West-side developments coming as long road project pushes on

Sept. 27, 2018

It took a little longer than anyone – residents, businesses and construction crews – would have wanted, but the major expansion of Ellis Road is moving forward and new businesses in the area are in various stages of opening.

Work started in March to turn Ellis Road from 12th to 41st streets from a rural two-lane road into a four-lane concrete road with turning lanes and a path for bikes and pedestrians. The project also includes utility upgrades and traffic signals at 26th and 32nd streets.

“The project has experienced an extremely wet year that has slowed progress,” said John Osman, the city’s project manager, adding that the city is talking with contractor T&R Contracting Inc.

“Although we have not committed, we are discussing what work can be completed in 2018 and if some work should be transferred into 2019,” he said.

“My experience with the local residents has been very positive during both design and construction.”
In spite of the road work, shoppers already are finding their way to the new Lewis Drug at 32nd Street and Ellis, which opened last week.

“We’ve had such tremendous feedback from people that live in that area who are excited to have a place they can go and not have to drive out of the neighborhood,” said Bob Meyer, senior vice president of merchandise and marketing.

“I think it’s going to really blossom that neighborhood and the whole strip of Ellis Road. We’ve heard nothing but positive feedback.”

The store is similar to the one Lewis opened recently at 37th Street and Minnesota Avenue.

Meyer expects the growing west side to respond to the merchandise mix.

“It’s really booming out there. There are a lot of young families. We expect that store to do really well in some of our commodity areas — beverages and foods and basic supplies people need. If they’re on their way home from work and need eggs and milk and other necessities, it’s a quick stop in and out. They can get a lot in one stop, from a prescription to pet food. It will be a large, convenient stop for a lot of people in that part of town.”

If the Casey’s General Store that opened in the past couple of months is any indication, he’s likely right.

The store at 26th and Ellis has “been a great corner for Casey’s,” according to Ryan Tysdal of Van Buskirk Cos., who represents the company.

“It’s a pizza shop, a doughnut shop, a coffee shop, a beer store, a candy store and a gas station … all under one roof. The population numbers in this area are very strong, and there is definitely a need for additional retail and neighborhood services in the area.”

Sanford opening

The new Lewis is next to a new Sanford Health medical center.

But while the 42,000-square-foot clinic has finished construction, the road work in the area prompted Sanford to delay its opening.

It’s scheduled to begin seeing patients Dec. 3.

The building at 32nd and Ellis will be a “destination clinic,” with 24 full-time providers, according to Terri Carlson, vice president of Sanford Clinics.

Services will include:

  • Family medicine
  • Women’s
  • Children’s
  • Acute care
  • Lab
  • Radiology
  • Ultrasound
  • Mammography
  • Genetic counseling

“The facility was designed to promote a positive patient experience, which will include natural light throughout the entirety of the building, enhanced guest areas for each of the departments, a full continuum of care provided within one clinic and an attached access to Lewis Drug pharmacy for patient convenience,” Carlson said.

What’s next

The next site to develop could be the northeast corner of 41st and Ellis, where Tysdal and Joel Ingle of Harr-Lemme Real Estate have co-listed 23 acres.

“We are currently mid-deal with our first couple tenants. We expect to have announcements sometime in the coming months,” Ingle said. “We’ve been quietly working on this site for many years; it’s great to see things beginning to happen.”

The site will be a mix of retail, professional and neighborhood services, Tysdal added.

“This will be a great corner, with a lot of very welcomed commercial users to the area.”

West-side developments coming as long road project pushes on

The far west side is taking off with commercial developments as the Ellis Road expansion moves toward completion.

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