Photos by Hillary Ehlen
Across the street from the historic Black Building is a new delightful downtown remodel, Bostad Apartments. Within Bostad are 22 unique apartment units, located on the second and third floors of 117 Broadway. Inspired by Scandinavian design while also paying tribute to the building’s heritage, Bostad blends our region’s Nordic ties with a rich history of downtown itself. In the heart of downtown Fargo, these distinctive flats by Kilbourne Group deliver urban views and unparalleled access to the amenities of downtown.
New construction has become a part of Fargo’s DNA as of late. As the downtown area expands and updates, we see new businesses and residences sprouting at every corner. While fresh and new is welcomed, there’s something special about respecting what is already present and revamping a once-forgotten space into something new and dazzling.
From its construction in 1907, 117 Broadway was once home to Bristol and Sweet Harness Co., a harness shop founded by Frederick and Ida M. (Sweet) Bristol. When Bristol and Sweet moved to a location on 5th Street, this building designed by Hancock Brothers architectural firm was purchased in 1922 by Charles Reineke. Reineke was the founder of WDAY radio and he used this space to house his station there, which was the first radio station in the northwest and one of the first 100 in the nation.
This three-story building is a classical revival design with two recessed bays, separated by center and end brick pilasters, sitting on rough sandstone piers at the first story. These design aspects remain today and are preserved by Bostad’s design choices.
Kilbourne Group’s Communications Manager Adrienne Olson said, “In a project like this — with a building that is over 100 years old—you have a lot of discovery to find out what is even possible in it. It was a fun design challenge for our team, once we decided to make this residential.” It was important to Kilbourne’s team to uphold the history of the space and let its original features shine. Olson added, “A beauty of these old buildings is they were built like bunkers and can withstand hundreds of years of serving the community. They just learn and adapt with you.” Features that were added over 100 years ago remain and showcase the resilience of their fabric, also exhibiting timeless design choices.
When walking into a unit, the eye is bounced from clean white kitchen cabinets in one direction to large black-framed windows skirting exposed brick walls in the other direction. While new constructions often follow a trend of looking clean and almost sterile, Bostad marries the clean white lines of Scandinavian design with elements of texture brick and rustic wood to create an inspiring space unlike any other on Broadway. The textured exposed brick walls and the wood trusses of the ceilings emanate character into each living space.
In living quarters, natural lighting can make or break a space. In creating the Bostad units, designers were aware that these downtown residences needed fresh air and plenty of sunlight. Since the building is long and skinny with windows mainly on the north and south ends, the team had to get creative with the ample natural light from the building’s original large skylights. Olson added, “These skylights are pretty unique, you don’t see a lot of large scale skylights, especially in new constructions. Natural light can change everything.” One unit even has a skylight in the shower, beaming in rays above its luxurious rainfall showerhead. With each unit being completely unique, thanks to the unconventional shape of the existing building space, one-of-a-kind details such as this are found in every one of the 22 units.
Many of the aforementioned windows face views of the renovation efforts on the Black Building or scenes of the overhead power lines that strike power to all of downtown. These views celebrate Downtown Fargo, which boasts proximity to delicious food and phenomenal events combined with an ease of transportation and walkability. Surrounded by lively people, events and businesses, downtown Fargo is an ideal place to live for those wanting to experience all the culture this city has to offer. It’s been quite some time since an apartment building with views of the city like this came on the market.
Beyond what is already prospering downtown, these units will be next to the plaza of Block 9, providing even more things to experience. Kilbourne Group’s marketing coordinator Hayley Johnson added, “It’s so close to so many restaurants and bars. Many people are choosing to live downtown and work downtown so their whole world becomes this few-block radius. The walkability piece is really attractive to a lot of folks.”
If you find yourself ready to adopt some Swedish into your vocabulary and call Bostad home, schedule a tour with Brian Carmona at [email protected] to find which unique unit suits you. Options available include one studio, 17 one bedrooms, three two bedrooms and one three bedroom unit. Rent of these units includes electricity, WiFi, cable and utilities, all in one package. Since no two units are alike, viewing multiple units is imperative—and fun—for finding which layout works best for you.