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Walmart Sparking a Mandan Boom?

Walmart Logo
Walmart Logo

Walmart is often ridiculed as an evil behemoth when it moves into new towns, especially in smaller communities like Mandan. However, in this case, could Walmart’s arrival actually be good for Mandan?

For years, Mandan has seemed to get left out in the dust while Bismarck development exploded to record levels. As Bismarck added a brand new shopping center, two Walmart Supercenters, and numerous other major developments, Mandan saw very little interest from developers – especially for commercial buildings. All that seems to be changing, at least for now.

There seems to be a sudden spark of interest from developers in Mandan, many of which are clustered near the proposed site of a new Walmart Supercenter. A hotel, restaurant, hardware store, housing, and offices are all in the planning stages near the future Walmart site. Could Walmart be responsible for sparking a much-desired mini-boom in northwest Mandan?

This is nothing new. Walmart has a history of sparking sudden development booms whenever a new store opens, same as with new shopping centers. This certainly happened – and continues to occur – in Bismarck at both Supercenter sites.

Walmart may have helped spark these new Mandan developments, but the behemoth retailer isn’t solely responsible for them. These are a valuable pieces of land even without a Walmart – located right off Mandan’s first main exit off I-94 coming from the oil-booming west. With an increase in consumers coming from the west to patronage Bismarck-Mandan, this seems like a developer’s haven and the addition of a Walmart certainly does help.

There is little doubt to me that Mandan needs something like a Walmart. A city of nearly 20,000 citizens without a general department store is quite astonishing. Growing up, I remember numerous rumors that Kmart was planning a Mandan store, but those rumors obviously never came to fruition. Adding such a store will add much value to Mandan for not only residents, but businesses alike.

Residents seem to agree. In a recent poll featured on BisManCafe, 49.49% of respondents voted in favor of a new Walmart Supercenter coming to Mandan. There doesn’t seem to be much resistance to the national chain’s arrival, despite that nearby Bismarck already has two Walmart Supercenters and Mandan itself already has two grocery stores: Dan’s and Central Market.

Is Walmart’s arrival good or bad for Mandan? What do you think?