Work on Wahpeton’s “Westside Addition” might finally begin in 2020.
Discussion of the project, whose full scale would include land from directly south of 16th Avenue North to just south of the western point of Westmore Avenue, occurred Tuesday, Feb. 4.
On that day, the Wahpeton Community Development Corporation held its annual meeting at North Dakota State College of Science, Wahpeton. The meeting included a speech from Matt Baasch, president of RISE Companies and C2 Construction.
“To make great development happen, you have to take a look at the community,” Baasch said. “You have to have a vision of ‘What can we do here that will serve the community beyond a lifetime?’”
When Daily News last examined the project in March 2019, it was expected to eventually include commercial, mixed use and residential development. The master plan was submitted by Lowry Engineering, Fargo.
“Mixed use buildings may include office buildings and locations for professionals including dentists and bankers,” Daily News previously reported.
The full project is going to take many years to complete and will require a lot of shared passion, Baasch said.
“Can it work? Yeah. We wouldn’t be here if it couldn’t,” Baasch said.
Baasch and his associates are excited to be part of the project. At the same time, he expects a long path until completion.
“You’re gonna agree with us. You’re gonna disagree with us. You’re gonna fight with each other. But in the end, we’re going to have a project that we can be proud of,” Baasch said.
Baasch’s background as an owner, investor and developer includes mixed use, multi-family and government lease projects, Wahpeton Community Development Director Chris DeVries said. Baasch shared information about previous successful projects throughout the Red River Valley.
“Matt oversees all aspects of the development process including site selection, acquisition, financing and disposition. He works closely with the development team to analyze, forecast and oversee management of all the properties,” DeVries said.
DeVries, filling in for corporation President Bruce Weeda, said much time and energy went into the development plan. The corporation’s goals for 2020 include using tax increment financing to complete the first phase of infrastructure for the project.
“We’re confident that before long, you’ll see ground broken in that part of town and new businesses will begin to pop up as we move Wahpeton to the west,” DeVries said.
Following the presentation, five individuals were elected or re-elected as members of the Community Development Corporation Board of Directors. They are Perry Miller, Alisa Mitskog, Dale Rubish, Joel Sirek and Kurt Wickstrom. Board members serve three-year terms.
As of Tuesday, the corporation board is led by Weeda, 1st Vice President Joel Sirek, 2nd Vice President Brad Odegard and Treasurer Brad Pauly.
Community Development Corporation meetings are held monthly at City Hall, 1900 Fourth St. N. in Wahpeton.