Dry cleaner coming to Dickinson: Permit approved for Paradise Dry Cleaning and Laundry
Ever since Dickinson’s lone dry-cleaning service, Excel Cleaners, closed two years ago, well-dressed residents have had to go to great lengths — often as far as Bismarck — to keep their shirts starched and their pants pressed.
But the city could have another facility before the end of the year, after the Dickinson Planning and Zoning Commission approved a special use permit Wednesday for the tentatively named Paradise Dry Cleaning and Laundry.
Community Development Director Ed Courton told commissioners he strongly supported the business’s request for a permit.
“This is one use in this community that we desperately need,” Courton said.
Paradise is the latest venture from The Fisher Group, which already manages several business, including restaurants, liquor stores and a truck stop.
“We’ve talked about it for the last two years,” said Dave Bren, a partner with Fisher Group. “We hear everybody talking, ‘We could use this, we could use that.’ We’re really pushing to make this happen.”
The partners closed on the former Sears building on July 7 — the department store has a new home in the T-Rex Plaza — and plan to start renovations to the building as soon as they receive a demolition permit, which Fisher Group President Mike Fisher said he expects will come within the next couple of weeks.
The 6,000 square-foot building will feature drop-off laundry service to “target man-camps,” Bren said, an alterations fitting room and a canopy-covered drive-thru window. The business will also offer a delivery service within a 50-mile radius.
But what could most set the business apart will be its use of non-hazardous chemicals, in line with the trend of eco-friendly dry-cleaners across the country.
“That was a goal from the beginning,” Fisher said. “It’s planet-friendly.”
The green service will be slightly more expensive than traditional dry-cleaning, but Fisher said “the benefits definitely outweigh a little bit more of a cost.”
Fisher and his partners worked with a dry-cleaning consultant who specializes in building eco-friendly facilities around the country, said GT Architecture associate Jared Twogood.
“That’s a huge benefit,” he said. “Without a doubt they want to go that route.”
Twogood has been working on the project for about three months and said the exterior design is “pretty well squared away.” He is currently working with engineers to finalize drawings for approval from the city.
“It’s definitely a very tight schedule,” he said. “And the owner would like to get it moving as quickly as possible, and get it up and running.”
Bren noted that the team is on an “aggressive schedule,” with an anticipated opening in November or December.
He said that a nationwide blind job ad went out earlier this year. He hopes to have general manager candidates ready by the end of July. Hiring for equipment operators and other positions will be made closer to opening.
After two years with no dry-cleaning service within a 100-mile radius, Fisher said he expects the Dickinson will be receptive to newcomer Paradise.
“It’s been long overdue in Dickinson,” he said, “and we hope the community backs it up.”