Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Canad Inns to start construction...and this time it's for reals...at least I think it is...

I drove by the Alerus Center tonight, but it was dark and I didn't notice that...A CRANE IS ON SITE!!! Yes! The day has finally come when the Canad Inns hotel complex will stop being just a sign bearing the empty promise "Coming Soon" and, instead, will morph into a busy construction site and a sign of progress and hope for the community.

Lately I have been wishing that I had kept a running list of groundbreaking dates that have been missed. I have always found this to be very odd: Canad Inns has the initiative to spend $40-$50 million dollars on a hotel complex, but they haven't had the initiative to actually start construction of the complex. I realize that these projects don't happen overnight, but I think almost everyone can agree with me that things could have been handled better by Canad Inns. I think we have all...including the mayor and city council...been nervous about this project over the last year or so.

Hopefully we will all hear the lovely sound of pile driving soon and we can breathe a sigh of relief then. Ladies and gentlemen...our long local nightmare is finally over! ::crossing fingers::

4 comments:

JGS said...

Like I said before, it's about time. Although it won't be until next week according to WDAZ right now it's good to see this thing finally being constructed. Hopefully it actually HELPS the Alerus Center to its sad negative years. Will have to drive by the site tomorrow and see the blank land for the last time until a huge hotel sits next to the Alerus.

GrandForksGuy said...

I know someone in the local construction industry and the contractor apparently was doing some sort of digging today. As far as driving piling, I have heard that it will start on Thursday, next week, or the middle of the month. Take your pick. I too am going to be driving by The Big Al tomorrow for a better look.

I wonder how this will work with the upcoming Aerosmith concert...

JGS said...

The city needs to come up with a plan with the traffic after events. As of right now, it takes 88 minutes for all the North, South and East lots to all clear. The proposed plan is to build 43rd Street South and connect that with extended 17th Ave South. With that constructed, it would only take 45 minutes for N, S, and E lots to clear. A few more random adjustments in traffic direction and it would come up to 38 minutes for all lots to clear. This will play a huge role when Canad Inns is built because that will just increase the traffic on 42nd Street South during events and such.

Hopefully the city has this in the works when the hotel is being built so they don't run into problems in the long run.

GrandForksGuy said...

I hope that the new southside entrance is built at the Alerus site. The only bad thing about the project is the price tag: $500,000. It seems like the city doesn't have a lot of money around to finance road projects that have been in the works for years...I'm worried about the prospects for construction of the new entrance. Unfortunatly, I don't see it happenning for at least a couple of years because of the apparent lack of financing. Also, there are so many loudmouths (Yes...loudmouths!) in town who are so against anything involving the Alerus Center that I'm sure the city would have plenty of complaints if they spend half a millions dollars building the new "driveway" as the Alerus-hating GF Herald termed it. In my lexicon, a driveway is that litle pad of cement in front of my house...what they're talking about at the Alerus is a major new entrance to a major facility. A $500,000 driveway is expensive...a $500,000 major new entrance that would alleviate many traffic problems is prudent.

Aside from the price tag, the project is very necessary and sounds great. There will someday be an extension of 17th Avenue over I-29 (in the form of an overpass), so we would really also be getting a head start on that project if we extend 17th Avenue west one block (which is what the "driveway" project would do).