Sauk Rapids Mayor Brad Gunderson, photo by's Jim Maurice

SAUK RAPIDS - Downtown Sauk Rapids was highlighted during Mayor Brad Gunderson's first-ever "State of the City" address today (Thursday).

Gunderson says the city has bought the vacant old meat locker and strip mall buildings on Benton Drive across from Coborn's.

You come in to Sauk Rapids and that and the back of Coborn's is the first thing you see. We wanted to do something to brighten up the entrance to the city. So, we purchased that whole property, we're going to demolish it in a month, and then we'll either make it into a parking lot or maybe we'll be able to get a new restaurant or something to come in there.

Gunderson says the city will also start a major remodeling project at the municipal liquor store in the next four weeks. The cost of that project will be about $125,000.

He also highlighted the addition of Urban Moose Brewing Company, which will be moving into the old American Legion Building.

Sauk Rapids could also be getting a new fieldhouse. Gunderson says voters approved using $6 1/2 million in half-cent sales tax dollars for the project back in 2014.

It's like what Becker has or what Foley has. Somewhere where you could have nine basketball games going at the same time, so you could have major tournaments.

However, Gunderson says a lot of details still need to be worked out before they break ground.  He says the city wants to partner with the school district, and community groups, to figure out things like who is going to operate the facility.  He says they also still need to work on specifics like where it would be built, and a construction timeline.