A Sneak Peak of the Bell Bank Tower

Written by: Josiah Kopp
South-view rendering of Bell Tower shows interior parking for customers (with access off First Ave S), retail banking lobby and drive-up, and building lobby area with 70-foot-tall atrium.

Coming Soon! Spring 2024

Anyone who frequents downtown Fargo has surely seen the steady progress of the former Bank of the West building, which towers over Main Ave. If you’ve seen the giant cranes at work and wondered what exactly is happening with this renovation project, we’ve got you covered.

Back in June of 2021, Bell Bank announced an agreement to purchase the multi-story office tower, and interior demolition began the following February of 2022. What most people may not know is that the building was not simply renovated or remodeled—it was stripped down to its bare bones, all the way down to the very frame that held it up.

Bell Bank partnered with Olaf Anderson for the construction, with the intent of investing in local businesses and workers to see this project through— that was a very important aspect for Bell Bank COO Laine Brantner.

Bell Bank also partnered with T.L. Stroh as the architect for the tower project, and many significant design additions have been made—most of the external changes taking place on the south-facing side. Originally built in 1973, the previously 105,000-square-foot tower now has an additional 80,000 square feet being added as well as a skyway that will join the Bell Parkview ramp to the tower.

Bell Bank COO Laine Brantner explains how the new parking ramp will be adjoined to the tower by a temperature-controlled skyway—no more freezing mornings walking to the office from your car! The rendering shows the new Bell Parkview ramp from Maine Ave.

Previously known as the Island Park ramp, the Bell Parkview ramp now has an additional floor, increasing the number of parking spaces to 485. The ramp will be reserved for Bell Bank employees but will open for public parking after 5 p.m. and on weekends, providing extra parking for downtown or Island Park visitors.

Fifth-floor employee break room shows current progress (as of August 10, 2023) next to a rendering of what the finished result will look like.
Renderings show the atrium lobby and skylight that will stretch though the center of the building, giving a feeling of openness with lots of natural light to flood in.
Bell Bank COO Laine Brantner showing the downtown Fargo skyline view from the 12th floor of the Bell Tower.
Rendering shows the main level of the lobby.
Photos show what will be the “grand stair” and skylight.
Rendering shows one of the more unique amenities inside the Bell Tower—a fitness area on the 5th floor. There will also be showers and lockers (not pictured) for those wanting to freshen up after a workout. Also available will be lactation rooms for mothers.
Rendering of the fourth floor shows the Town Hall Room for all-staff meetings, a gathering space with catering and a kitchen, seating for 300, conference rooms, a dedicated staff training room, the skyway entrance from the parking ramp, and the “grand stair” with a skylight.

The anticipated completion of the Bell Tower is set for May of 2024 with employees moving in shortly thereafter. For more information, visit bell.bank.com

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Josiah is an Editor and Photographer at Spotlight Media in Fargo.