MANKATO — A long-anticipated Mills Fleet Farm store is coming to Mankato.
Construction will begin early this spring on the 183,600-square-foot store on a large piece of property surrounded by North Victory Drive, Highway 22 and Highway 14. Construction is expected to take about a year.
The property has long been owned by Fleet Farm and many had been anticipating when the store would be built.
Besides the main building, there will be a separate car wash and gas station and a storage yard with a 17,700-square-foot building.
The main building will be built up against the western edge of the property with the front of the building facing east, toward Highway 22.
Around the edges of the property — along Highways 14, 22 and North Victory — are six lots that will be used for future development sites for stores or restaurants.
"I think Mills will be a great addition as both a taxpayer and as part of the business community," said City Manager Pat Hentges.
He said he was impressed that one of the senior Mills family members — at about age 80 — was closely involved in the project.
"It says something that the owner of 33 stores comes in person to Mankato to submit the application. You don't get that much in the corporate world."
The main entrance to the new store will be off North Victory at Premiere Drive. Premiere will be extended into the Mills Fleet Farm property. If traffic lights are needed at the intersection linking North Victory to Menards and Fleet Farm, the costs will be assessed to the property owners in the area.
There will also be a right-turn-in-and-out-only entrance on Highway 22, straight across from where Premiere Drive approaches Highway 22 by the Bonfire restaurant.
The project goes before the Mankato Site Plan Review Committee on March 11 and the Planning Commission on March 26. The City Council is expected to approve the project at its April 28 meeting.