Fargo, North Dakota

Once home to a four-story neoclassical brick warehouse built in 1909 to house the Fargo Mercantile Company, following the building’s demolition in the 1960s, the site had been largely underdeveloped. The Kilbourne Group’s new Mercantile significantly increases the density of the site, introducing extensive residential and commercial space in conjunction with efficient parking in the adjoining ramp.

Now a focal point at the intersection of Broadway and Fourth Avenue, Mercantile pays respect to the earlier building by means of traditionally-detailed masonry, patterns and proportions of fenestration, and the scale of the facades.  Inspired by historic commercial detailing, the metal cornice strikes a strong vertical line – relating the building to the scale of its historic neighbors while providing a transition from which the more contemporary metal-clad structure emerges. Detailing on the upper floors is a contemporary continuation of the patterns and proportions set below.  The east wing of the building is given its own character through a change in materials and details. Windows are playfully shifted within a grid of masonry openings and highlighted with blocks of color.

The concepts of pattern and symmetry are incorporated throughout the building. The lobby features reclaimed hardwood flooring set in a herringbone pattern.  An egress stair is transformed into an inviting means of circulation using oversized doors and decorative railing.  The community room evokes a 1900’s club room with paneled walls and a rich color scheme.  Apartment interiors are kept bright and neutral.

Mercantile was designed in conjunction with the construction of a new six-level parking structure, not only to attract residents and businesses to downtown, but to provide an engaging and vibrant face to the city while increasing the density of the site

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“Downtown is the vibrant core of our community and it continues to grow and evolve. It’s a regional epicenter for the arts, entertainment and commerce. We are creating an active city center built around thriving downtown businesses and beautiful, natural features. All of this is possible due to strong partnerships between the City, our businesses and our community organizations.”
– Dr. Tim Mahoney, Fargo Mayor