Strip mall

A strip mall, depicted here in 2015, located at the intersection of Fifth Street and East Bowen Avenue in Bismarck was to be razed to make room for the FiveSouth project, which was ultimately terminated in fall 2017. Now, the city has approved selling the property to Bismarck Industries Inc. for $1.1 million.

Bismarck Industries Inc. agreed to move forward with purchasing the city-owned Bowen Avenue Commercial Center for $1.1 million, following satisfactory results of the phase one environmental assessment.

“There were only minor findings, pretty normal for the age and condition of the strip mall,” said City Attorney Jannelle Combs.

The city first acquired the strip mall, located just west of the Bismarck Event Center, in 2010, at a purchase price of $1.85 million.

Initially, the property was to be used by the Event Center for its future needs. Then, in 2015, it was included in plans for the mixed-use FiveSouth development.

When the development agreement for FiveSouth was terminated in fall 2017, Bismarck Industries was granted a right of first refusal by the city to purchase the “block 67 property” in its entirety, should the city decide to sell it.

In September, the city commission authorized selling the strip mall, which currently has two tenants — Aerus Electrolux and Tobacco Row — and Bismarck Industries exercised its right of first refusal shortly thereafter.

Bismarck Industries had two appraisals done on the property, which came in at $900,000 and $1.3 million, with the purchase price being the average of the two at $1.1 million.

On Tuesday, the Bismarck City Commission agreed to terminate its contract with Rocky Gordon & Company, which has been managing the strip mall.

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(Reach Cheryl McCormack at 701-250-8264 or cheryl.mccormack@bismarcktribune.com.)​