is not consistent with the current scale of projects in western North Dakota. Biggs said he anticipates that neighbors would object to the concept because of the traffic it would bring. It also would be challenging to finance such a project in North Dakota, he said.

"Nice fantasy, but I think it would be better in Las Vegas than North Dakota," Biggs said.

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