Fargo official urges downtown hotel to fix falling signs – InForum

FARGO – The Radisson Hotel is a landmark in downtown Fargo, but it sometimes commands attention for more than its sheer stature in the city skyline.

That something happened again on June 24, when high winds loosened the panels on the exterior of the building, causing some to fall and prompting city officials to close Fifth Street North between Second and Third Avenues. .

This part of the street remains closed as repairs to the exterior of the building have not been completed.

Before the June 24 episode, panels on the building, which opened in 1985, came loose and fell several times during high winds in recent years, including one windy day in April 2015 and another in November. 2017.

Workers use a crane in December 2017 to repair the exterior of the Radisson Hotel building in downtown Fargo.

Dave Olson/The Forum

Each time, the problem tends to occur on the panels in the northwest corner of the building, and affects the floors that contain offices, not the hotel itself, which occupies floors 13 and below.

Steve Martodam, President and CEO of Brandt Hospitality Group, said no panel losses have occurred on parts of the Radisson building operated by Brandt Hospitality Group, which operates hotel floors 13 and below. , but Martodam said the Radisson Blu team continues to work with affected floor owners to resolve the issue.

The latest wind incident affected panels near the 16th floor.

“Following recent storm damage, the area around the lost signs has been inspected and made more secure pending replacement,” Martodam said.

“With past panel losses in the same part of the building on other floors, we will also be replacing similarly positioned panels around those now lost on the 16th floor,” Martodam added.

After each incident, the building obtained permits from the city to repair the damage, said Shawn Ouradnik, director of the city’s building inspections department, who added that he was not aware of any plans to repair the damage. large-scale replacement of hotel exterior panels.

Ouradnik said that as long as the building has the weathertight exterior sheathing required by city code, the city cannot require it to be updated.

“These signs are approved for our area, so what they have on them is coding,” he said. “I can’t go in and force someone in and take out something that’s installed to code because there’s something wrong with it or it’s not working properly.

“It will be up to the owner of the property to assess it and make changes if necessary,” Ouradnik added.

When signs become loose or fall off, the Fargo Fire Department typically closes affected streets and avenues until repairs are complete.

So far, no one has been injured by falling exterior panels made from metallic material.

Michael Redlinger, Fargo’s acting city administrator, said while the city can’t expect much from a code-compliant structure, the city would like to see building operators do what is necessary to ensure that no more panels fall from the building.

“What we’re supporting here and now is for the building owner to take the inspection seriously, find other panels that need to be replaced… to make sure we’re doing everything we can for us. make sure that doesn’t happen again,” Redlinger said.

In late 2020 and early 2021, approximately $6 million was spent to completely remodel the hotel’s 151 guest rooms and upgrade hallways and other common areas.

At the time, a hotel spokesperson said the work was seen as important to remaining a local hospitality leader, especially with the imminent opening of the Jasper Hotel, which now operates in the RDO building nearby.

Comments are closed.