Kenmare Community Development Corporation may build to suit your business

Submitted Photo Kenmare’s west side development is shown at the time of its dedication in September 2014. Photo by Terry Froseth of The Kenmare News. Today, the strip mall houses eight individually owned businesses. The new East Mall development, now under construction, will have room for three or four additional businesses.

Work on a new strip mall development is now well underway at the location of the former Super Valu grocery store of downtown Kenmare.

Anyone already in business in Kenmare, or anyone who has ever considered starting a new business, may want to look at moving into the new development.

It will also be a great opportunity for any business that wants to relocate to Kenmare.

Jamie Livingston and Larry Melgaard, both officers of the State Bank & Trust of Kenmare, as well as both being board members of the Kenmare Community Development Corporation, would love to talk to anyone interested in occupying the space.

Livingston said, “We’re looking for new or existing businesses. Or those that want to expand or just move.”

According to Melgaard, there have been some inquiries about the new store fronts, but nothing is spoken for.

At this point of the construction phase, a new business could have their space somewhat tailored to their specific needs. Livingston said, “We can still build to suit.”

Informally known as the East Mall, as it is located east of the downtown business square, the development will be similar in nature to the new west side downtown business development.

As with the West Side Development, the East Mall Development was envisioned as a gift for the betterment of the community by State Bank & Trust president Jim Jorgenson, and his wife Cyndy.

The East Mall project has an initial budget of $593,000. When construction is complete and the store fronts are ready to be occupied, the Jorgensons plan to gift the entire property to the Kenmare Community Development Corporation.

The Development Corporation, as the owners of the property, would charge a relatively cheap rent, based on the prorated share of the building’s property tax and insurance costs.

Livingston said he believes the Jorgensons have the desire to help Kenmare’s downtown flourish, as it is so unique. He added, “I think Jim wants spaces where businesses can operate as cheaply as possible, and give it a go.”

Melgaard said, “How many other places could you get into a business this inexpensively, and have everything brand new?”

Melgaard stated, “You have to wonder what the business square would look like today, without the new west side development.”

Several years ago, only one business, Kenmare Drug, remained in operation on Kenmare’s west side of the business square. All of the dilapidated buildings were demolished and the new strip mall style building was constructed at a price tag around $3 million.

At the completion of construction, Jim and Cyndy Jorgenson donated the strip mall to the Development Corporation. Today, those west side storefronts are fully occupied by eight individually owned businesses.

The East Mall will have a similar look, but not identical, to the downtown West Side strip mall, with stucco and stone exterior. A distinct feature of its look will be the awnings above the doors and windows.

The building’s design allows for five entrances and numerous windows. At present, the floor plan calls for three suites, the largest about 2,400 square feet in size, occupying the north half of the building.

The other two suites would measure approximately 782 square feet (suite 2), and 1,300 square feet (suite 3).

A small area at the back end of the building, about 400 square feet, could also be used as part of suite 3, or as a separate fourth suite, suitable for a single office, perhaps.

Each unit will have separate mechanicals, such as plumbing, electrical, heating, and cooling. The building will be very well insulated, along with new roofing. Much of the new exterior wall insulation, inside and out, is already in place.

The building’s full basement, about 6,000 square feet will continue to be rented out to multiple parties as storage space for boats and vehicles, and such. However, it could be converted to use for one renter, for any other purpose, if needed.

Construction of the East Mall is expected to be completed by late summer. There again, arrangements could be made for first-come, first-served. If a business were to commit early, they could have their space built out and ready to move in much sooner.

Scott Reishus of Mohall is the general contractor of the project. His crew began work at the location this past November.

In addition to the East Mall and the West Side, the Kenmare Community Development Corporation has business space available for lease on the south side of the business square.

A large office space is now available with Burke-Divide Electric Co-op recently moving out to their new facility just north of town. The available space has its access and parking at the back alley.

A very nice second floor office space at the same location may also be available soon.

Anyone interested in the new East Mall, or interested in locating to the south side office spaces, should contact Jamie Livingston or Larry Melgaard at the State Bank & Trust of Kenmare, phone 385-4287.

Any of the other members of the Kenmare Community Development Corporation may also be contacted. They include: Melissa Sagness, Kirk Harris, Terry Froseth, Heidi Robbins, Shane Heidel, Scot Ness, Joddy Meidinger, Marki Ellis, and Troy Hedberg. Kristy Borud serves as the group’s executive director.