The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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March 24, 2014

Retail recaps

Fleet Farm coming to Mankato

A long-anticipated Mills Fleet Farm store is coming to Mankato.

Construction will begin early this spring on the183,600-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.

Madison Avenue getting busy

A new Pawn America shop opened on Madison Avenue in the past 12 months as well as a Panda Express. Soon there will be a Starbucks (not far from where a Starbucks was closed a few years ago) and another strip mall close by.

Panda Express, an American Chinese food chain, usually appears in malls, airports and theme parks. But the Mankato store is part of a push begun in 2004 for more stand-alone restaurants with drive-through windows. Panda Express has more than 1,600 restaurants in 42 states.

Also, Hardee's — which had been a staple of Mankato's fast-food scene but closed all Mankato stores a decade ago — has reopened on Madison Avenue next to McDonald's. And not far away is the new Family Video right next store to Marco's Pizza along Victory Drive.

Near the Minnesota State University campus, a Caribou Coffee restaurant will soon open in the same standalone building that used to be a Starbucks.

Shopko opens in St. Peter

Shopko opened a new 35,000-square foot Shopko Hometown store in St. Peter on Nov. 4.

The grand opening included a $2,500 check presentation to St. Peter Senior High School. In addition, the first 100 customers in line received free $10 Shopko gift cards.

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