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North Dakota city considers plans for entertainment district

April 1, 2018

MANDAN, N.D. (AP) — The city of Mandan is considering using some of its vacant spaces for an entertainment district dubbed “The Railyard.”

The city purchased the former Central Market and Thrifty White Drug properties for $1.5 million last summer with a grant from the Mandan Supplemental Environmental Projects Trust, The Bismarck Tribune reported .

The city commission hasn’t yet approved plans for the project, but says it’s open to suggestions for the redevelopment.

ICON Architectural Group’s has proposed splitting the former grocery store into a modern library and an event hall with potential for shared conference space and restrooms.

Mandan officials intend to vacate the Morton Mandan Public Library’s current freight house location and move it to occupy the east portion of the former Central Market building. The library’s board of trustees is determining if the space fits their needs.

“The Railyard project is a wonderful project for Mandan. It’s really exciting that something like that is planned for the city. We are exploring whether being a part of it will fit our needs,” said Joanne Beckman, president of the Morton Mandan Public Library Board of Trustees, noting a final decision has not been reached.

Mandan’s business development director, Ellen Huber, said the library’s historical facility could be used to house a restaurant, art gallery or brew pub.

“We think we could market that (freight house) building so much easier and get people to downtown Mandan,” Mayor Tim Helbling said. “You could move the library into a newer space, a lot quieter space.”

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

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