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More delays for opening of international market in Fargo

FARGO, N.D. - A marketplace that will showcase international foods, products and services won't be opening here by the first of the year, as planned. A consultation with a city inspector Wednesday morning indicated the space that will house the I...

Fowzia Adde, Executive Director of the Immigrant Development Center in Moorhead, looks over the space in the new International Market Plaza located at 1345 Main Ave. in Fargo.David Samson / The Forum
Fowzia Adde, Executive Director of the Immigrant Development Center in Moorhead, looks over the space in the new International Market Plaza located at 1345 Main Ave. in Fargo. David Samson / Forum News Service

FARGO, N.D. โ€“ A marketplace that will showcase international foods, products and services won't be opening here by the first of the year, as planned. A consultation with a city inspector Wednesday morning indicated the space that will house the International Market Plaza at 1345 Main Ave. isn't quite yet up to code.

  Project organizer Fowzia Adde, who also runs the Immigrant Development Center in Moorhead, called it a small setback.

"It's not a surprise," Adde said. "We thought we got everything handled, but they need more."

Among the items listed by the city Inspections Department: The building's second exit needs to be more clearly marked and lit, and if a space designated for an additional bathroom is remodeled as such, it will need to comply with necessary codes and be inspected.

However, Deputy Inspections Administrator Bruce Taralson said only the exit sign issue is keeping the market from opening at least some of its retail space.

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"It sounded like she really understood what she needed to do," Taralson said.

Another holdup is arrival of a custom-made range hood for cooking in one of the ethnic restaurants planned for the market plaza. That hood, along with a meat slicer, display and refrigerated meat cases, and 60 chairs and tables for the commons area, were paid for with Community Development Block Grant funds totaling $46,000, according to Community Development planner Monica Graber.

"It always comes down to financing for them," Graber said. "Once they're up and running, it'll be great."

The delay is far from the first for the project, which has been in the works for more than a decade. Adde, a Somali refugee who came to Fargo in 1997, hatched the idea around the same time she started the Immigrant Development Center in Moorhead, a nonprofit aimed at helping immigrants become economically independent.

Adde said she will likely have to file for an extension on the market project from the U.S. Health and Human Services Department, which awarded a $700,000 federal grant to purchase the building. Opening the market by the end of the year was a stipulation of that grant.

She said she and her prospective tenants are disappointed about the new delay but understand the reasons for it.

"It's too much, but we have to follow the laws. We got to meet the city codes," Adde said.

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