Eye on Energy: Northstar Center - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Eye on Energy: Northstar Center

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A billion dollar development is taking shape northwest of Williston.

Northstar Center has received the final approval from the Williston City Commission and plans are to break ground this month.

In this week's Eye on Energy, Jennifer Kleen tells us how an empty field will soon become a valuable extension of the city.

Murphy Motors is navigating the high-speed course of the Bakken.

(Patrick Murphy, Owner Murphy Motors Inc. Williston) "Frankly, business has been good every year for the last 27 years."

When Pat Murphy was looking for a place to expand, he decided to go with a custom build.

He's abandoning Million Dollar Way, moving North to a billion dollar development.

(Patrick Murphy, Owner Murphy Motors Inc. Williston) "I saw this and saw that it was going to be annexed into the city I thought, 'auto plex'. And then with the housing shortage in Williston I thought, 'Why not do the housing?' Pretty soon I had the whole thing put together. One thing led to another and here we are."

Northstar Center will be a mixed use development, 535 acres all within city limits.

(Jennifer Kleen, jkleen@kxnet.com) "Is this something you saw yourself ever doing?"

(Patrick Murphy, Owner Murphy Motors Inc. Williston) "Never. I tell people that I sell cars during the day and now real estate is my night job."

Murphy and his development team are in discussions with several big box stores and one mall developer.

$2.7 million in commercial space.

Energy Street will have three level commercial buildings: retail on the first floor, offices on the second and apartments and condos on the third.

(Patrick Murphy, Owner Murphy Motors Inc. Williston) "If I get a big box store that wants to come here and they say, 'where's the housing,' and I can say, 'it's right here. Your employees can walk to work.'"

More than 2,000 homes: single and multi family, apartments, and twin homes.

(Patrick Murphy, Owner Murphy Motors Inc. Williston) "In my view, this will be Williston's new city center. There will be approximately 8-10,000 people living on this site. It's all in the city of Williston right now. We'll be moving dirt on this site by May 15."

Construction will be dictated by development of infrastructure, which will be prioritized by the companies ready to start fresh.

But one thing is certain:

(Patrick Murphy, Owner Murphy Motors Inc. Williston) "We'll start over here with the autoplex. I have plans for three new car dealers, motor home dealer, boat dealer, several businesses that are automotive related."

Northstar Center will also feature 105 acres of green space: walking and hiking trails, and four softball diamonds.

It's a stretch from sales at Murphy Motors.

(Patrick Murphy, Owner Murphy Motors Inc. Williston) "At times I think, I'm doing what?"

But Northstar Center is gaining the momentum to match the Bakken drive.

In Williston, Jennifer Kleen, KX News.

Titanium Builders has been named the general contractor and will be moving 120 people on site this month, dedicated only to this project.

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