- Associated Press - Monday, February 29, 2016

WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) - Where some saw a parking lot, others saw a wealth of opportunity.

In a region where the economy is very cyclical, it was an investment gamble for mother and daughter project development duo, Nancy and Jeanmarie Kapp. But infill development is where they excelled, and this was the new wild west.

They knew by moving forward, they would be impacting the future of downtown Williston.

Nancy, Renaissance Company CEO, saw the parking lot on 2nd Street and Main, and her imagination immediately shot four stories up at the dream of a multifunctioning building that could incorporate retail space, business offices, and luxury apartments. It could be just the ticket to rejuvenate the heart of Williston, the Williston Herald (https://bit.ly/1R287U9 ) reported.

Unfazed by ‘what if’s‘ of a fluctuating economy leveraged heavily on commodities, they took the plunge.

Now a month away from the grand opening slated for March 17, the Renaissance Building has been met with heavy anticipation. Chief Operating Officer, Jeanmarie has been signing off on the final projects and ensured it’s a product worthy of the community.

Jeanmarie proudly shows off the dynamic features of the building that is about to be unveiled to the public. From the rooftop terrace that she expects will be a summer hub for tenants, she gestured to the beautiful view that surrounds the building.

No decision on design or construction had been made without her input and Jeanmarie was well-versed on the intricacies of the building project. A gracious host, she also had a toughness of one who could play hardball when negotiating a contract.

“We wanted to attract people to the ambiance of downtown,” Jeanmarie said. “I think the rugged individualism of the building marries with that of the character of downtown, while also stepping it up.”

Jeanmarie said they were very particular with the initial design and were careful to ensure it would reflect their taste of clean lines and elegance.

The company has not been immune to the downward trend in real estate prices in Williston. Though, Jeanmarie said, they already have 9 of the 30 apartments rented out, most of which are essential and permanent workers such as teachers, medical workers, and government employees.

Offices were already furnished and waiting for companies to move in but some of the 800 sq. ft. spaces remained white-walled and barren. Jeanmarie said there was a purpose for that. For companies looking into larger spaces where they could bring their whole office, it was left as a blank canvas so it could be customized to the company’s needs.

Brent Lee and Brion Norby, owners of TruWealth Financial, were quick to nab one of the locations. They are transforming the space with reclaimed barnwood and a 12-foot conference room table made of solid wood.

Norby brought out his phone to show the table and it was apparent the business owners were eager to see the finished space.

The Renaissance building will sit at the epicenter for downtown entertainment and Jeanmarie showed the massive retail space on the lower level. They included a terrace where bistro tables can be set up for outside dinner amid the bustle of downtown.

“This is not a business for the faint of heart,” Jeanmarie said. “But it forces us to be more competitive. I think we’ve got a really good product.”

___

Information from: Williston Herald, https://www.willistonherald.com


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