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Live Great by the lake

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City of BemidjiThe Irvingboro lakeside neighborhood is a development project begun in 1992 on the east side of Lake Irving inside the City of Bemidji. This mixed use neighborhood (meaning a variety of housing types and commercial uses planned together) has gradually expanded to include well over 100 homes, apartments, condos, townhouses and businesses.

The project evolved by combining a former railroad right of way along the lakeshore, an industrial wood processing site, and numerous smaller parcel purchases needed to assemble the land needs. An important consideration to the development was the extension of all new city sewer and water to the area, along with paved streets and curb and gutter. Besides these improvements, underground electric, natural gas, phone, cable and other services were also installed.

Irvingboro MapIrvingboro residents who own frontage directly on the lake enjoy private water privileges. For those who do not the development concept was to build this lakeside neighborhood around three private parks (two on the lake with over 1,500’ water frontage) that would provide a higher quality of life for those residents as well. All off-lake homeowners are required by deed restriction to purchase a share in a non-profit corporation called Irvingboro Recreation Association, which owns and manages the parks.


The neighborhood definitely has a “green emphasis” with lots of space allotted for recreation and privacy. Irvingboro Recreation Association owns three large land parcels, each with dedicated usages.

MarinaMARTIN’S LANDING:  Our seasonal marina and picnic park on the lake. The three dock marina has about 50 spaces which are currently about two thirds occupied with boats (many pontoons). The dock area is lighted, gated, and partially security fenced. The docks themselves are stable commercial quality units. The frontage has play areas, wood grills, fire rings, and picnic tables with a covered picnic shelter building. This area is not for swimming. A booklet of marina regulations is available.

BeachASSEMBLY PARK:  Our main swimming area with manmade, spring fed wetland ponds to the rear to filter run-off water from the streets. This area has nice sand beach along its frontage and is planned for recreational uses, like sunbathing, bonfires, picnics, and water skiing. This park closes one hour after sunset.

PLAYGROUND PARK: Off lake parcel set aside for future recreational needs (tennis & play courts, etc.).

These parks are being gradually improved. Over the years a neighborhood potluck picnic has been very popular. Irvingboro Recreation Association elects a board of directors that meets periodically to set a budget and deal with operational chores. An annual meeting is held each spring to elect directors, approve the budget, and make major business and improvement decisions. On a daily basis the president of the association usually manages the operation. All work responsibilities of the association such as dock and boat lift installation, mowing, ground’s work, etc. are hired out.

Irvingboro Recreation Association membership is a ONE TIME cost. Once paid, membership is transferred automatically with each property sale at no cost to the buyer.

New members pay either $3,000 or $2,000 to join depending on whether the property is a single family detached home or multifamily unit. Single family homes pay $3,000, which can be paid at purchase or as six payments of $500 over three years at no interest. Common interest community (CIC) homes such as condos, town homes, and other multifamily-type housing pay $2,000 with $333.33 payments as above.

FishingIn addition to the initial membership purchase, each owner/member pays an annual maintenance assessment which has been running $200 per year. This is used to cover mowing and grounds care, insurance, partial dock installation and other upkeep.

Those members wanting a marina slip for boating pay an additional fee that covers only the cost of dock and boat lift installation (each boat slip must have an above water lift to elevate watercraft from the storm winds across the lake). The slip cost has been running about $100 per year.


Lake Irving is the first lake on the Mississippi as it winds its way north from its Itasca Park headwaters. It’s a small (660 acres) shallow (+/- 20’) sand bottom lake that provides ready access to adjacent Lake Bemidji (over 6,500 acres) under the bridge. Both Lake Irving and Bemidji are part of a reservoir with level controlled at the “Power Dam” about eight miles downstream. Mississippi boaters can travel downriver from Lake Bemidji all the way to Stump Lake, a scenic and enjoyable boat ride. It’s estimated there are over 10,000 acres of total water here to boat, fish, cruise, or play.

Lake Irving is usually fished early and late, and most fishermen head into Lake Bemidji’s deeper waters in the summer. The lake is a renowned fishery for Walleye and now for Muskie (+50# taken). It has excellent fishing structure and Walleye counts are reported by the DNR to be excellent.

Ice FishingWhether you live directly on the lake or off the lake with Association membership, the lakes are an important feature of this neighborhood. Lake access elevates home values and desirability, and homes generally sell briskly here.

LuekensEven if you are not a water person, living near it is very enjoyable. Walks by the lake, family picnics and evening bonfires are all waiting for you here. Irvingboro is one of the few neighborhoods in town that has sidewalks and special streetlights. You’ll find many residents walking (or walking dogs!) on a regular basis. The Irvingboro neighborhood benefits from a large supermarket (Lueken’s Village Foods) and First National branch bank built on #197 South nearby. Adjacent to that you’ll find a handy veterinary clinic for your pets. Today, south Bemidji growth is accelerating with a new Sanford Event Center and nearby development about a mile away.


Irvingboro residents not only enjoy the lake, but it’s also about convenience to town; all new homes keep values up (totally new since ’92) and protective covenants control the appearance of almost all properties and plats. Only a block away, a new walk/bike trail connecting to Walker also ties into the developing trail system on the east side of Lake Bemidji and others – a wonderful recreational opportunity! This is a neighborhood for active people!


If you are a prospective buyer in the Irvingboro neighborhood (off lake lots) you need to receive, read and understand the following informational package:

  1. Irvingboro Recreation Association membership book
  2. Association annual profit and loss statement and proposed budget
  3. A membership application

There are no restrictions on resale in the neighborhood. Property resales can be handled by any licensed real estate company, or by owners themselves. Any potential buyer of a neighborhood property should also inquire about possible protective covenants restricting the land use.

If you have questions you may contact Irvingboro Recreation Association’s president or Michael Ettesvold, Best of the North Real Estate Company, 503 Irving Beach Drive SW, Bemidji, MN 56601 (218) 444-4100, developer of the neighborhood.

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Irvingboro Residents Live Better

Interested? Request a more comprehensive Irvingboro Recreation Association information package.

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