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Tim Olinger, St. Cloud, Minn. works at what will be HomStay Suites on Wednesday afternoon in Dickinson.

Roers construction begins: 2 hotels, apartment complex going up in West Ridge Center

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Roers officials said Wednesday that deals to bring more retailers to west Dickinson are in the works, but details are under wraps until after the holidays.

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West Ridge Center is the retail corridor in a 500-acre development near Interstate 94 Exit 59. Roers announced in June some of the stores and businesses that would be opening there, but has been tight-lipped ever since.

"I'm not at liberty to discuss them yet," Roers Vice President Larry Nygard said. "After the first of the year, we want to make some announcements."

Buildings are going up at the site of West Ridge Center, but only three building permits have been issued by the city of Dickinson for the development in 2012.

Dickinson City Planner Ed Courton said that two hotels and an apartment complex have been granted building permits at the retail and residential development.

"I would anticipate that we will have a lot of building permits for that come after January to the first part of the spring that people will be pushing their permits through so that they can start construction in the spring and early summer," he said.

In June, Roers announced that Cash Wise Foods, Cash Wise Liquor, Menards, AT&T, Dollar Tree, Petco, Gate City Bank and Shoe Carnival would be coming to West Ridge.

Cash Wise Liquor has obtained an on-sale/off-sale liquor license through the city.

Courton and the planning department have been in touch with several of the retailers that were announced to be coming to the shopping corridor in June, but none have submitted permits.

HomStay Suites is one of the first projects going into West Ridge Center, said George Hovland, Brutger Equities Inc. vice president of hospitality.

"I'd rather be ahead of the game than behind it," he said of being one of the first buildings at the site. Hovland figures the rest of the area will begin filling in as construction on HomStay is wrapping up.

Miller Architects & Builders Project Superintendent Kevin Holthaus said the 85-unit HomStay Suites is to open late summer. A crew of about 10 workers was laying block and pouring concrete Wednesday afternoon on its 3-acre site. There will be about 50 workers at the peak of construction, he said.

The extended-stay hotel will cater not only to short-stay guests but will provide accommodations for oil field workers. There will be a separate entrance and a locker room with showers for them, Holthaus said.

"That way they don't destroy the building," he said with a laugh, adding there will also be boot and glove dryers.

Brutger has a HomStay property in Williston and is looking forward to expanding into Dickinson, Hovland said.

"It's right off of (Interstate) 94 and we feel that the Dickinson market now is a great market, especially because you have both corporate and leisure," he said.

To address housing issues, HomStay will incorporate employee living quarters into the first floor of the building, Hovland said.

The other lodging is Value Place, an extended-stay hotel.

Typically in retail developments like West Ridge Center, a general permit is issued to build a strip that could include several businesses, Courton said. From there, each shop applies for a remodeling permit to bring them up to brand standards.

"Our part of it would be we would look at the building, the parking lot, everything exterior," Courton said. "The interior portion we would deal with the majority of the safety issues, the majority of the building and then the last bit of it would be the tenants come in and put in a little partition wall or add a little sink or two, very minor things."

If a permit application is correct, it takes three to four weeks to be approved, Courton said. Most applications require tweaks.

Stores could be opening as early as November, Nygard said.

"Hopefully between now and the spring we get all those details worked out and be full steam ahead again in the spring," he said, adding that many of the retailers want to be open before Christmas.

"You kind of either beat that -- either get there ahead of that season or else you might as well wait until it's over and get there the following spring, he said.

The projects under construction should be opening this summer, Nygard said.

"We have been actively selling property in the development all fall and that's going to continue through the winter and into the spring," he said, adding that construction activity will peak once infrastructure is finished.

Calls to Petco, Menards and Value Place went unanswered. Representatives from Shoe Carnival declined comment.

Dickinson Press Managing Editor Jennifer McBride contributed to this story

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Katherine Grandstrand
I graduated from Bemidji State University in 2007 with a bachelor's degree in mass communcations, from Columbia College Chicago in 2009 with a master's degree in journalism.  
(701) 456-1206
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