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Dave Olson, Published December 07 2012

Fargo may buy former Sunmart

FARGO – The former CVS Pharmacy/Sunmart complex at 13th Avenue South and 25th Street is one of two properties Fargo City Administrator Pat Zavoral will recommend on Monday that the City Commission buy.

The long-vacant building is owned by CVS Corp., which negotiated a $3 million price with the city, according to information on the city’s website.

The Sunmart closed in May 2009 after losing its lease. CVS Pharmacy relocated to a new building across the parking lot last January.

Buying the building would allow the city to consolidate all Fargo Cass Public Health Department functions under one roof, said Deputy Mayor Tim Mahoney.

It could also lead to housing some City Hall offices and a police precinct in the building, he said.

Fargo Cass Public Health now operates out of a main downtown building at Third Avenue and Fourth Street, with satellite locations throughout the community.

Public health is working with a local architect to develop final plans for remodeling the Sunmart structure with an anticipated construction schedule of 14 to 16 months, information on the city’s website shows.

If the plan goes forward, the current public health facility would be reused, with the Police Department and city assessor’s office given first chance at the space.

The Police Department also might get space in the former Sunmart complex as would some city and public works offices, Mahoney said.

Financing to buy the Sunmart building for $3 million and to buy a property at 510 23rd St. N. for $135,000 would come from a facilities capital improvement funding plan that also would cover the cost of remodeling the Sunmart facility to meet city needs.

Mahoney said he backs the plan, stating that using an existing building would reduce the city’s costs in meeting its space needs.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555

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