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Menards files plans for Williston store

Press File Photo by April Baumgarten Ciara Mathern of Dickinson points to a set of lights on display she likes while shopping at Mernards during the store’s opening day on Jan. 28. The hardware company, who officials say has its biggest store of the midwest in Dickinson at approximately 200,000 square feet, plans to build North Dakota’s sixth Mernards in Williston, which would be almost 210,000 square feet, with a lumberyard more than 72,000 square feet.

WILLISTON — Menards, the Wisconsin-based building supply store, has submitted big plans for a store that will anchor a Williston retail development.

Plans submitted to the Williston Building Department this week indicate the home improvement store will be about 209,630 square feet with an additional 72,596 square feet for a lumberyard and cold storage, according to a media release from Williston Economic Development. The site also will include parking space for about 420 vehicles.

The Williston location will mark the sixth Menards store in North Dakota.

A store that opened recently in Dickinson is about 200,000 square feet.

General contractor Kevin Lenssen said he probably makes the two-hour drive to the Menards in Minot once a month to purchase supplies that are hard to find in Williston.

Items such as flooring, hardware and finishing materials are considerably less expensive in Minot, he said.

“Building supplies are too expensive here, generally speaking 20 percent (higher). Menards will bring the cost of construction down across the board,” Lenssen said.

It’s unclear when the Williston store will be ready.

“We are still very much in the initial planning stages and have yet to determine when construction will begin on the new Williston Menards store,” spokesman Jeff Abbott said.

It will be part of the Sand Creek Town Centre in west Williston, overlooking U.S. Highway 2. Wyoming-based Granite Peak Development is developing the shopping center. Terry Metzler, North Dakota operations manager for Granite Peak, said several other retail businesses are also planning to build at Sand Creek, joining Complete Nutrition, Altitude Analysis and Sakura, a Japanese steak and seafood house.

Williston Mayor Howard Klug said that when he served as a city commissioner, discussions ensued about what it would take to entice a big-box store to the site.

“I’m really, really excited,” said Klug, brushing aside concerns about Menards finding and retaining employees.

“I think Menards is over that issue. … I think Menards will do well,” he said.