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The price for 300 feet of access along Grand Avenue by a street light at 14th Street West is a cool $1 million.

Stockman Bank paid that price Tuesday for the prime location for another drive-in bank.

Chief executive Bill Coffee said the bank has been spent three years hunting a large property in this part of Billings, which includes two parcels along Avenue B and 14th Street West.

“We have lots of projects in the hopper now and it’s not great timing for us, but we’ve wanted to get on Grand for a long time,” Coffee said.

Stockman operates three Billings banks and expects to complete its fourth building at the downtown corner of North Broadway and Fourth Avenue North by December.

The plans have vacillated between remodeling the former Movie Gallery facility and new construction.

“It’s probably 75 percent certain we will build rather than remodel to keep the same look of our other banks,” Stockman Bank Billings President Wayne Nelson said.

Construction of a two-story, 9,000-square-foot bank with a six-lane drive-in on Grand wouldn’t start until next spring and could be completed by the end of 2012. CTA Architects Engineers is the design firm and Hardy Construction will be the general contractor.

The facility will look like the banks on Main Street in the Heights and King Avenue before the additions were built, Coffee said.

Stockman operates 22 Montana banks now and a loan-processing center in Helena.

The Coffee family owns Stockman Bank, which has total assets of $2 billion.

One of the companies owned by Billings developer and businessman Sam McDonald sold the land. McDonald and his son, Greg McDonald, own two dozen Wendy’s restaurants.

Contact Jan Falstad at jfalstad@billingsgazette.com or 406-657-1306.

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