Bemidji City Council to review Rail Corridor redevelopment ideas

The Bemidji City Council on Monday will consider options for the Rail Corridor during its work session.

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BEMIDJI -- The future of Bemidji's Rail Corridor are will be under review Monday during a Bemidji City Council work session.

According to city documents, the council's agenda will include a presentation from the St. Paul Port Authority, a firm hired to study the feasibility of the land. The corridor is located in the city's downtown area, extending from Park Avenue Northwest to land near the Mississippi River, and is bordered by existing rail lines.

Before the city purchased the land in 2003 for utility work, the area had been the site of gas and oil stations, as well as a coal gasification plant. With its history of industrial work, cleanup of the soil would likely be needed.

Redevelopment ideas for the corridor have ranged from housing to a wellness facility. The latter was proposed late in 2020 by Sanford Health of Northern Minnesota and Greater Bemidji Economic Development.

Documents state that should a wellness center be built in that area, additional work, testing and professional services would likely be needed.


A few years ago, Sanford Health and Greater Bemidji had proposed an estimated $27 million wellness center and sports complex to be built on the healthcare provider's campus in the northern part of the city. The concept was shelved in 2018, though.

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