Essentia Health plans Hermantown Wellness Center

Twin Ports residents, your wish has been granted.

That wellness center (think community center) that you've been dreaming about for decades now might not be that far down the road... literally. Essentia Health along with the city of Hermantown announced recently that a new $17 million wellness center will be built on the corner of Arrowhead Road and Ugsted Road in Hermantown.

Construction of the new facility will take place on the site of the former Hermantown MIddle School. The land and building where generously donated by the Hermantown school board. A portion of the building will be reused while an addition will also be added allowing the structure to cover 72,000 square feet in area (almost three times the size of your local Michael's Arts and Crafts store).

Essentia Health will gain the name rights for the entire facility after a generous $2 million donation was made allowing the initial conception of the project to move forward. As more fundraising takes place for the project naming rights within the building including community spaces, such as the gym, will be awarded.

Interior rendering  | LHB


Plans for the building include quite a bit. The focal point of the project will be the aquatics center, a space that will include a swimming pool along with, hold your chairs kids, a play area COMPLETE with water slide.

The rest of the building will include space for the local YMCA along with Essentia Health and of course communal spaces. Within those spaces a gym, fitness center with locker rooms, clinic spaces, daycare, classrooms, and other community space will be included. It will truly be a space for the community to take pride and gather in.


Funding for $17 million project will come from a few different resources. $2 million as previously mentioned will come from Essentia Health. Another $2.5 million will come from the YMCA while $8 million is expected to come from the state (if approved in the 2016 legislative session). The remaining $4.5 million will come from the city of Hermantown along with St. Louis county. 

Essentia Health's donation will not only give it overall naming rights but also 9,000 square feet of space within the building to house a clinic featuring wellness programs along with space for sports and physical therapy.


If all goes according to plan and the project receives state aid, construction would begin in 2017 with an opening scheduled for Spring 2018. The project would employ 15 full time employees and nearly 200 part-time employees. 

As always, check back to CDINDULUTH for the latest in Twin Ports development news!

Mills Fleet Farm plans May construction start

Construction on the new Mills Fleet Farm in Hermantown is scheduled to begin on Monday, May 15th marking the start of one of the largest retail projects in the history of Hermantown. The 183,622 square foot store will be constructed on 38.8 acres of land on near the intersection of Loberg Road and Mall Drive.

"They've been really great to work with" Adam Fulton who is the Community Development Director for the city of Hermantown. He says that Mills Fleet Farm has been interested in Hermantown for quite sometime now and that planning for a site in Hermantown began late this past summer.

Above: Site Plan for the Hermantown Mills Fleet Farm location. (Image provided by the Hermantown Community Development department)

Mills Fleet Farm was looking to begin construction as early as possible in the building season. Construction bids for the project went out this in late December and show a start date of May 15th. While that may be the start of construction on the physical building it doesn't mean that clearly and grading of the site won't begin earlier. "From my understanding they want to start as early as possible in the 2015 construction, possibly late March or early April" Adam explained. 

It makes sense that they would want to get a jump on construction as soon as possible. An almost 200,000 square feet retail store is not something that just sprouts up over night. "Construction of the store will take approximately one year" with an opening most likely in June 2016 Adam told us.

"The store constructed in Hermantown will be very similar to the store currently under construction in Mankato, MN" he said. That Mankato store is almost identical in size and offerings to the one planned for Hermantown and will scheduled to open this Spring.

Hermantown's location will consist of the 183,622 square foot store along with a 17,000 square foot accessory building along with an outdoor lumber yard, a 3 stall car wash, and a 16 pump gas station with convenience store that will be constructed in front of the store. It'll be quite the development. Oh, and of course there will still be the iconic 67 foot orange silo that Mills Fleet Farm stores are associated with. 

Above: Elevation for the Hermantown Mills Fleet Farm location. (Image provided by the Hermantown Community Development department)

The project itself will not abut all the way to Maple Grove. The corner directly next to Sam's Club still has about 10 acres of developable land that is currently for sale. It's likely that this site will soon be developed after the opening of Mills Fleet Farm in late 2016 or possibly even before then.

The site that Mills Fleet Farm is developing their store on will also include a 3.4 acre outlet for a future development of some sort. The site will be marketed and it is likely to pick up a fast casual restaurant of some sort. At the moment the priority is getting the store itself constructed and with that being said Mills Fleet Farm has yet to approach the city of Hermantown about any development plans regarding the outlot. 

While it may be a year until Mills Fleet Farm opens in this area of Hermantown it's already clear that it is going to drastically change this area and spur other development that will occur surrounding the site. In other words, get ready for a development boom. 

Above: Landscape plan for the Hermantown Mills Fleet Farm location. (Image provided by the Hermantown Community Development department)