Cenex construction-renovation continues near Bypass

Sheri McMahon-Paredes, center, threw out the first dirt at the groundbreaking for the construction and renovation of a new Cenex gas station and convenience store. The location will include the Hills 210 Cafe, an Econofoods liquor store and facilities for truckers. Attending and also taking part in the ceremony were business partners from Farmers Union Oil of Southern Valley, Cenex and Econofoods. Front, from left, are Roger Nelson of Minnetonka Acquisitions LLC, Minnetonka, Minn., McMahon-Paredes and Lynn Nelson. Back, from left, are Marv Knapper, Kip Christianson, Roger Nelson, Leon Merck, Wade Griffin and Brad Van Overbeke.

A construction and renovation project continues to take shape in northern Wahpeton.

Farmers Union Oil of Southern Valley’s Cenex gas station and convenience store, 2010 Ninth St. N, is receiving the renovation. Ground was broken during a May 20 ceremony attended by business partners, the Twin Town Ambassadors and Wahpeton Mayor Steve Dale.

The renovation includes a new building for the Cenex store and the Hills 210 cafe. Econofoods, which has employee-owned stores in Wahpeton and Breckenridge, Minnesota, will also have a liquor store in the facility, located along the 210 Bypass.

“I think it’s going to become more of the one-stop shop,” said Sheri McMahon-Paredes, Hills 210’s owner. “You have a brand new convenience store, a new cafe, new liquor store and we’ll also have a place for truckers. They’re going to have a showing facility and a truckers’ lounge.”

Construction is scheduled to be completed in November 2020. Econofoods’ new liquor store will replace the current Chuck’s Off Sale, located at 904 16th Ave. N.

“The Chuck’s facility is getting old and our lease is coming up,” Econofoods Store Director Marv Knapper said. “Cenex had reached out about buying our liquor license. We didn’t want to give up the license, so we asked about being in their space.”

Econofoods’ new store will not replace either of the Econo Wine and Spirits locations locations in Wahpeton or Breckenridge, Knapper said.

“It’s wonderful what Cenex, what Farmer’s Union is doing for this entire area,” McMahon-Paredes said. “We’re so proud to have a place in their new building.”

Justin Neppl, executive director of the Southern Valley Economic Development Authority (SVEDA), is excited about the renovation-construction project.

“I think it’s great to have that type of location to put in a new building that’s aesthetically pleasing and wraps up the remodel job that began next door,” Neppl said.

The new Cenex will remain a neighbor of the Travelodge by Wyndham and Wahpeton Event Center complex, located at 995 21st Ave. N.

“Having a company like Farmer’s Union Oil on the corner is great,” Neppl said. “It’s an ideal redevelopment project.”

McMahon-Paredes is eager for both Hills 210’s new location and the catering opportunities that come from both warmer weather and the lifting of restrictions placed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I think it’s great. Things are slowly starting to go better and we’re real hopeful to be able to work again for the parties and graduations this summer,” she said.

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