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Published May 03, 2014, 05:12 PM

Hector land deals still shaping Fargo

Fargo - The Hector name is well-known in Fargo, and land once owned by the family now makes up a sizable chunk of the city. That dynamic is ongoing, as large tracts of Hector property were recently sold to developers who are adding to Fargo’s housing and retail landscape.

By: Dave Olson, Forum News Service, INFORUM, WDAY

Fargo - The Hector name is well-known in Fargo, and land once owned by the family now makes up a sizable chunk of the city.

That dynamic is ongoing, as large tracts of Hector property were recently sold to developers who are adding to Fargo’s housing and retail landscape.

Projects include Cottagewood, a housing development going up just south of the Microsoft campus near Interstate 29 and 52nd Avenue South, and Crofton Coves, a housing development that will soon take shape north and east of Davies High School, near 25th Street and 70th Avenue South.

New developments

Cottagewood will have about 100 single-family homes and many of the lots have already been sold, according to Craig Helenske, a partner in the company developing the project.

Helenske said today’s homebuyers demand three-stall garages, with the design solution typically being three garage doors set side by side facing the street.

Cottagewood, he said, will offer a different approach, with four-stall garages that utilize two doors facing the street, with the bays behind the doors running two stalls deep.

That layout allows for a variety of lot sizes that encourage a more traditional neighborhood streetscape, Helenske said.

Design-wise, they’re also trying something different over at Crofton Coves, according to Steve Iverson and Dan Sturlaugson, whose company L2H Development is building the project in two phases, with first-phase homes expected to go up soon.

Crofton Coves will be the first development in Fargo to employ “coving,” a layout Iverson and Sturlaguson describe as having curvilinear streets and varied setbacks for homes.

The development will also have a 70-acre regional park and a five-acre pond.

History of giving

L2H Development purchased the land from Fred and Earlyne Hector and the deal went smoothly, according to Sturlaugson, who said L2H Development is in the process of buying additional land from the Hectors to start the second phase of Crofton Coves.

“They’ve been great people to work with. We’ve really enjoyed the process,” he said.

The Hector family has a long history of not only selling land but donating it.

For instance, Hector International Airport sits on acreage gifted to the city by the Hector family. Rose Creek Golf Course, which is operated by the Fargo Park District, also was built on land donated by the Hector family.

Jim Gilmour, Fargo’s city planning director, told The Forum he believes the family has sold or is looking to sell much of its land on the fringes of the city.

While the Hectors have been selling a lot of land lately, they still own sizable tracts, and much of it would be sold if the price was right, said Jonathan Garaas, a Fargo attorney who represents the Hectors.

Hector holdings include a 20-acre farmstead, a portion of which could be for sale, as well as property on the Minnesota side of the Red River, Garaas said.

Also, a number of tracts have been optioned, meaning potential buyers have a given amount of time in which to decide whether to purchase, he said.

Mobile park closing

The Hectors also own a chunk of property in south Fargo that since the 1970s has been known as the Selkirk Settlement Mobile Home Park.

This spring and summer, the park is emptying out after the Hectors gave residents notice early in 2014 that homes must be out of the park by the end of July.

Once cleared, the land will be for sale.

Garaas said Fred Hector made the decision to close the park because operating it had simply become too much work and he wanted to simplify his life.

The Hectors sent out notices to mobile home residents in January to give them as much time as possible to make other housing arrangements, Garaas said.

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