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Detroit Lakes liquor store likely to relocate

After a few preliminary meetings, the Detroit Lakes liquor committee and city staff, working alongside Alexandria firm Ringdahl Architects, have tentatively found a new home for the municipal liquor store.

Recognizing that the space Lakes Liquors is in on Roosevelt Avenue is too tight, not convenient and not conducive to growth, the group interviewed a few architect firms before settling on Ringdahl.

The city and Ringdahl have worked with an initial study that included recommendations for the size of a new liquor store and parking spaces needed, and have now found a lot in the redevelopment area that would suit Lakes Liquors' needs.

Visibility, accessibility and adaptability are the main points of focus for a new store, which translates to a 10,000-square-foot building with an attached 3,000 square feet for expansion, located along McKinley Avenue across from Central Market and Burger Time.

At Thursday afternoon's meeting, members of the liquor committee, Lakes Liquors Manager Brad MacMaster, City Administrator Bob Louiseau and Ringdahl associate Richard Hardine discussed several building configurations on the lot.

The lot where Burger Time now sits was discussed as an option as well, but ruled out early because of space constraints.

"It's good visibility, but it kind of has to be forced," Alderman Ron Zeman said of the building and parking lot on that site. "It doesn't make it an easy store."

Several of the same problems would exist as they do at the current location, he added, so what would be the point of building new with the same issues?

It was also agreed that there are different businesses that could benefit from overlooking the Veterans Memorial Park, whereas that's not pertinent to the liquor store business.

The more favorable lot across Holmes Street from Burger Time would have more access points, more parking spaces (for both vehicles and trucks with boats and trailers), easier access for delivery trucks and, depending on where the building would sit on the lot, the city would already own the land.

If the building stays on the east and south portion of the lot, the city already owns that land. If it shifts to the west, Bremer Bank owns a portion of that land. Louiseau said the bank has expressed interest in selling that land to the city.

Committee members agreed that the lot, regardless of how the building would be situated, would have good visibility and be accessible.

For adaptability, the plan shows a 13,000-square-foot building, with 10,000 square feet dedicated to the liquor store and 3,000 square feet to be leased to a specialty store, like meat and cheese for example, something to complement a liquor store.

The attached 3,000 square feet will be used for liquor store expansion if needed in the future.

The next step for the committee is to look at interior design elements, which Hardine said he would bring back to the table for review in two weeks.