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WITH VIDEO: Bongards retail store in Perham demolished, making way for $8 million multi-use development

The Main Street store is being torn down to make way for J.P. Place, which will have retail stores at the ground level, apartments above, and residential parking underneath. The old King Koin Laundromat and Pizza Ranch buildings were demolished in November for the same purpose.

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The old Bongards retail store on Perham's Main Street is demolished on Monday, April 11, 2022.
Elizabeth Vierkant / Perham Focus

PERHAM — Big changes are underway on Perham's Main Street. East Main Street, in particular, is looking quite different with the Monday, April 11 demolition of the former Bongards Creameries retail store.

The store had been located at 210 East Main Street since March of 2017. It's currently operating out of a temporary location at 145 Second Avenue S.E. — the former Interiors by Winkels building.

The store is being torn down to make way for a major new development coming to Perham's downtown: J.P. Place, a multi-use building with retail stores at the ground level, apartments above, and residential parking underneath.

In November, the old King Koin Laundromat building, at 230 East Main Street, and the former Pizza Ranch/Los Jalapenos Taqueria building, on Second Avenue S.E., were both demolished for the same purpose .

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The Bongards Creameries Retail Store in Perham, prior to demolition on Monday, April 11, 2022.
Elizabeth Vierkant / Perham Focus
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A crane lifts debris from the ground after demolishing part of the old Bongards retail store on Monday, April 11, 2022.
Elizabeth Vierkant / Perham Focus

Once construction is complete on J.P. Place, Bongards' retail store will move to a permanent site in the new development.

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J.P. Place is a project of EPIC Companies, a Fargo-based real estate investing and development firm . EPIC plans to start construction this May and expects the project to be complete around the summer of 2023. The firm is currently looking for investors and commercial tenants in order to finalize a construction timeline.

Once complete, the J.P. Place complex will offer about 43 apartments with a rooftop patio, fitness room and in-unit laundry areas, in addition to the retail stores and parking below. The total cost of the project is about $8.3 million.

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A crane breaks down the old walls and floors of the former Bongards retail store before dropping the pieces into a dumpster on Monday, April 11, 2022.
Elizabeth Vierkant / Perham Focus

Additional changes are also slated for Perham's Main Street in the coming years. In 2024, the entire street will be under construction for improvements. The City of Perham has already begun surveying the public to find out what the community wants downtown.

"We're trying to do as much due diligence as possible," City Manager Jonathan Smith said, emphasizing the importance of community feedback. "We want to be mindful of everybody's desires and make sure we do that right."

The first survey received a little over 150 responses, Smith said, and the city will review those and other future surveys to determine construction plans.

For future surveys on Perham developments, watch the City of Perham website, cityofperham.com , and the City of Perham Government Facebook page .

Elizabeth (she/her), 23, graduated with a degree in Journalism and Communications from the University of Wisconsin–Stout in 2020. Elizabeth has always had a passion for telling stories about people and specializes in community features, which she uses for her Perham-centered content.
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