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  • Writer's pictureWCMP

Pine City to Gain New Potential Grocery Store

Two grocery store chains are considering the old Pamida location in Pine City, according to the property manager of Evergreen Square Ben Copperhite.

Copperhite approached the council on March 16, where he asked for city help to update the property.

"Their ask for entering into Pine City is pretty extensive and quite costly," Copperhite told the council.

No specific grocery store was named beyond that they are larger prominent chains. Copperhite and the council referred to them as "grocery store one" and "grocery store two" through the discussion.

According to Copperhite, the property owner is looking for Pine City to assist with the mill and overlay of a new parking lot while the owner covers the facade and lighting improvements to the building. The total cost of the work needed to improve the property is expected to be over seven figures.

Along with the needed improvements, Copperhite asked if the city would be interested in moving the liquor store to building for a one-stop shop experience for consumers.

"This city cannot support two liquor stores," Manager Lara Smetana said. "To move somewhere closer to a freeway with higher traffic is absolutely a win-win."

Smetana told the council that she did tour the location last fall but chose against it at the time due to the high price per square foot for a lease. She felt that if the city could get a good lease, the extra sales would easily pay for it.

There is about a 9000 square foot space in Evergreen Square for the liquor store to occupy.

"It is about twice as much as we have now. It would be wonderful and all on one level," Smetana said.

The city said they were open to continuing discussions and directed Copperhite to meet with the Pine Economic Development Authority and with Pine County’s Economic Development Director Lezlie Sauter to help pay for the improvements needed.

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