CRE Midwest

Dakota Insight Land & Investments: Making an impact in the Bakken

By Dan Rafter, Editor

Plenty of commercial real estate companies have flocked to the Bakken Shale region of North Dakota. And why not? The region is producing a steady stream of both oil and opportunity. Someone has to build all the shopping centers, hotels, apartment buildings and grocery stores needed by the suddenly booming towns of the Bakken area, places like Watford City, Williston and New Town. But few CRE pros recognized the opportunities here as quickly as did Joseph Kachuroi with Watford City, N.D.’s Dakota Insight Land & Investments. Dakota Insight Land & Investments has been the master developer and general contractor for more than 4,300 residential units and more than 3 million square feet of mixed-use commercial projects in the Bakken region. The company has more than $1.3 billion invested in vertical development in North Dakota. And now Dakota Insight Land & Investments is busy developing and marketing a pair of new mixed-use projects in the Bakken area. This isn’t surprising; Kachuroi says he still sees plenty of opportunity in this oil-rich region. “We know this region well,” Kachuroi said. “I’m not saying that we were experts in North Dakota from the time we built our very first project here. But we have taken the time to learn how the process works in North Dakota. We’ve had a big head start on many of our competitors, a head start of more than two years. And we are committed to bringing this part of the state the services it needs.” The boom times in the Bakken region of North Dakota can be attributed to the oil reserves here, reserves that rival those of Saudi Arabia. The challenge, though, is that the towns of this slice of North Dakota lacked the amenities needed by their suddenly booming populations. Simply put, there aren't enough hotels, apartment buildings, single-family homes, gas stations or medical facilities here. That has provided opportunities for commercial developers and brokerages. Some companies, such as Dakota Insight Land & Investments, have made the most of this, and are reshaping the face of the Bakken region. New projects Dakota Insight Land & Investments is currently marketing the NorthStar Center, a 535-acre master-planned mixed-use community in Williston. The goal here is to create a walkable, pedestrian-friendly community to meet the needs of Williston's growing population. The project is no small one. It calls for 1,274 multi-family units, more than 1,500 units of single-family housing, an autoplex auto center, office park and retail. Plans include a central community, a heavy commercial park and some sort of medical use. "We broke ground on this project two weeks ago, and we are working diligently to have foundations, if not vertical, in place with some of our apartments by the end of this year," Kachuroi said. Demand from potential tenants has already been strong. Kachuroi said that a Chevy dealership has already committed to filling the autoplex portion of the project. Dakota Insight is working with Watford City-based Titanium Builders & Development on this project. Titanium, led by founder Jason Vedadi and serving as the master builder on the NorthStar project, has completed commercial projects in five states. Kachuroi also serves as the vice president of development and acquisition for Titanium. Dakota Insight is also currently marketing Hunter's Run, a 350-acre mixed-use master-planned community in Watford City. This project will bring 190 townhomes, 166 twin homes, 468 apartments and a 7.6-acre park to the community. Other features include commercial opportunities for medical office, retail, restaurants and a possible hotel. Titanium Builders & Development will again act as the project's master builder and developer. Construction on this project is well underway. Kachuroi says that he expects 700 residential units to be available for leasing before the year ends. People are already living in some of the completed residential units, he said.