- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 2, 2016

FARGO, N.D. (AP) - A group led by philanthropist and former Microsoft executive Doug Burgum has announced plans for a high-rise complex that will reshape downtown Fargo.

The 16-story Block 9 Project planned for what is now a parking lot on Broadway will house an 88-room hotel, office space and condominiums in a 248,000-square-foot tower. It will also include a 350-space parking garage, an ice skating rink and space for community gatherings and events in an 8,000-square-foot plaza.

“There will be an incredible amount of activity,” Kilbourne Group spokesman Mike Allmendinger told WDAY-TV.

The Kilbourne Group founded and chaired by Burgum is partnering with the R.D. Offutt Co. and hotel developer TMI Hospitality. The tower will house the corporate headquarters of R.D. Offutt - one of the largest potato producers in the nation - and RDO Equipment, which has John Deere construction and agricultural equipment dealerships in 10 U.S. states and Russia, Ukraine and Australia.

“This is an exciting milestone for our entire community,” Burgum said in a statement. “The impact of R.D. Offutt Co. moving to the heart of our city, along with a TMI managed hotel, and new retail and residential, will further add to the success and differentiation of the Fargo metro area.”

The group hopes to start construction in the fall. Officials have not yet released a dollar figure for the project, pending a final design.

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