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South Beach in Bemidji: Work begins on new apartment complex along South Shore

A crew works to construct the new four-story South Beach apartment complex on Lake Bemidji's south shore on Tuesday morning. (Jillian Gandsey | Bemidji Pioneer)1 / 2
Construction on the new South Beach apartments has begun and the project is expected to be completed by mid summer. (Jillian Gandsey | Bemidji Pioneer)2 / 2

BEMIDJI—Development on Lake Bemidji's South Shore is about to get another spring in its step as construction is underway on a new apartment complex.

Once finished, the new South Beach apartments will stand four stories and house between 70 and 78 units, according to Bob Kiewatt, Jr., associate broker at Lake-N-Woods Realty.

"When the city gave us local brokers the opportunity to sell some of this property, we jumped on it," Kiewatt said. "Paces Development (based in Fargo, N.D.) was the first one to step forward."

A $5.6 million project, the complex will have mostly two- and three-bedroom units, although, there will be a few one bedrooms available. Kiewatt said depending on the weather, the complex is expected to be completed by mid summer.

"It's continuing momentum for our South Shore development," Bemidji City Manager Nate Mathews said. "We just completed our shoreline restoration project and we've completed renovation to a beach house on a park that will open next year. Having that open while we also have a new, nice apartment building will be great for that momentum."

The complex's footprint is between the Nymore Boat Access and the South Shore Park and when open, the South Beach apartments will create a more diversified housing portfolio, Mathews said.

"What it means for Bemidji is a new, higher-end option for people looking to rent," Mathews said. "We're finding in Bemidji that more and more people are looking for a higher-end project and there are more mobile professionals now that prefer to rent."

"The consensus is that it's a great project to enhance the development for the south side of Bemidji," Kiewatt said. "That will create other opportunities as well. The planned unit development criteria that the city has made also requires about 20 percent of the property sold down there to be commercial in nature. That's the second phase of the development."

The apartment complex isn't the only residency development in the works for the South Shore, either, Mathews said, as developers also are eyeing a condominium project next year.

"The city also has a purchase agreement on a lot and an option on another lot and both lots are in the South Shore region," Mathews said. "The developer is planning for condominiums in the area and they're currently in the due diligence phase, which ends in early June 2017."

The trend of new construction and development isn't exclusive to the South Shore, though.

"In Bemidji we're seeing a lot of multi-family investments," Mathews said. "Our building officials are busy doing footing inspections in November, that doesn't happen very often, so it's a sign of good things going on."

Matthew Liedke

Matthew Liedke is the city, county and state government reporter for the Bemidji Pioneer. He also covers business, politics and financial news.

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