SAUK RAPIDS -- It's the oldest building still standing in downtown Sauk Rapids, and it is in the process of getting a major renovation.

Jeremy Anderson of Sauk Rapids bought the former Sauk Rapids Herald building back in August of 2015.

His first project was to completely gut and renovate the two upstairs apartments, which hadn't been used as apartments since 1990. Now the restored two-bedroom and one-bedroom apartments both have new tenants.

Anderson says he's now moved to the lower level.

The lower level is just one big room right now.  I'm trying to get it finished up to like a vanilla space to lease out.  Right now we're trying to get the exterior finished up.

Anderson says he and a co-worker have been doing all of the work, and they are mostly working on it during the winter months. He says restoring the old brick building is labor intensive.

All the brickwork on the outside have to be repointed, so every joint has to be ground out.  The whole front of the building we have to completely take the brick down because they were loose and ready to fall.  So we're in the process right now of laying the brick back up.  When that's done we'll have a brand new storefront and side entrance.

He's hoping to have the lower level finished, and ready to lease out, later this year.

As for a future tenant for that space, Anderson says it could be anything from a retail store, to an office, to a bar and restaurant.

The Benton County Historical Society says the building was built in 1912, which is three years before the Old Capital Tavern and Turch Buildings were built.

It was first used as a furniture store. Other uses over the years include a bakery, Kurr Theater, Lyric Theater, a grocery store, Cozy Theater and Perry Auto Repair. The Sauk Rapids Sentinel and Herald newspapers had been in the building since 1938.

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