- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 12, 2017

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - A downtown mixed-use project that’s been hailed as a “game changer” for Bismarck is on schedule to break ground this building season.

The FiveSouth project is advertised as a way to attract and keep young professionals in the area, The Bismarck Tribune (https://bit.ly/2oyTd4n ) reported.

Bruce Whittey, of Bismarck Futures, the development partner for FiveSouth, said the project was inspired by a study conducted by the city in parts of downtown.

“For a myriad of reasons, creating downtown housing or finding properties for adaptive reuse for housing can be somewhat challenging,” said Kate Herzog of the Downtowners. “FiveSouth’s proposed market-rate residential component could really add needed residents to the core of the city.”

Scott Meske, president of the Bismarck-Mandan Chamber of Commerce, said attracting and retaining professional and skilled young people is essential to the city’s vitality.

“There are other factors that determine a region’s economy, but a vibrant, exciting downtown region is paramount to long-term sustainability,” Meske said.

When the project was announced in 2015, Bismarck Mayor Mike Seminary said downtown housing and FiveSouth’s concept was nothing new in terms of need in the marketplace and was “what the future of Bismarck should look like.”

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Information from: Bismarck Tribune, https://www.bismarcktribune.com

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