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Perham Focus: Trio of demolitions make way for major new development in downtown Perham

November 23, 2021

The Main Street Perham development will include a 10,000-square-foot office and retail space at the ground level with 43 apartments above, on floors two through five. The structure could be up to 65 feet high, and is estimated to increase the site’s value from $430,000 to $4.2 million.

With a duo of recent demolitions, plus another one coming this winter, downtown Perham will have a different look in a year’s time.

North Central Inc. of Perham demolished the former King Koin Laundromat building, at 230 East Main Street on Friday, Nov. 19, and then the neighboring former Pizza Ranch/Los Jalapenos Taqueria building on 2nd Avenue SE on Monday, Nov. 22.

In addition, the retail store for Bongards Creameries, on 210 East Main Street, is set for demolition this winter, once its temporary location at the old Winkels Carpet Center site is ready. The store will remain open at its current location until the move happens, Perham City Manager Jonathan Smith said.

The demolitions will ultimately level an entire corner of downtown real estate in Perham, making way for a new retail/office space, with apartment units above. The project is being developed by EPIC Companies of Fargo.

Ehlers Public Finance Advisors senior municipal advisor Todd Hagen said the new development could increase the site’s value from $430,000 to $4.2 million.

A tax increment financing district was approved for the parcel in October 2020, and EPIC Companies began working to acquire the properties after that. There have been some COVID-related delays, Smith said, but the company hopes to start construction in spring 2022.

Bongards’ move to the old Winkels site, at 145 2nd Avenue SE, is only temporary during the construction period. Once construction is complete on the new development, the Bongards retail store will move into its new, permanent space there.

Interiors by Winkels opened at its new location, 1000 East Main Street, with new ownership in summer 2021.

The EPIC Companies development will include a 10,000-square-foot office and retail space at the ground level with 43 apartment units above, on floors two through five. The structure could be up to 65 feet high, with a variance the city council approved in 2020. The downtown area is typically set at 50 feet.

The apartments will be a mix of one and two bedroom apartments, with underground parking available for residents.

The King Koin and Bongards structures were likely built around the 1950s, and the old Pizza Ranch in the 1990s.