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Future site of WinCo Foods

The new WinCo Foods property located at 24th Street West and Central Avenue. The former Kmart building (pictured) was razed this spring and crews worked all summer to construct the new grocery store, Winco. 

National restaurant chain Panera Bread will build its first Billings store in the lot next to the new WinCo Foods. 

Billings-based Ryan Restaurants filed a building permit application with the city last week to construct a new storefront at 110 South 24th Street West, the lot roughly between Natural Grocers and WinCo Foods. 

WinCo Foods kicks off grand opening

The line to enter WinCo stretches into the parking lot as customers endure sub-zero temperatures during the grand opening for WinCo Foods on Sunday.

WinCo, which took over the former Kmart location, opened earlier this year and leased the property from MoDakCo, a small LLC out of Rapid City, South Dakota. MoDakCo owns the entire lot, including the land on which Hardee's sits. Hardee's renewed its lease with MoDakCo in 2017 and will continue to operate on the corner of 24th and Central for the next decade.

When it negotiated the WinCo deal, MoDakCo cut out "footprints" along 24th Street where businesses could come in and set up shop. The first appears to be Panera. 

Ryan Restaurants' permit application is the first step in a months-long process to get the restaurant built, and it includes receiving approval from the city's planning commission. 

As such, there's no immediate timeline for when the project will be completed. Collaborative Design Architects and Con'eer Engineering will handle the building's design, according to the application. It estimates that the building will cost $600,000.

The representative at Ryan Restaurants in charge of the Panera project was unavailable for comment on Tuesday. 

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Business Reporter

Business Reporter for the Billings Gazette.