SAUK RAPIDS (WJON News) -- The Sauk Rapids Economic Development Authority has approved the purchase of a residential home within the downtown district to help spur more commercial and retail expansion.

Community Development Director Todd Schultz says they are paying $260,000 for a house at 224 2nd Avenue North.

He says the city has been approached by numerous businesses who want to come to the downtown, but there are very few openings for commercial development.

The EDA has about $2 1/2 million in its budget so Schultz says they will likely be in the market for other lots to buy.  There is another house right next to the one they are buying and the EDA has expressed an interest with that homeowner once they are ready to sell.

Schultz says the block is already zoned downtown commercial, so the City Council will not need to take any action.

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He says he's hoping to tear down the home by this fall and then start marketing the vacant lot this winter with the goal of being able to announce a downtown development project by this spring.



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