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Family Dollar considering property in Pine River

With the signing of a resolution to seek a grant, the Pine River City Council put into motion efforts that could result in the development of a Family Dollar store where the Tom Thumb gas station once stood on the corner of Barclay Avenue and State Highway 371.

During the city’s regular meeting in October, Gail Leverson of the Cass County Economic Development Corporation presented the council with the opportunity to apply for a grant to buy three vacant and blighted lots containing the closed Pine Wood Cafe, the former Eastern Star building, and one other building behind the cafe for demolition and development of a city parking lot.

Leverson said doing so would make the property immediately more attractive to potential buyers of the Tom Thumb building, which has been closed for 10 years. At the time Leverson had two interested buyers.

At the Dec. 10 regular city council meeting, the council reviewed a resolution to seek a grant to follow through with that development. Leverson said that she had received a letter of commitment from Family Dollar to buy the Tom Thumb building. Leverson stressed during the December and October meetings that interest in the building was time sensitive.

“They don’t want to wait til summer. They want to do it right away this spring,” Leverson said.

In October, Leverson said the grant requires a 50 percent local match, but the city would be able to use the acquisition price of the corner property as the match.

The council agreed to seek a grant from the Redevelopment Grant Program from the Department of Employment and Economic Development on behalf of the city.

Tony Desanto was absent from the meeting.