Larry Nygard, vice president of Fargo, N.D.-based Roers Development Inc., spends over six hours per day troubleshooting infrastructure issues present in western North Dakota, and eastern Montana. His successful efforts have helped Roers become the construction and development company with one of the largest Bakken-based portfolios and recently, Roers announced that Menards Inc., has closed on the purchase of a 21-acre tract in Dickinson, N.D. The project, he said, reveals the challenges of project development in the region.
Although Nygard fielded hundreds of phone calls and messages explaining to him why the home retail supercenter was not planning to build in Dickinson, Nygard said there was never any doubt the store would locate in the community. “The Menards story was kind of a non-event,” he said. “I bet you I fielded a hundred calls about people who told me Menards wasn’t going to come to Dickinson.” Not only is the company coming to Dickinson, he said, but other companies that typically follow Menards stores are working to locate in the region.
To meet all of the permitting and requirements necessary for the store however, Nygard had to work through infrastructure issues that would impact the stores fire sprinkler system. “Obviously, Menards is a big building with a lot of wood products,” he said. But, shortly before the close of the project, it was found that the water pressure levels provided by the city would not be adequate to service the needs of the fire protection sprinkler heads. “We had to get creative with the use of wet retention ponds to overcome that issue.”
Unlike a dry retention pond that is used for extra water run-off, Nygard and his team has designed a wet system that is lined to retain water in the pond. “There is a pump system that is plumbed along with the retention pond so that if there is ever the need for water for fire suppression within the Menards space,” he said, the store can use water from the pond in addition to water supplied from the city.
Eventually, he added, infrastructure in the area will be finished, and most involved in the project believe there won’t be the need for the retention pond option. “But for the immediate future, they have a plan B, the water retention pond,” he said. “If I didn’t have infrastructure hurdles, my job would be easier.”
When built, the Menards store will occupy roughly 200,000 square feet on a 21-acre site. Along with its headquarters in Fargo, Roers has offices in Dickinson and Minot.