A dramatic drop in the price of oil has adversely impacted the economies of North Dakota and its oil patch cities and counties. But one area has weathered the storm better than most. Whether you take your measure from sales taxable revenue (up 11% year-over-year), construction permits or industry pundits, Watford City and McKenzie County have exceeded expectations.
Experts mostly point to three contributing factors: 1) The greatest number of rigs in the state are in McKenzie County. 2) They are the most efficient wells (as measured by break-even price per barrel). 3) Those well owners have been more committed to the reprocessing of natural gas as a byproduct of those wells. As a result, big-name oil and gas businesses have decided to relocate many maintenance and production positions from Williston and Dickinson to Watford City in order to be close to the action.
OPPORTUNITY AS VAST AS THE NORTH DAKOTA LANDSCAPE
The determination and commitment of local business and civic leaders to the continued growth of this small northwest North Dakota city has been impressive. According to Gene Veeder, McKenzie County Economic Development Director: “We could’ve put all of our plans on hold once the price of oil tanked, but we’ve got ourselves some breathing room and we’re confident in the next ten years and that’s what we’re building for is, ten years out.”
Watford City is seeing continued progress,” stated Watford City Mayor Brent Sanford in the McKenzie County Farmer. “Our building permit level is actually higher than it’s ever been. A new high school, event center and medical facility are all under construction. A Watford City bypass and other infrastructure projects have been updated or added over the last few years to support new development and investment. Even University of Mary is considering placing a satellite campus here.”
But to remake Watford City in a mold that will attract singles and families in a more robust way requires the addition of a broad mix of essential businesses and services that contribute to the quality of life, says Drew Likness, Real Estate Broker: “The city needs quick- and full-service restaurants, coffee shops, movie theaters, dry cleaners, grocery stores, and day cares, to name a few. We’re looking to fill the gaps in the conveniences of modern life.”
THE RIGHT PEOPLE AT THE RIGHT TIME
Watford City Real Estate Group is well-positioned to take advantage of the city’s continued growth. With nearly 100 years of commercial and residential real estate experience throughout the staff, they know all the ins and outs and opportunities available to investors entering the Watford City market.
“When an investor expresses interest in an opportunity, Watford City Real Estate Group can guide him or her through the whole process,” says Shelly Buntin, Commercial Real Estate Consultant. “They have good relationships with city engineers, etc, under one roof. They want investors and developers to know that they can come here and have easy access to the people they need, from design and permits to hiring and taxation. Over the years, they’ve built up relationships with with these people who have become trusted friends and neighbors.”
Some of the high-profile land tracts available for investment and development through Watford City Real Estate include:
Stenehjem Commons, a high-profile commercial investment property at the epicenter of the Bakken Oil Play.
Fox Hills Village, located in the heart of Watford City.
Fox Hills Estates, premier master planned community
Johnson’s Landing, commercial, multi-family and residential development on Hwy 85 Bypass.
To discuss any of these opportunities and more, call Watford City Real Estate Group at 701-842-4500 or visit their website here.