ST. CLOUD - The old Wal-Mart building that's been empty for over four years now has a new owner.

Tom Miller and Miller Real Estate Holdings have purchased the building, located right next door to Miller Auto Plaza on 33rd Avenue. The building was used by Wal-Mart starting in 1991 but has been vacant since the store moved in the fall of 2010.

Kevin Brink with INH Companies in Waite Park says the property sold for about $2.265 million. The price was reduced from $3.1 million in the spring.

The property covers 119,000 square feet. Brink says Miller plans to initially use the property for boat storage.

"The initial plan is to use it for boat storage, in the winter there's potential for repurposing and development for other purposes," Brink says.

Chance Haakonson, general manager and part owner of Miller Auto Plaza says the building would add some much needed connected space.

"We're slammed for space right now, especially with our growing number of employees," Haakonson says.

In 2008, Miller had around 90 employees, that has grown to 175 since the great recession.

Haakonson says the future purpose of the building is uncertain, but that it could be an ideal space for marine and boat service repair and supplies.

The addition of the 12-acre property could potentially double the size of the Miller Auto Plaza space.

For more information, visit the Miller Auto Plaza website.


Josh Akkerman, WJON News