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Kyle Potter, Published July 18 2013

Moorhead reduced assessed value of Coach's Sports Pub building months before arson fire

MOORHEAD – City assessors here slashed their valuation of the Coach’s Sports Pub building from $356,000 to just $92,000 in late October, several months before someone allegedly set the building on fire earlier this month.

Moorhead police Sgt. Scott Kostohryz said a steep decline in the building’s value isn’t suspicious for a building that hasn’t been occupied for the last seven years.

Kostohryz said police have no one in custody in connection with the July 9 fire, and no information to share about possible suspects.

A voice mail left at the number listed for the building’s owner, William Fogerty, was not returned.

Moorhead police discovered the long-vacant bar on fire in the early morning hours of July 9. Fire officials quickly ruled it an arson, and believe the fire was started somewhere in the kitchen.

Moorhead city assessors generally set the value of buildings once every five years, and weren’t due to assess the Coach’s building for another three years, deputy assessor Nick Lee said. But Moorhead docked the value in October when it was requested to check out the discrepancy between the city’s valuation and the sale price after it was pulled off the market last year.

On behalf of Fogerty’s holding company, American Square West, local real estate agent Jay Nelson put the building on the market sometime in mid-2011. The building, which includes the former Coach’s space plus several other businesses, was originally listed for $479,000.

At the time, the building was valued at $356,000 and the land was valued at almost $370,000.

Lee said it’s common for the value of unused buildings to drop. The building’s poor shape – especially in the restaurant portion – led to the steep discount, he said.

Coach’s Sports Pub closed in 2005 after the Moorhead City Council declined to renew its liquor license. The bar had a bad rap with local police, highlighted by the death of 21-year-old Jason Reinhardt in March 2004. Reinhardt had 15 drinks at Coach’s on the night of his birthday, and died later at a Moorhead fraternity house.

Former bar owner and local real estate agent Kent Tweten said he turned ownership of the space back over to Fogerty, who is based around the Twin Cities, in 2005.

It’s been vacant ever since. Tweten said he hasn’t talked with Fogerty about the building for more than a year.

“The building has gone downhill every year,” Tweten said. “Bill doesn’t care.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Kyle Potter at (701) 241-5502