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Perham McDonald's breaks ground

Pictured at a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Perham McDonald's are, left to right: McDonald's Corporate Representative Ray Croaston; Alliance Building Corp. President Corey Gerads; Perham store franchisee Glen Cook, Jr. and his partners Glen Cook and Sandy Cook; Perham Economic Development Director Chuck Johnson; building owner Mitch Rengel; and Perham Chamber Executive Director Dan Schroeder. Marie Nitke/FOCUS

Construction has begun on the Perham McDonald's.

At a groundbreaking ceremony last week, the owners said the new fast food restaurant should be open by mid-August. 

The building, which is pre-assembled into large pieces and then shipped to its permanent location, takes only four days to put up once it's arrived. That part of the process should be happening here the week before the fourth of July.

The restaurant will have the look of the newer, 'modern' McDonald's style, and will feature flat screen TVs, a mural, wi-fi and more.

"It's going to be a beautiful building when it's up," said Corey Gerads, President of Alliance Building Corp. out of Sauk Rapids, which is heading up the construction effort.

The owners also plan to erect a tall sign that will be easily visible from Highway 10.

Franchisees Glen Cook and his wife, Sandy, are partnering with their son, Glen Jr., on the project. Glen Sr. owns several McDonald's restaurants in Minnesota, including those in Detroit Lakes, Brainerd, Wadena, Little Falls and other communities.

Throughout his long career with the corporation, Glen Sr. has built 70 stores around the Twin Cities. He was also a key player in expanding the company's presence in Europe, where he introduced the chain to new markets in Hungary, Yugoslavia, Poland, Greece, Portugal and other countries.

"We're excited about coming here," he said of the newest store in Perham.

Cynthia Hoppe, who lives just south of Perham, has been hired as store manager. Other employees are still being hired.

It has also been announced that Verizon will lease space within the McDonald's building, moving from their current location on 3rd Ave. S.W. in Perham.

Chuck Johnson, Perham's economic development director, said that of all the construction projects he's seen come through Perham - including some major projects like the new hospital and the KLN expansion - more people have asked about McDonald's than anything else.

"People want this here," he said.