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Forum staff reports , Published March 22 2010

Luxury apartment proposal withdrawn by Carlson; Prairie St. John's purchases south Fargo property

Updated at 12:57 p.m.

FARGO - Developer Al Carlson's request to build two 29-unit luxury apartment buildings in Fargo's south side Island Park area has been withdrawn.

Instead, Carlson said today that he has sold the property to Prairie St. John's, the mental health care facility just to the north.

Carlson had planned to build the apartments at 370 and 390 6th Ave. S., the former site of the MeritCare Island Park clinic.

He said Prairie St. John's will renovate the building now on the site for its needs as a health care facility.

"Obviously, my first choice would have been to build the project," said Carlson. "It was a good deal for both parties involved."

Carlson said said he was approached by Prairie St. John's officials during the debate over whether the apartments should be built. Carlson had asked the Planning Commission to reconsider his plan at its April 14 hearing.

The developer said he could have found a way to make the project work for area residents concerned about maintaining the historic character of the neighborhood.

"For us, I'm disappointed," Carlson said. "This just worked out for myself and my family to be a better deal."

For more information, read tomorrow's edition of The Forum.