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Forum staff reports, Published June 12 2013

Historic Kirkbride in Fergus Falls to feature hotel, apartments, spa, restaurants

FERGUS FALLS, Minn. - The future of the historic Kirkbride Building here was decided Wednesday night by the City Council.

The council entered into an agreement with Ray Willey, head of Georgia-based Historic Properties, to convert the former Regional Treatment Center into a $41 million center with a hotel, apartments, spa and four to six restaurants.

Terrence Scholz, founder and head designer at Colonnade Design Group from the Twin Cities, had also proposed a wellness center for the building.

Although Scholz’s plan was favored by “Friends of the Kirkbride,” a group created to help save the former building that was once a state hospital, the plan was not detailed enough for the City Council.

After a 30-minute closed-door meeting on Wednesday, council members unanimously agreed to award a contract to Willey.

Willey said the renovation will bring 190 permanent jobs to the area.

Renovations are expected to be finished by December 2015.