Growing RichardtonRICHARDTON — Volunteer efforts that have brought a hospital, dental clinic and ethanol plant to town are now focusing on a new effort — a commercial center.
By: Klark Byrd, The Dickinson Press
RICHARDTON — Volunteer efforts that have brought a hospital, dental clinic and ethanol plant to town are now focusing on a new effort — a commercial center.
The Richardton Development Co., a volunteer group formed in the 1960s, is hoping to spur the development of a commercial center to serve as rental space, offices or perhaps a grocery store.
Ambrose Hoff, Richardton Development’s vice president, said the idea was generated by increased activity in the oil industry.
“I think it would be very beneficial,” Hoff said. “All our small towns in the oil boom are starting to feel a lot of activity and we are just trying to build our town, so you need services to build it.”
The 12,000-square-foot center is expected to cost upwards of $1 million, Hoff said.
Richardton Development works with outside companies to conduct feasibility studies, which help predict how rewarding specific businesses would be for the community.
After developing the business plan, Richardton Development hands the project off to a developer, who is responsible for the majority of funding, Hoff said.
Stark Development Corporation is a supporter and helped fund the feasibility study. Gaylon Baker, executive vice president of Stark Development, said it was a project he was happy to see move forward.
“Richardton needs to add to its offerings if possible in retail and services and so forth,” he said. “It would be a good thing for them.”
Baker added that it will enhance the relationship between communities in the county.
“Dickinson is not an island and we need to make sure those towns around us who have always been our partners in growth continue to meet that,” he said.
Richardton resident Delores Baer said she works in Dickinson and hopes that the commercial center would bring in some jobs.
“I would love to be able to work full-time in Richardton and not have to drive to Dickinson,” she said. “It would be nice to get some industry in town.”
Hoff said the project’s timeline depends on when the design is completed and if a developer takes over, but there is a “real good possibility” there could be a groundbreaking in the spring.
Baker is optimistic about the project.
“Richardton is a town that I think has a lot of potential,” he said.