Former New Orleans construction group looking to capitalize on building boom calls Richardton homeA former New Orleans construction group is calling Richardton its new home, a company manager said Monday, adding that he hopes to build affordable housing and possibly piggyback efforts to construct a grocery store and hotel.
A former New Orleans construction group is calling Richardton its new home, a company manager said Monday, adding that he hopes to build affordable housing and possibly piggyback efforts to construct a grocery store and hotel.
City leaders say it’s easy to see the businesses are needed when turning into Richardton via Interstate 94’s Exit 84, where a Cenex lies on one side of the interstate and an abandoned building sits on the other side.
Ken Wallace, operations manager for Valtex LLC, said the company started working in the area last year and is looking to plant its headquarters in Richardton. He also said there is plenty of work to be done in the neighboring communities of Taylor and Gladstone, which desperately need contractors.
“The people in the smaller towns can’t even get anybody to come out and do estimates or anything,” Wallace said Monday. “There’s a real need there for the teachers and the public workers.”
Wallace added that the company is remodeling the old Prairie Rose building on Main Street in Richardton, which will house the headquarters. The near 7,000-foot structure will feature offices, retail space, and a bed and breakfast, he said.
“We bought a couple other buildings for warehousing, equipment and what not,” he added.
One of the company’s first orders of business is to put up affordable housing in Taylor and Gladstone, Wallace said. He added that the company is waiting to build homes in Richardton until more land becomes available, possibly next year.
“We chose to go out of the norm, and we chose to go to the small towns because there’s a real need there,” he said. “We’re in the planning stages of the housing already.”
Valtex is still figuring out how many units to put up, but workers are expected to start building in about a month, Wallace said.
Wallace added that Valtex might help finish other projects underway in Richardton, including construction of a strip mall and proposed “Custer’s Crossing Hotel” both near the Cenex off Interstate 94.
“We’ve been approached by them both, but we don’t have any contracts with them at this time,” he said.
Richardton City Auditor Thea Thompson is happy Valtex is in town, and supports its goals.
“They seem to be decent people,” Thompson said. “They seem to want to be part of the community. They’re not just here and gone tomorrow.”
Thompson also said she is happy to see companies like Valtex building much-needed amenities in town. She is especially excited to see progress with the Custer’s Crossing Hotel.
“It’s a first-class type thing they’re putting up,” she said. “It’s not shabby in any way.”
Richardton Commission President Frank Kirschenheiter said developers behind the proposed 49-room hotel are still working on an agreement with town officials, but he is sure the deal will go through.
“We’re certainly in favor of it,” Kirschenheiter said. “It’s an opportunity for a little bit of a revenue stream for the city.”
In addition to the hotel, Kirschenheiter said people are anxious to see a particular business go into the strip mall.
“I know they’re talking about a grocery store, which is something that we badly need in the community,” he said.
Kirschenheiter added that town leaders are working on expanding their lagoon system to accommodate the projects.
Wallace said Valtex is here to stay, and he looks forward to helping smaller area communities grow.