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Pine River not awarded DEED grant

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The Pine River City Council learned Tuesday, March 11, that the city did not receive the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) grant it applied for in December.

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The DEED grant would have been used for the development of city parking on Highway 371. If the grant was approved, the city was prepared to purchase three parcels and demolish the three buildings there (the Pinewood Café, the Eastern Star Building and the former dry cleaner). That land would then be developed into a city parking lot.

All the city needed was approval of the DEED grant, and a company committed to opening a business on the adjacent corner lot.

Without the grant, the initial plan to fund the redevelopment of those parcels of land cannot go through. Without the parking, the property is less attractive to prospective buyers of the fourth corner lot. Family Dollar was seen as the main prospective buyer.

There are many different parties and variables to consider regarding this property redevelopment. By the time the next round of DEED grants is considered, the four properties being discussed could change hands, there may be a different prospective business (or none at all) considering purchase of the corner lot, and the city could have different priorities. Because of this, speculation is difficult.

The Pine River City Council has not discussed any alternative possibilities at this time.

Travis Grimler can be reached at travis.grimler@pineandlakes.com. Follow him at facebook.com/PEJTravis and on Twitter @PEJ_Travis.

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