The discount tool and equipment retail store Harbor Freight Tools will open its 11th Minnesota location in late February to early March at 11727 Ulysses Lane NE in Blaine.

Harbor Freight Tools was founded in 1977 in Calabasas, California. It originally started as a mail-order hardware company but has since expanded to over 1,000 stores across the country with two additional stores being opened every week. The company also expanded to online and phone orders.

In Minnesota, there are 11 Harbor Freight Tools locations including in Bloomington, Burnsville, Duluth, Mankato, Maplewood, Minneapolis, Owatonna, Rochester, St. Cloud, St. Paul and, this spring, Blaine.

“We’re really excited about the opportunity in Blaine,” said Roland Rudas, senior director of marketing for Harbor Freight Tools. “We’ve seen some strong growth in the Twin Cities, and we’re really excited about this new store.”

Rudas said Harbor Freight Tools stores more than 5,000 tools and accessories with competitive prices. The company does online, in-store and phone orders and will ship products as well.

“Harbor Freight Tools is known for delivering quality tools at ridiculously low prices and it’s what we strive for everyday,” Rudas said. “We’ve got a broad assortment of tools that support customers that are into automotive, woodworking and metalworking areas. We’ve been hearing from people in the Twin Cities area that they want more of our stores. We’ve been opening stores across the country, and we’re looking strategically where we can open those stores, and we’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback from customers in Minnesota. So we felt it was a good idea to open another location to service even more customers.”

The Blaine City Council approved a conditional use permit for the Harbor Freight Tools Blaine location at the June 7 meeting, with former Council member Dave Clark voting against.

The Blaine store is located near the intersection of 117th Avenue and Ulysses Street and overlooks Highway 65. Harbor Freight Tools in Blaine is located near other discount stores like Dollar Tree and Goodwill and is just north of Walmart and Lowe’s Home Improvement. HJ Development started construction on the store in September, and it’s expected to be completed by mid-February, when it will be turned over to Harbor Freight Tools, which will open in late February or early March.

“Blaine had been an area with favorable demographics, so it’s an area that they’ve been looking at for some time,” said Chris Moe, vice president of leasing and development and owner of HJ Development.

The store sits on 1.45 acres of land and is 16,225 square feet.

Moe said typically Harbor Freight Tools locations move into existing buildings that typically have a square dimension. The property in Blaine was one of the few locations left in that area and it was rectangular, so designs had to be altered.

“Due to the dimensions of the site, they had to get comfortable with a non-traditional layout,” Moe said.

The building’s layout has a typically open floor plan with a back storeroom and a shipping and receiving area outside that is screened by a wall. The parking lot has space for over 50 cars.

To learn more about Harbor Freight Tools, visit its website at harborfreight.com.

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