Photos by J. Alan Paul Photography
By Andrew Jason and Tracy Nicholson
Eighth street near downtown Fargo has always been THE place to live with some of the most coveted homes in Fargo-Moorhead. The giant maple trees hover above, creating a charming canopy over the picturesque streets. With a desire to interpret the eighth street charm, Terry Stroh has created a new, yet old development that truly encompasses historic Fargo. Shotwell Commons development is almost completed, and after a tour through their model home, it certainly lives up to the high standard that this neighborhood is known for.
Terry Stroh explains the architecture and history behind the new Shotwell Commons.
“There really isn’t anything like it in Fargo, from the standpoint of being in an established neighborhood,” Stroh said in an interview inside the model home. “The location of living downtown isn’t for everyone… This gives you alternatives in regards to being close to downtown but you’re not directly downtown.”
The homes were designed to replicate a contemporary, eighth street look. Each home is custom built for those moving in and features their own private courtyard. While no two homes are the same, they average around 2,785 square feet. The homes are designed for people who are ready to downsize. Stroh is quick to point out that if a family decides to move in, the homes can be adapted to accommodate a family. The only thing the homes have in common is that their features, colors, and styles are completely unique to the homeowner.
“All the home’s interiors are different… we have seen varying kinds of styles, from the contemporary to the traditional.”
Almost every aspect of the home is customizable. From the ceiling heights, paint colors, built-ins and appliances, everything can be changed to the owner’s liking. Stroh wanted people to have a say in their future home, even going as far as letting people choose their mailbox.
Stroh has had the idea of building at this Shotwell location for quite a while. He knew that eighth street had always been the best of Fargo but he always felt it was under utilized. He might have a fondness to the area because his first home was only two blocks away from where Shotwell Commons is located. About two years ago, he approached John Shotwell about purchasing the land that Shotwell Floral was on. Construction began on the homes about a year ago and has progressed very quickly.
Q&A with Terry Stroh
When did you realize you wanted to become an architect?
TS – By default really, my brother was a chemical engineer and he knew I liked art and was good at math and suggested it to me, for all the wrong reasons of course! (Laughs) I really fell in love with it after my first course though.
If there is one project that you hope people will remember you for, what would that be?
TS – I think the new Vogel Law Firm is probably one of my most successful projects. But, Shotwell’s turning out to be really an amazing project from the standpoint of what I heard in the neighborhood about how skeptical everyone was at first with the idea…now some of those same people are even fixing up their own homes to improve the neighborhood even more. I really like the versatility of the interiors in each one too.
What’s with your interesting socks?
TS- (laughs) I call these my “Happy Socks”. My son-in-law first got me into socks like these when he mailed me a pair a few years back.
For more information on Shotwell Commons, go to www.tlstroh.com/Shotwell.html. Interested in living at Shotwell Commons? Contact Dave Noah with Remax Realty at www.davenoah.com.