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Two city lots sold to auto detail, marine repair business

Two city lots on Perham's Main Street will be sold for development as a marine motor repair and auto detailing business.

The council voted Sept. 8 to accept a $19,000 offer from Frank Holzer, who owns Frank's Auto Body. He plans to erect a 50 by 66-foot building on the lots, located at 714-716 West Main Ave.

The lots, which the city acquired after the removal of two blighted houses, have been on the market for several years with no real serious offers, reported Chuck Johnson, Economic Development Authority director. The original asking price was $55,000, and was reduced over the span of several years to $49,500, and then to $35,000.

As a comparison, Johnson noted in his written report to the council that most EDA lots in the industrial park sell for $5,000 per acre. Otter Tail County lists the value of the two parcels at $4,500 each.

To operate the type of business Holzer is proposing, it will require a Conditional Use Permit, as the lots are zoned "Downtown Commercial," which is typically retail or office rather than light industrial.

The permit hearing is scheduled for the Oct. 13 Perham City Council meeting.

Holzer will also likely be applying for Tax Increment Financing subsidies from the city.