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34 acres in Dickinson sells for $1.3 million for new development

The development of Dickinson's west side got another shot in the arm Tuesday after a developer agreed to pay more than a million dollars for a plot of land near Interstate 94's Exit 59.

Five Diamond Fund Managers will pay just more than $1.3 million for 34 acres of real estate that will represent about one-third the land mass of a large-scale, mixed use development, said Five Diamond spokesman Brian Hymel.

The purchase agreement came after Utah-based Five Diamond outbid Meyer Real Estate Group during a public auction conducted by the Stark County Park Board. The auction took place during a recess in a county Board of Commissioners meeting at the Stark County Courthouse on Tuesday.

"We believe this is the best piece of property in all of southwestern North Dakota," Hymel said after the auction. "We've been working on this for nearly two years and we believe it was the best commercial property available in the area. We're excited and we think it will be a tremendous benefit for the community. We think everybody wins in this deal."

Funds from the sale are expected to contribute to another planned development in the same vicinity -- an events complex that could include a county fairgrounds area, among other possible facilities, said Stark County Fair Association attorney Sandra Kuntz.

Following the auction Tuesday, the Park Board agreed to accept the bid, which will be contingent on a "survey for accurate determination of acreage," said Stark County State's Attorney Tom Henning. If all goes according to plan, Hymel said ground will likely be broken on the project this summer.

Though he declined to offer names of potential businesses that have shown interest in the planned development, Hymel said Dickinson residents and out-of-town shoppers can expect "big national brands." Hymel said an announcement about future tenants would likely come later this summer.

The development will consist of a swath of land that stretches from near the Sanford clinic under construction to the interstate, just west of the new St. Joseph's Hospital, which is also under construction. An even larger 1,000-acre mixed use development overseen by North Dakota construction and management firm Roers is under construction northwest of Exit 59.

"Now we can actually bring everything together," Hymel said. "Hopefully in the next few months, the Fair Association and other interests will be able to finish planning on the fairgrounds complex. Once we close everything out and they get the cash from this sale, they should hopefully be able to dive in a little deeper with that project."

In other action during the Board of Commissioners meeting, the body voted unanimously to move forward with Henning's request to advertise an opening for an additional assistant state's attorney. Henning said the additional assistant is needed because of increased caseloads due to growth as a result of the Bakken shale play.

Bryan Horwath
A Wisconsin native, Horwath has been covering news in the Oil Patch of North Dakota since 2012. Horwath currently serves as the senior agriculture and political reporter for The Dickinson Press and, despite the team's tendency to always let him down, remains a diehard Minnesota Vikings fan.
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