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Big box home improvement may come: Real estate group also reaches agreement to purchase site west of Buffalo Mall

A big box home improvement store may be in the works in Jamestown as early as next year, according to Drew Snyder, president of Woodsonia Real Estate Group.

The announcement came at a special Jamestown City Council meeting Wednesday. Snyder presented a report about the amount of "retail leakage" from Jamestown to home improvement stores in Fargo and Bismarck.

Woodsonia had been retained by the city to prepare the report and develop an agreement for a big box retail store, according to Mayor Katie Andersen.

"The data has been presented to the big three home improvement stores," Snyder said. "One has shown significant interest in coming to Jamestown."

He did not identify the store. The big three of home improvement stores for this region are considered Menards, The Home Depot and Lowe's. All have stores in Fargo; Menards and Lowe's operate in Bismarck as well.

Currently, home improvement sales make up about 1.8 percent of the taxable retail sales in Jamestown. That compares to similar cities such as Mitchell, S.D., that have about 21.8 percent of sales within the city attributable to home improvements.

Based on average household income, the number of households in the Jamestown trade area and the percentage of home improvement sales in other markets, Snyder estimated that about $56 million in sales "leak" out of the Jamestown area each year.

"The big stat is that home improvement retail market is 1.8 percent of sales," Snyder said. "If you are making a sizeable purchase you are going to drive to Fargo or Bismarck."

Snyder also announced that Woodsonia has reached an agreement with Liechty Associates to purchase a 65-acre site west of the Buffalo Mall and south of U.S. Interstate 94.

"The big three home retail stores prefer a site of about 20 acres," Snyder said. "The rest will be developed in smaller lots for smaller retailers."

Some of the infrastructure is in place.

"The city is set up well with water and sewer," said Matt Dennis, engineer with The R.H. Johnson Co., which is doing preliminary engineering on the project. "There will need to be some improvements of roadways."

Dennis presented a map indicating that 25th Street Southwest, between the Buffalo Mall and Walmart, would be extended to connect to streets at Jamestown Regional Medical Center. The road that passes in front of R.M. Stoudt Inc. would be extended along I-94 as a frontage road.

Snyder said his company is still in negotiations with a home improvement retailer.

"We work with the big three but we have nothing to announce at this time," he said. "We would like to make an announcement after the first of the year and hope to start construction in 2014."

Snyder said property tax or sales tax incentives are often used to lure home improvement stores into a market.

"Once we have the right user, then we determine how the contract can be worked out," he said.

Sun reporter Keith Norman can be reached at 701-952-8452 or by email at