Noise and special assessments? We asked West Fargo neighbors' questions as The Lights construction continues

WEST FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - West Fargo construction on 32nd Avenue and Sheyenne Street has some in the community wondering what will become of the neighborhood. A Nextdoor post had nearly 40 responses, asking everything from the noise to whether they'll get hit with special assessments.

We asked the city and developer the community’s questions.

McKenzy Olson serves as vice president of marketing and public relations for EPIC Companies—the developer heading The Lights project at 32nd Avenue and Sheyenne Street in West Fargo. She tells us construction's been going on since this past fall—though they’ve been working on the project for at least three or four years.

"It's gonna be a big thing for the City of West Fargo,” Olson said. “The City of West Fargo doesn't really have anything like it. They don't have a space that could host up to 3,000 people for instance, an outdoor type venue."

And many West Fargo neighbors say they’re excited to have a big events plaza so close to home.

"I'm just glad it's there,” Eagle Run resident, Trent Lorenson, said. “Something close for us, you know? We have what, Dairy Queen and the Dollar General."

The Lights at Sheyenne 32 will consist of an entertainment arena surrounded by four mixed-use buildings and underground parking.

"It's really nice for those people that want to be able to live, work and play,” Olson said. “You can go to work just under you, you could live above you."

But many are starting to wonder: with the convenience will there be burdens?

One Nextdoor post asks whether the plaza will bring more noise, as it will host concerts and other events.

"I think it's a great thing,” Lorenson said, “and just some people don't want to see it happen. And I'm glad it is."

Olson says those who move into the buildings will see the possible noise caveat in their lease agreement—though she doesn't see it being a huge problem.

"With five story to six story buildings, they're going to be going up pretty high,” Olson said, “and the first two levels being commercial, so that's gonna sound proof a lot of anything that's happening in the event space."

She says the tall buildings will also help block the noise from residents outside the development.

"The buildings…they're surrounding this plaza,” Olson said. “So they're gonna…keep everything intertwined inside."
Not to mention, she says, the events won’t last all night.

"There will be a time period where it's like okay, everything is going to be quiet at 10:00," Olson said.

Many neighbors also wondered on Nextdoor whether the new development will cost them in special assessments. The city and developer both tell us it won’t, since it’s a private development. So the developer itself will pay the special assessments.

Eagle Run neighbor, Trent Lorenson, says his only question is what else will be in the new development.

"What else is coming in there, new shops?" he said.

"Different events, whether it's a vendor show, a marathon, a tasting event, tailgating, outdoor yoga class, a concert...we're also looking at doing ideas like broomball, curling, a lot of outdoor activities," Olson said.

The first of the four mixed-use buildings is set to be completed by January of 2020. A second building, as well as the entertainment arena, is set to follow suit in the spring. Developers are still finalizing plans for the remaining buildings.

Events at the plaza are being coordinated by the nonprofit West Fargo Events. But the community is encouraged to provide input for what they'd like to take place there—Olson says you can put in suggestions on their website, thelightswf.com.

Olson says The Lights is now looking for commercial tenants—more information can also be found on the website.