Around Town: December 23, 2011 - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Around Town: December 23, 2011

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Bismarck, ND -

In July, we told you about some big changes coming to Bismarck.  Over the next couple of years, downtown will be filled with new businesses, restaurants and condos.

The man behind what's being built in downtown Bismarck is no stranger to commercial development projects.  Although, he makes his living as a plastic surgeon, Dr. Rick Becker has been developing Bismarck for several years.

"Spa D'Athena was the first big project and that was in 2000 when we did the makeover on that building and then Athena Square, the big add on in 2006, I think it was, was the next one and now this," said Dr. Rick Becker.

Dr. Becker purchased buildings downtown five years ago. He's been researching and traveling to different cities to figure out the best way to develop the space. Here's a look at what he's come up with. The multi-story building will have a full service restaurant, bar and rooftop terrace.

"I just think that there is so much energy around a rooftop and it's something that we've been looking at for the last several years, doing a little research, which is fun kind of research to do, going to various cities, go to the rooftop lounges," said Dr. Becker.  "In North Dakota, having essentially very limited time where we can enjoy the outdoors, I think because of that we gravitate so much to it when we are able to. That this type of venue will be, I think, in high demand."

The front space is two stories high. The terrace will sit on top of the second floor. The backside of the building will be four stories high and connect to the parking garage.

"If it weren't for, what I think is a very good parking solution, I wouldn't be doing the project. Parking is already a dismal downtown and to do another big project would make it impossible. So, what we are going to do is have a sky walk. It's going to be a double decker sky walk coming over from the second floor and the third flood, over to the new building," said Becker.

People will be able to start enjoying the space next year. Dr. Becker says construction will wrap up this summer. The space is set to open in the fall of 2012.

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