BISMARCK — North Dakota state officials are dusting off plans to construct a new “financial services center” after budget woes delayed the building project.
Four years ago, state lawmakers authorized the use of $17 million in assets from the state-owned Bank of North Dakota for the project, which would house the Department of Commerce, the Department of Financial Institutions and the Housing Finance Agency. All three agencies currently rent space.
The project was expected to encompass 40,000 to 45,000 square feet next to the existing Bank of North Dakota building in Bismarck and construction was planned for 2016.
But an economic downturn that forced state budget cuts that year halted the project. Though the Bank of North Dakota wasn’t required to make cuts ordered by then-Gov. Jack Dalrymple, its President and CEO Eric Hardmeyer said Tuesday, June 18, that “the optics were such that it probably looked like it wasn’t a good time to be doing that, to be building a building when we’re cutting in other areas.”