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Building smart, efficient infrastructure starts by examining the full costs, return on investment, and sustainability of our growth patterns. From large metro areas to small towns, creating mixed-use city centers and neighborhoods maximizes existing infrastructure, a clear economic benefit for taxpayers. This strategy of infilling existing spaces with diverse retail and housing opportunities reduces long-term costs for city government, benefits tourism and business, and fosters the kinds of creative spaces, arts and culture that attract people of all ages. Small, efficient footprints benefit all community members by keeping tax rates low. 


Development Calculator

The North Dakota New Development Calculator (ND2C) is the Main Street Initiative’s newest way to support the vibrancy and resiliency of communities across the state. The ND2C is a highly interactive tool that allows elected officials, interested citizens, or any other local decision-makers estimate the fiscal impact of a potential new development.  

Based on data collected from across North Dakota, the ND2C estimates the costs of supporting and maintaining new infrastructure (roads, sewers, water, etc.) and the property and sales tax revenue collected from a new project. Communities can adjust the underlying numbers to more accurately reflect the specific project or other local circumstances. An advanced version of the calculator lets communities input all of their own figures and get an even more accurate estimate of the fiscal impact of a project.

To use the calculator, a community must have some standard details about the project – the number of units, square footage of commercial space, linear feet of road, for instance. Based on these inputs, the ND2C will return an estimate of the net present value of the project over 30 years.

Please use the instructions provided here for further guidance on how to use the ND2C, interpreting the results, and other tips and tricks for using the Calculator. For the advanced version, please refer to these instructions. To review the underlying numbers and assumptions behind the ND2C, please refer to the Figures and Assumption sheet here

Development Calculator (ND2C)    Advanced Version - Development Calculator (ND2C) 


Supporting efforts include: 

  • Understanding that edge development is increasingly expensive over time as new water towers, sewage systems, streetlights, sidewalks, snow plows, garbage collection, etc. add significant costs, without a commensurate tax base
  • Maximizing existing infrastructure with "an ‘infill’" approach: building new mixed-use structures on empty lots or under-utilized surface parking lots. Even alleys can become attractive, unique gathering places.
  • Building a “smart” power grid for more efficient power transmission, faster restoration, reduced operation and management costs
  • High-speed gigabit bandwidth - a must for 21st century communities
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Take Action:

To learn more, contact the North Dakota Department of Commerce at 701-328-5300