Herald JournalHerald Journal, July 21, 2003

Big changes are in the works for Lester Prairie business district

By Troy Feltmann
Staff Writer

Change is in the air for the Lester Prairie business community in the next six months.

The old grocery store is expected to be re-opened by the end of the year.

Carey Nelson, who wants to operate the grocery store, is waiting for the second mortgage to expire Sept. 9.

"I'm trying to obtain blue prints for the store, so I can map the store out," Nelson said.

"After the sale of the building, the grocery store could be open in six to eight weeks," Nelson said.

The parking lot north of Angvall Hardware is also the future home of a new meat market.

"We were hoping to be open Oct. 1, but we are still working on the building permits," said Mark Garbers, owner of the new meat market.

The Depot is making many improvements to its store.

"The automatic car wash has an opening date of Sept. 1, but realistically Sept. 15. Mother Nature has not been cooperating with the construction," said Rich Pauly, owner of the Depot.

A 1,200-square-foot addition is going to be added to the store.

The Depot will have more shelving for food, more table seating, and a Bridgeman's ice cream counter.

"We will be serving cones, sundaes, and malts," Pauly said.

Balow's Highway 7 Auto Salvage has a new building going up to replace its old building lost to the fire February.

"The building should be completed in the next three weeks if everything goes to plan," Jeff Balow, owner of the auto salvage, said.

The new building will have a costumer service area, office space, shop, employee break room, and storage area.

"This time there is a two-hour fire wall between the shop and office area," Balow joked.

Balow's is still open for business.

The old Made On Earth building is now occupied by Riteway Mechanical Installation, Inc.

In April, the company moved from the old Schwartz building in Lester Prairie.

"We refurbish conveyor systems for FedEx Ground. That is about 99 percent of our business," Bob Green, owner of Riteway.

"We do the whole process of taking the equipment down, refurbishing the equipment, and installing the refurbished equipment," Green said.

Riteway has 12 employees.

The old Coop/fertilizer building south of Angvall Hardware is the new home for the Herald Journal office in Lester Prairie.

"We will be moving later this week," Chris Schultz, co-owner of Herald Journal Publishing, said.

HJ Signs and Graphics also will be moving to Lester Prairie until its new building is complete in Winsted.

There could be more remodeling projects going on as the grant money comes available.

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