Photo by Dan Francis
Block 9 is a mid-rise, mixed-use tower in the heart of downtown Fargo at the corner of Broadway and Second Avenue North. After 43 years as a surface parking lot, Block 9 has transformed the Fargo skyline. The project includes headquarters for hundreds of team members of R.D. Offutt Company, ground floor retail, a boutique hotel, restaurant, and residential condominiums.
Block 9 also includes a programmed public plaza, over a half acre in size, which is anticipated to become a gathering and celebration space for the region. Plans include seasonal amenities such as a skating rink, splash pad, vendor spaces, and a band shell for live performances.
R.D. Offutt Company
Ground Floor Retail
125 Key Hotel
290,000 Sq Ft
232 Ft Tall
379 Parking Spaces
The Block 9 story
Travel back to the late 1800s, and the corner of Broadway and Second Avenue North was a bustling corner of activity in Fargo. It was home to a beautiful brick building called Keeney Block. Open awnings hung over the second-story windows, home to many small businesses including a music house, a law firm, a dentist, and a Turkish bath. In 1893, the Keeney Building was one of more than 200 structures destroyed in Fargo’s historic fire. By 1910, the Keeney Block had been replaced with a mixed-use, multi-story building, called the Continental Block. Once again it became a hub of activity and commerce, housing an assortment of businesses over the years; a barber shop, shoe repair, and hotels.
However, fire once again struck when an arsonist torched the Continental Block in 1976. This corner of Broadway never truly recovered from this fire, and in 1983, the former Valley Hotel on the corner was demolished to make way for parking and the US Bank plaza.
Fast forward to 2008, when Kilbourne Group began seeking to revive the center of commerce that the Keeney Building and Continental Block once were. At the same time, R.D. Offutt Company was in search of a location in which to consolidate hundreds of team members. The family-owned business had been seeking the ideal spot for awhile — and when Kilbourne Group approached the Offutt family with the idea for Block 9, it was a perfect fit. Together, Kilbourne Group and R.D. Offutt Company worked to move forward with the project, leading to the option to purchase the Block 9 land on July 6, 2009. After establishing a public-private partnership with the City of Fargo, the project became a reality and the land was ultimately purchased by Block 9 Partners on August 31, 2018.
Although decades have passed since the time of the Keeney Building, Block 9 seeks to stay true to the historic roots of the corner on Broadway and Second Avenue North. The life and activity that once surrounded this spot are the foundation of the new vision for a center of commerce. With hundreds of employees working downtown, retail shops, dining options, and residential condos, the vibrancy of this historic downtown corner will once again be brought to life. Block 9 broke ground on September 12, 2018.
Block 9 Partners
Formed in 2018, Block 9 Partners, LLC is the partnership of R.D. Offutt Company and Kilbourne Group, which is developing the Block 9 project, a signature project which will transform the downtown Fargo skyline.
R.D. Offutt Company
R.D. Offutt Company is a family-owned and operated business, parent company of RDO Equipment Co., R.D. Offutt Farms, Threemile Canyon Farms, PROffutt LimitedPartnership, and other companies in the farming and food industries. The Fargo, ND-based company was formed in 1964, has annual revenues of $2.6 billion, and employs more than 4,400 people. R.D. Offutt Company believes long-term success is built on shared values and remains focused on measuring that success by serving its key stakeholders – customers, communities, manufacturing partners, owners, and team members.
Kilbourne Group is an experienced real estate developer providing services including property management, construction management, design, and brokerage services. Founded in 2006 by Doug Burgum, Kilbourne Group has focused on the revitalization of downtown Fargo through the restoration of historic buildings and new construction infill projects. Guided by the knowledge that vibrant downtowns create smart, healthy cities, Kilbourne Group has a deep passion for urban spaces and experienced understanding of what design and amenities are needed to respond to today’s demand for walkable, mixed-use, urban cores in communities.
Block 9 Project Team
We believe every vision is best achieved through thoughtful partnerships. We are grateful for an incredible team to bring the Block 9 vision to life.
McGough is one of the Upper Midwest’s premier construction ﬁrms offering full-service construction capabilities. The firm, incorporated in 1956 by Peter McGough and his six sons, remains a family-owned company today. McGough has earned a well-deserved reputation for best-in-class construction for best-in-class clients. We’ve built high-end commercial properties, notable major educational campuses; public and worship spaces; state-of-the-art data centers, science and healthcare facilities; and high-proﬁle corporate campuses and office buildings; and award-winning residential and mixed-use projects. At McGough, integrity and transparency are core to the way we work. Our open-book collaborative approaches, together with our uniquely customer and partner-centric company culture, has shaped more than six decades of successful project outcomes, throughout which McGough has never been in litigation with an owner or architect—a particularly rare accomplishment in our industry!
ESG Architecture & Design is a Minneapolis-based, award winning design firm with a national practice in urban residential, hospitality, workplace environments, higher education, branding and graphic design. Since the company’s founding over three decades ago, ESG has helped clients create environments for community, business and leisure by providing holistic, creative solutions to complex problems. In the 1990s, the Urban Land Institute lauded ESG for “writing the book” on mixed-used design and in 2007, the American Institute of Architects Minnesota recognized ESG’s “unparalleled” and “tremendous impact in the area of urban design, residential and mixed-use housing” with its prestigious AIA-MN Firm Award. ESG’s mission is to enrich the built environment beyond architecture and buildings; to deliver the superior, the timeless, the memorable and the unique; and to design environments that capture the human spirit and uplift our lives.
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) is one of the leading architecture, interior design, engineering, and urban planning firms in the world. Since its founding more than 80 years ago, SOM has earned a reputation for design excellence with a portfolio that includes some of the most important architectural accomplishments of the 20th and 21st centuries, and has been a leader in the research and development of specialized technologies, new processes and innovative ideas, many of which have had a palpable and lasting impact on the design profession and the physical environment. The firm’s longstanding leadership in design and building technology has been honored with nearly 2,000 awards for quality, innovation, and management. The American Institute of Architects has recognized SOM twice with its highest honor, the Architecture Firm Award—in 1962 and again in 1996. The firm maintains offices in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., London, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Dubai, and Mumbai.
Aparium Hotel Group believes in authentic flavor and celebrates true neighborhood character; not just the thoroughfares but the intriguing side streets. Its growing collection of independent hotels are remarkable in every way. Like the cities they inhabit, each Aparium hotel is unique—engaging, inspiring, individual, and real. Aparium’s singular, community driven and collaborative approach to hospitality creates properties that are integral pieces of the cities they inhabit. From concepting and design to branding and management, Aparium’s unyielding excitement and infectious enthusiasm for its hotels comes through in every lobby, every room, every restaurant, every bar—every experience a guest has.