Lease Rates Increase in Downtown Bismarck - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Lease Rates Increase in Downtown Bismarck

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Real estate is about location, location, location. And timing.

A few years ago average lease rates in Bismarck ranged between 10 and 11 dollars a square foot.

These days, the average rates are closing in on 15 dollars a square foot.

That's city wide.

In the limited downtown area, costs can be up to 3 dollars more per foot.

Mike Chaussee explains that those who grabbed their spaces when the getting was good are smiling now.

"I've seen entire buildings go up, I've seen entire buildings be rehabbed, I've seen expansions, I've seen sub-leasing - it's just absolutely crazy."

Stacy Sturm talks like she's been in downtown Bismarck for decades.

Nat --

But her business has only been in this space for three years.

"It's sort of crazy because when I said we were going to move URL Radio downtown everyone said, 'are you sure?' - like it was the worst decision ever...They said the parking is bad, there's nothing going on."

there's plenty going on now. Times have changed -- Bismarck isn't what it used to be...

"If I needed help I could have laid out on the street and bled to death - nobody would have found me - but now it can be 10, 11, midnight and the street's full of people," says Sturm.

Just a few blocks from where Sturm is leasing, the next business to lease this space will pay about five times what she is paying.

"As the demand for, again, whether it's homes, whether it's office space, whether it's new land on the outskirts of Bismarck. The demand for all those has increased. And obviously sometimes that brings with it a price increase," says Brian Ritter of the Bismarck-Mandan Development Association.

Even with the prices, representatives from the downtown association say they need more space to meet demands.

"Retail space - we could use more of that - that's in real high demand, for restaurants. Anywhere between 3000 and 5000 square foot mark is in very high demand, which is good for us because that means businesses are wanting to move in," says Kate Herzog of the Bismarck Downtowners Association.

Those that got in early consider themselves lucky, Sturm is paying well under market value and her lease isn't up for a few years.

"If I was a bigger business, would I pay $3000 a month to come downtown? Probably. As a retailer I think I would," says Sturm.

In the meantime she'll keep broadcasting to her Internet audience and the MANY passers-by downtown.

Mike Chaussee KX News.

The assistant director of the Downtowners says the group is working to add living space downtown as well.

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