Enerbase expanding

Construction is under way and proceeding rapidly on a new Cenex convenience store and truck stop along U.S. Highway 83 just north of the city.

The building has an exterior appearance unlike many Cenex stores with a series of archways and brick greeting future customers in trucks and passenger vehicles.

The location of the new store is on the east side of U.S. Highway 83, less than one-quarter mile north of its intersection with the Highway 83 West Bypass. Considerable roadwork will begin early this summer in order to make the site readily available for customers.

“We are currently finalizing designs for road and street improvements,” said Sean Weeks, Ackerman-Estvold of Minot. “There will be a right turn lane in and a right turn out on Highway 83. There will also be some turn construction on County Road 10A south of it.”

County Road 10A intersects Highway 83 from the east, leading to the 83 West Bypass. A new street, First Street, will be constructed going north off County 10A along the eastern edge of the new C-Store. Not only will the new street aid traffic flow to and from the C-Store, it will also become an important part of future improvements in the area.

“That’ll help with large semi’s and such,” said Weeks. “It will also help property to the east which has potential. The city’s plan, I think, is medium residential but maybe it becomes a commercial area. We’ve had quite a bit of back and forth with the state and Department of Transportation, making sure we come up with a design that would lend itself to serve development as intended. There may be an interchange there in the future.”

Tony Bernhardt is the general manager of Enerbase of Minot, the parent company to Cenex Petroleum. According to Bernhardt, the store under construction will be quite unique.

“The building is a class building,” said Bernhardt. “It’s a convenience store truck plaza, a big building. I’ve built a number of them over the years and, with this one, put some of those ideas together of what you know you want and need. It’ll be an Enerbase C-store with the brand of Cenex Petroleum. It hasn’t happened overnight. We’ve been working on it for two years.”

Bernhardt described the exterior of the C-store as having a “Southern look.” The canopies over the gasoline and diesel pumps will have a similar appearance. Even the concrete underfoot has been designed to enhance to building theme.

“It’ll be like no other. It’ll have an inviting look. Even the cement will be stamped and painted,” remarked Bernhardt.

In addition to truck driver amenities lounge, showers and the like the kitchen area of the C-store will feature a wide variety of food. According to Bernhardt, food available will include chicken, fish, pizza, submarine sandwiches and a line-up of Mexican selections.

“It will be kind of a neat deal,” said Bernhardt. “We’ll be adding gourmet coffee too. There’ll be a drive through window as well with a menu board. People will want to come and go.”

In addition to the property on which the convenience store and truck plaza is being built, Enerbase recently purchased the building and property immediately south of the new site on the northwest corner of the Highway 83 and County 10A intersection. The complex will soon house all of the Enerbase offices currently located near downtown Minot.

“We have right around 45 to 48 acres,” said Bernhardt. “It’ll be our new home up there with offices as well. Agri-base, on the corner, is the wholesale side of our business. We assemble farm equipment there and sell wholesale parts as well. We are finally getting to the mid- to three-quarters point of being up there.”

The convenience store and truck plaza is expected to be open to the public in early to mid-July.

“The building has gone up very, very fast,” said Bernhardt. “It’ll be done before the roadways and utilities get put in.

“It will handle all types of vehicles. I think it’s going to be a great Cenex,” added Weeks.

According to studies conducted by the North Dakota Department of Transportation and Enerbase, about 18,000 vehicles per day pass through the intersection of Highway 83 and County 10A.

“It’s a lot of traffic that crosses that stoplight every day,” said Bernhardt. “I would hope the northern part of the city will appreciate what’s in the new store. I think Minot is going to say it’s nice to have something like this in Minot. That’s what makes me happy and proud to be in Minot.”