Becker County is hoping to get $690,000 for its minimum security workhouse on Randolph Road in Detroit Lakes.

The former jail building could be a steal for somebody-the county paid $1.25 million for it in 2011, after leasing it for seven years.

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The one-story building has a steel roof and a heated attached garage, and the facility "could be converted to a number of potential uses," according to the Real Estate Company's website, where the building is listed. Broker/owner Dave Niesen is handling the sale after submitting the low quote to Becker County.

"It would make a great office building or even a retail outlet," Niesen said of building, which is made of concrete block with a brick exterior. "There's a very good value in the building," he added. "It would cost a lot more to construct it."

The minimum security workhouse was the brainchild of then-Sheriff Tim Gordon, who floated it as an alternative to building a new maximum security jail.

In 2003, the year before the workhouse was built, there was a waiting list of more than 100 people in line to serve their jail sentences, and the county was spending about $200,000 a year to transport and board inmates in other county jails.

Built in 2004, the minimum security jail operated with an open floor plan that allowed one or two jail personnel to supervise dozens of low-security-risk inmates, many of whom left for jobs via work-release privileges or worked on Sentencing to Service crews.

The one-acre triangular site has a paved parking lot with 20 parking spaces, central air, and landscaping. The building sits on an 8,680-square-foot foundation.

The minimum security jail closed earlier this year, and the inmates were moved into the new county jail on Highway 59 North. The workhouse site went up for sale last month.

"We've had several people interested (in the building)," Neisen said. "But there's not a signed purchase agreement at this time."